Environmental Management System / Compliance Program (EMS/CP)

During recent years, the United States Coast Guard (USCG) has aggressively been pursuing a program of inspections, targeted towards examining shipboard Oily Water Separator (OWS) usage. As a result, they have identified several operators who have improperly used or even by-passed their OWS units while at sea, to perform illegal discharges under MARPOL and/or its complementary statute under US law, the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS). Operators suspected of violations have been pursued to the fullest extent of the law by the United States Department of Justice (DoJ) and on most occasions signed Plea Agreements, which involve substantial fines as well as the implementation of extensive Environmental Compliance Programs (ECPs) under a multiple audit regime, to prevent the recurrence of similar violations.

ECM have been closely involved with ECP implementation from the start and continue to serve as one of the DoJ’s appointed Independent Consultant (IC) auditors, External Audit Groups (EAG), Court Appointed Monitors (CAM) or Third Party Auditors (TPA) under the terms of the relevant Plea Agreement between the DoJ and numerous companies, responsible for conducting both office and vessel audits and providing an annual Report of Findings to the US Government, describing the degree to which each company is in compliance with their ECP. We have also assisted with the preparation of Environmental Management System/Compliance Program (EMS/CP) procedures and manuals for companies requiring such services. Assistance with voluntary EMS/CP program implementation, including EMS-related training, is also available for companies that wish to take a proactive approach towards Environmental Compliance and implement a program to protect themselves under the US Coast Guard Voluntary Disclosure Policy.