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Posted Sun May 17 2009: from Newark Star-Ledger:
With no other ship in sight, a common crime spoils sea
...the amount of oil illegally dumped by oceangoing ships has a far greater impact on the environment than accidental spills. Some estimates... put shipboard waste-dumping at more than 88 million gallons a year -- some eight times the amount of crude oil spilled when the Exxon Valdez hit a reef in Alaska's Prince William Sound 20 years ago. Sludge filtered out from the low-grade fuel burned by many ships is particularly bad for the environment. It is supposed to be incinerated or off-loaded in port... One study has estimated 300,000 seabirds are killed annually along Canada's Atlantic coast from the type of routine discharge of oily waste, federal officials said. A chemical "oil fingerprint" analysis conducted by the Coast Guard found the bilge waste from one ship charged with environmental crimes was consistent with oil found on nearby beaches.
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