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

Neighbour details hearing ‘thuds’ the day girls found dead in Oak Bay

Jury at double-murder trial hears from Andrew Berry’s neighbour

‘Goodness prevails’: neighbours reflect following suspicious death of 60-year-old Metchosin man

Martin Payne was found dead in his Metchosin home on Friday. Police have confirmed foul play.

Repatriation efforts work to heal and connect through history: Royal BC Museum

Victoria museum’s efforts bolstered by B.C. repatriation grant

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to make public transit announcement in Victoria on Thursday

Trudeau is speaking at a campaign countdown event in downtown Victoria

Afternoon crashes tangle Wednesday traffic in Victoria

Victoria Police were kept busy with a pair of rush hour crashes… Continue reading

VIDEO: Sparrows raise their chicks in Cadboro Bay deck planter

Jill Yoneda captured 11 days up close with tiny Junco sparrows

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of July 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Olympic softball qualifier gets $150K boost from provincial government

2019 Americas Qualifier to be held in Surrey from Aug. 25-Sept. 1

Gas price inquiry questions Trans Mountain capacity, company denies collusion

The first of up to four days of oral hearings in the inquiry continue in Vancouver

‘Benzos’ and fentanyl a deadly cocktail causing a growing concern on B.C. streets

Overdoses caused by benzodiazepines can’t be reversed with opioid-overdose antidote naloxone

Chinook retention begins on North Island, but amid new size limit

DFO calls measures ‘difficult but necessary’ following rockslide on Fraser River

Will you be celebrating national hotdog day with any of these crazy flavours?

The popularity of hotdogs spans generations, cultures

Former home of accused Penticton shooter vandalized

Ex-wife of man who is accused of murdering four people had her house vandalized

Survivor of near-drowning in B.C. lake viewing life through new eyes

“If I died that day, the baby wouldn’t know his dad,” said 31-year-old Mariano Santander-Melo.

Most Read