Cosco Busan Spill Costs Company $10 million

Shipping company that operated the vessel pleads guilty

By Jackson West
|  Friday, Aug 14, 2009  |  Updated 3:30 PM PDT
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Cosco Busan Spill Costs Company $10 million

Jose C. Silva

With the ship repaired and the verdict rendered, Fleet Management sails on.

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Fleet Management, the Hong Kong-based company that operated the Cosco Busan tanker which hit the Bay Bridge and spilled oil into San Francisco Bay, has plead guilty to violations of the Oil Pollution Act and felony obstruction of justice.

As part of the plea deal, the company will pay $10 million, $2 million of which will go to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation for restoration projects around the bay.

The company has also agreed to improve training of its crews, since a misread map led the ship into the bridge.

Pilot John Cota earlier plead guilty to two misdemeanor charges of pollution and migratory bird murder, and was sentenced to ten months in jail and 200 hours of community service.

The plea agreement is still pending approval by a federal judge, with sentencing scheduled for December 11th.

Photo by Jose C. Silva.

Jackson West figures the admission and money is the absolute least they could do.

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