Norwegian tanker adrift in Victoria court

A Norwegian tanker that has landed in a Victoria court for alleged illegal dumping was nabbed by a Transport Canada surveillance flight.

A Norwegian tanker company that has landed in a Victoria court for alleged illegal dumping was nabbed by a Transport Canada surveillance flight.

The M/T Champion, a ship belonging to Champion Tankers A/S out of Bergen, Norway, and an individual named Robert Ruzic face four environmental charges related to illegal dumping at sea.

The case remains adrift, as nobody from the company appeared for a scheduled plea hearing in Victoria provincial court last Thursday. The hearing is held over until Oct. 25.

Ruzic, the ship, Champion Tankers and its parent company, Champion Shipping A/S, face two charges of improper disposal of a substance at sea, and two charges of improper deposit of substances harmful to migratory birds.

Environment Canada, the agency that investigated the case, said in an email to the News that a Transport Canada aircraft on a routine surveillance flight reported that the M/T Champion discharged fish oil into the ocean, about 135 miles west of Vancouver Island on July 30, 2010.

Investigators learned the ship didn’t have a permit to discharge waste in Canadian waters. Environment Canada doesn’t give permits to dump fish oil or waste from fish processing, “as practical opportunities are available to recycle, reuse or treat the waste,” a spokesperson said in the email.

The charges relate to an unspecified volume of fish oil and another “oily substance.” Environment Canada won’t say how much was allegedly dumped, but noted that the federal government has “zero tolerance” for polluting the marine environment.

Transport Canada operates a Dash-8 pollution surveillance aircraft based out of Vancouver for the National Aerial Surveillance Program (NASP), which is the government’s primary method to monitor illegal offshore dumping.

Transport Canada said the Vancouver-based plane spends about 600 hours per year on patrol, with the majority over the shipping lanes of southern coastal waters.

“With the recent investments in NASP since 2006, the number of mystery spills observed offshore in the commercial shipping lanes and the amount of oiled birds washing ashore has significantly declined,” Transport Canada told the News in an email.

Champion Tankers website said the company has 11 tanker vessels and transports vegetable oils, palm oils, molasses and clean petroleum products.

editor@saanichnews.com

 

Just Posted

Saanich driver races to Chairman’s Trophy in Mission

Bill Okell has driven the same race car for 44 years

Local school districts gear up for the new back to school season

Seismic upgrades, inclusion and student safety are priorities

Camosun’s continuing education site a quick hit

Hundreds of courses available to launch new career opportunities

B.C. police watchdog investigating high-speed crash in Victoria

Police watchdog called in after dramatic early morning crash at Bay and Douglas intersection

VIDEO: RCMP officer killed in the line of duty remembered ‘through the laughter of children’

Sarah Beckett Memorial Playground opens with ceremony in Langford

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. VIEWS: Pipelines set to roll as federal politicians posture

Projects to drive B.C., Canadian economy in years ahead

B.C. Lions fall to 1-9 after 13-10 loss to Ticats

Lowly Leos have dropped six straight CFL contests

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. man who died after rescuing swimmer was known for helping others

Shaun Nugent described as a dad, a coach, a hero and ‘stand-up guy’ at celebration of life

B.C. RCMP plane chases fleeing helicopter as part of major cross-border drug bust

The helicopter eventually landed at a rural property near Chilliwack

Vancouver Island man dead after reported hit-and-run incident

Oceanside RCMP seek public’s help gathering information

Thousands cycle to conquer cancer

The 11th annual Ride to Conquer Cancer took place Saturday morning, Aug. 24 in Surrey, B.C.

PHOTOS: Brazil military begins operations to fight Amazon fires

Amazon fires have become a global issue, escalating tensions between Brazil and European countries

Most Read