This morning the Dauphin Island Sea Lab (DISL) Foundation was awarded a check for $500,000. This money is the result of an investigation that found the Norwegian ship company DSD guilty of dumping oil and sludge into the Gulf of Mexico.
The entire settlement totaled $2.5 million and as part of the settlement $500,000 of that had to go to a community organization as restitution. The Department of Justice (DOJ) chose the Foundation to be the recipient in part because of the foundations mission “to provide wise stewardship of the marine environment through education and research”.
“We have been established ever since 2004 and have been working towards an endowment which will be used to fund projects at the sea lab and this money will get us to our one million dollar mark and will allow us to do special projects and we are very excited about it.” said Helene Hassell (Exec. Director of Dauphin Island Sea Lab Foundation)
In terms of the settlement, this comes from a lengthy investigation by both the Coast Guard and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The guilty company DSD operated the ship illegally from 2010 to 2014. At which time the company lied about having a mechanism that could properly and legally rid the used oil and sludge.
The evidence showed that in the last two months of operation it dumped approximately 20,000 gallons of oil waste into the Gulf of Mexico and more than 200 gallons of sludge. However, since it was running that way for four years it is estimated that more than 440,000 gallons were illegally dumped into the Gulf of Mexico. It’s hard to say for sure, but thinking is this might be the worst oil spill incident past the 2010 BP Horizon oil spill.