Shipping Company Faces Charges for Oil Spill

The Los Angeles city attorney's office filed criminal charges Thursday against a shipping company from the Bahamas for two oil spills that occurred in the Los Angeles Harbor.

Promotora de Navegacion, S.A., which is based in Nassau, is charged with two counts of illegally putting a petroleum product into state waters, each of which carries a maximum fine of $2,000.

The Buenaventura, a Panamanian-registered freighter owned by the shipping company, was involved in both spills, according to Deputy City Atty. Rubin Harsoyo.

The first incident occurred Sept. 4, 1997, during a fueling operation when 1,932 gallons of oil spilled into the harbor after a valve on a fuel tank failed, Harsoyo said. The second spill, Jan. 19, involved 30 gallons of waste oil that leaked into the harbor because of mechanical failure in one of the ship's generators.

Arraignment is scheduled for Sept. 24 in Los Angeles Municipal Court.

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