Tugboat company manager accused of polluting Delta


#1

A tugboat company manager has been indicted in federal court in San Francisco on charges of polluting the Delta by dumping dredged materials into waters near Pittsburg.
Mark Guinn, 41, of Elk Grove, the general manager of Northern California operations of Brusco Tug & Barge Inc., was indicted by a federal grand jury Tuesday on four counts of violating the U.S. Clean Water Act.
He is accused of dumping or causing other company workers to dump dredged materials directly into Delta waters surrounding Winter Island, northeast of Pittsburg, three times in 2003 and once in 2007.
Brusco, based in Longview, Wash., has a fleet of tugs and barges used for towing and disposing of dredged material generated during various dredging projects.
Winter Island, the site of an unsuccessful utopian community in the 1890s, is a privately owned 453-acre Delta island now used for wetland habitat and a duck hunting club.
Brusco had a contract to dispose of dredged material on the island, for a fee, for use in levee maintenance, but had no permit to dump the material in the water, according to the indictment.
Each count carries a possible maximum sentence of three years in prison, but the actual penalty, if Guinn is convicted, would be determined by a judge after consideration of federal sentencing guidelines.
U.S. attorney’s office spokesman Jack Gillund said no date has been set yet for Guinn to appear in court.


#2

How does this figure into all the arguments on Allwyn’s thread about the ultimate responsibility of the Master.

Seems like maybe he’s right… the tug Captain passed the buck and said he was just following orders.


#3

[quote=seadog!;15523]How does this figure into all the arguments on Allwyn’s thread about the ultimate responsibility of the Master.

Seems like maybe he’s right… the tug Captain passed the buck and said he was just following orders.[/quote]

Don’t think that tug captain is exonerated from breaking the law. Chances are the spoils were dumped without a permit which does not fall under the masters authority. Dredging is not illegal.

Allwyn’s arguments have been flawed from the start. Everyone is responsible. If a ship starts to leak oil through its skin, the owners hold most of the liability - If the Chief Pumps oil over the side because the OWS was not properly calibrated, the chief is the most liable - If the ship goes aground and spills bunker oil in the sound, the Master is most liable. But, the common denominator of all 3 instances is who is liable if the incident goes unreported by the ship? It is always the master as well it should be.


#4

[I]Allwyn’s arguments have been flawed from the start. [B]Everyone is responsible.[/B] If a ship starts to leak oil through its skin, the owners hold most of the liability - If the Chief Pumps oil over the side because the OWS was not properly calibrated, the chief is the most liable - If the ship goes aground and spills bunker oil in the sound, the Master is most liable. But, the common denominator of all 3 instances is who is liable if the incident goes unreported by the ship? It is always the master as well it should be.

[/I]Anchorman, a lot of what you wrote have been things i have been stating (so i am agreeing with a lot what you wrote above). Indeed the Master today is obliged to report. But many instancess of pollution, the Master cannot notice, such as illegall bypassing the OWS.

I am also in favor of the Management being held responsible, as in this case, though i don’t know exactly what the circumstances were. On environmental issues you will already note that the Force Majeure clauses are beginning to hold little value for the Manager.


#5

the Master cannot notice, such as illegall bypassing the OWS.
Maybe, but there are steps that can be taken to minimize the risk of lawbreaking and mitigate the master’s legal liability in the event the Chief does break the law. For example he can inform management that he doesn’t believe the Chief is trustworthy and request a replacement, he can instruct the chief that he is required to follow all regulations including MARPOL and document that it was made clear that law breaking would not be tolerated. The master can instruct all members of the crew that illegal actions will be not be tolerated and will be fully prosecuted, he could educate the crew on whistle blowing awards.


#6

[I][B]For example he can inform management that he doesn’t believe the Chief is trustworthy and request a replacement,[/B] he can instruct the chief that he is required to follow all regulations including MARPOL and document that it was made clear that law breaking would not be tolerated. The master can instruct all members of the crew that illegal actions will be not be tolerated and will be fully prosecuted, he could [B]educate the crew on whistle blowing awards.[/B]

[/I]Captain i agree with a lot you said. Maybe except the bolded part(s).

The first “believe” is subjective. It will be misused in practise.

The second ‘whistle blowing’ is unhealthy. Many times in cases of violation the entire crew may be involved. As long hours of slog on the incinerator will reduce effective maintenance watch on other machinery too. Encouraging ‘Whistle blowing’ tends to become personal and petty in most cases and will lead to a deterioration of trust.


#7

[quote=Allwyn;15617][I][B]For example he can inform management that he doesn’t believe the Chief is trustworthy and request a replacement,[/B] he can instruct the chief that he is required to follow all regulations including MARPOL and document that it was made clear that law breaking would not be tolerated. The master can instruct all members of the crew that illegal actions will be not be tolerated and will be fully prosecuted, he could [B]educate the crew on whistle blowing awards.[/B]

[/I]Captain i agree with a lot you said. Maybe except the bolded part(s).

The first “believe” is subjective. It will be misused in practise.

The second ‘whistle blowing’ is unhealthy. Many times in cases of violation the entire crew may be involved. As long hours of slog on the incinerator will reduce effective maintenance watch on other machinery too. Encouraging ‘Whistle blowing’ tends to become personal and petty in most cases and will lead to a deterioration of trust.[/quote]

Allwyn,
That is a very disingenuous response to Kennebec Captain. You yourself provided a context - saying the Chief was “illegall bypassing the OWS”. His response was in response to your example. How can you now say that is subjective? His believes were grounded in the facts that you provided, and as Master on a vessel, these same facts may be provided by the 1st Assistant. Who knows how something like this will go down, but it does happen.
Regarding the “whistle blowing”…you’re right. Some cases may involve the entire crew, and one way to almost guarantee that outcome is to have crewmembers that have witnessed a violation not report them.


#8

[I]That is a very disingenuous response to Kennebec Captain. You yourself provided a context - saying the Chief was “illegall bypassing the OWS”. His response was in response to your example. [B]How can you now say that is subjective?

[/B][/I]I highlighted in [B]bold[/B] and red the word “[B]believe[/B]”. Thats subjective in itself. If Masters react on that: then well i will say 9 out of 10 C/Es sacked will be for personal reasons than any real truth regarding any real pollution happening.


#9

[quote=Allwyn;15622][I]That is a very disingenuous response to Kennebec Captain. You yourself provided a context - saying the Chief was “illegall bypassing the OWS”. His response was in response to your example. [B]How can you now say that is subjective?

[/B][/I]I highlighted in [B]bold[/B] and red the word “[B]believe[/B]”. Thats subjective in itself. If Masters react on that: then well i will say 9 out of 10 C/Es sacked will be for personal reasons than any real truth regarding any real pollution happening.[/quote]

Of course “believe” is subjective, but you have to admit believing is grounded in truth considering that you are the one that provided the facts to begin with. His response did have your quote “such as illegall bypassing the OWS” as the header…
I would assume, as an office manager, that if a Captain calls and says he “believes” something, you would first ask, “Why do you believe this”?..instead of saying his beliefs are, or could be “misused in practice” 90% of the time.
This kind of office support may increase your own culpability.
I would say this after reading several responses… You have strong animosity between the engine room and bridge personnel. To believe that 9 out of 10 Masters reporting violations regarding the C/E are strictly for personal reasons and not true…I don’t know what to say. You must have had a bad experience during your career…at least 90% of the time anyway.

<iframe style=“border: 2px inset ; width: 540px; height: 250px;” tabindex=“1” id=“vB_Editor_001_iframe”></iframe>


#10

[I]I would assume, as an office manager, that if a Captain calls and says he “believes” something, you would first ask, “Why do you believe this”?..instead of saying his beliefs are, or could be “misused in practice” 90% of the time.

[/I]I cannot understand why you are splitting hairs here. You will have to provide supporting evidence to your ‘belief’. And once you do that to an acceptable level of credibility, it’s no longer a ‘belief’.

[I][B]but you have to admit believing is grounded in truth [/B]considering that you are the one that provided the facts to begin with[/I]

If you go purely by ‘belief’, not only as a Master in case of an OWS violation, but in any field, profession, that would be misused in a similar ratio: 9 out of 10 times. Are you incapable of comprehending what i implied?

Top managers saying i don’t like his look, the way way he dresses, the way she goes into huddled conversations, the way he looks away when talking, he cannot look me in the eye…he’s guilty. I don’t trust him/ her.

Wow…!! You’re developing new subjective benchmarks for us to operate.


#11

[quote=Allwyn;15628][I]I would assume, as an office manager, that if a Captain calls and says he “believes” something, you would first ask, “Why do you believe this”?..instead of saying his beliefs are, or could be “misused in practice” 90% of the time.

[/I]I cannot understand why you are splitting hairs here. You will have to provide supporting evidence to your ‘belief’. And once you do that to an acceptable level of credibility, it’s no longer a ‘belief’.

[I][B]but you have to admit believing is grounded in truth [/B]considering that you are the one that provided the facts to begin with[/I]

If you go purely by ‘belief’, not only as a Master in case of an OWS violation, but in any field, profession, that would be misused in a similar ratio: 9 out of 10 times. Are you incapable of comprehending what i implied?

Top managers saying i don’t like his look, the way way he dresses, the way she goes into huddled conversations, the way he looks away when talking, he cannot look me in the eye…he’s guilty. I don’t trust him/ her.

Wow…!! You’re developing new subjective benchmarks for us to operate.[/quote]

I guess there is a failure to communicate here…because I know that you have to have"supporting evidence to your ‘belief’" (why else would you believe it?).

In this [B]PARTICULAR[/B] case, from the beginning, before [B]YOU[/B] started splitting hairs yourself, Kennebec Captain’s “supporting evidence” was the [B]Facts[/B] that [B]YOU[/B] provided that lead him to make that comment. That’s why he “believed” in the first place. Live by your own standards! Don’t think I’m making new ones up.

At the very least, follow-up questions will ascertain any “supporting evidence” if there is any. That happens every day, and in every courtroom.

Why do you become so dismissive regarding Masters?

Like I said…9 out of 10 comment = animosity.


#12

This is just the opening shot. This short dumping has been going on for [I][U]three years[/U][/I]. Think of all the deals that have been made…the conspiracy of silence, the money that has changed hands. Mark Guin is just the starting point.The indictments are going to be flying like flys at a Somalia BBQ. Will the outcome be: “Its all the Master’s fault, he had the final say”?
Regardless of the outcome, there ought to be some high drama as all the scum bags turn on each other.


#13

This sort of dumping has been going on for years and it’s just recently the tug and OSV companies figured they better cover their tracks a little better. That a company was accused is what is surprising. They all have notices posted on their vessels stating they abide by all pollution laws as a matter of company policy. I’ve read a few of these notices that would make you think the company was owned by Green Peace.
We all know that if the USCG boys in blue really looked at the ORB and questioned people closely someone would have been prosecuted years ago. If polygraphs were allowed there would have been a lot of prosecutions already but the prosecuted person would be the captain or chief as the company’s position is clearly stated on that nice framed environmental policy statement on the bulkhead. The captain and chief cannot use the defense that ‘you got to go along to get along’ unless they have some kind of proof. But if you don’t ‘go along to get along’ you may find yourself unemployed or in prison and that’s a helluva position to be in.
I wish that captain good luck.