The two shipping companies that are based in Egypt and Singapore were found to have violated the Act for Prevent Pollution by Ships as well as the obstructing Justice. The two companies were found to have been dumping oil-contaminated Bilge Water as well as garbage into the ocean.

The two companies pleaded guilty to the charges in a Beaumont, Texas federal court. Assistant Attorney General of the Environment and National Resources stated that the two companies violated U.S and international laws that are aimed at preventing pollutions in oceans.

The attorney also said that it was also a violation to mislead officials of the U.S coast guards about the illegal acts.

The pollution acts by the shipping companies

On April 26th, 2016, the U.S coast guards of Port Arthur Texas were informed that one of the ships was dumping bilge waste into the ocean illegally; the informers collected picture and video evidence of the illegal acts. While inspecting the ship, coast guards saw a pump covered in oil that was submerged in the ship's bilge tank. The same pump was being used to pump bilge overboard.

The Thome Ship Management company and the Egyptian Tanker company operated large ships that always leaked oil that mixed with water from engines and other areas while at sea. Investigators found out that the two companies did not process this waste before discharging it into the sea. Investigators also discovered that one of the ships stored garbage as well as ash, steel, and non-organic waste.

The waste was collected in plastic bags for disposal offshore with no record keeping.

The companies admitted that crew members never treated the oil being discharged into the ocean by the ships by separating the oil from water. This process would have ensured waste oil passes through a pollution prevention equipment. Crew members were also under instructions for throwing plastic bags filled with metal and ash into the ocean.

Records of how the ships managed its waste were also not kept. The company also presented false documents to investigators during an inspection at Port Arthur.

Bilge water

Bilge water is water that mixes with oil that leaks from a ship's engine. The bilge water accumulates as the lowest point of a ship's hull. A filter is required to clean this type of waste before it is discharged into the ocean. A large cruise ship can produce up to 8 metric tons of bilge water within 24 hours of operation. Untreated bilge water is harmful to marine wildlife as well as human health if ingested.