JUNE 20, 2016 — The Danish EPA (Miljøstyrelsen) has reported five vessel operators to the police for violating the stricter requirements for the sulfur content in ships' fuel, in place since January 1, 2015, for ships sailing in the North and Baltic Seas.
The Environmental Protection Agency has intensified its control and enforcement of the regulations.
The Danish Maritime Authority, acting on behalf of the EPA, takes fuel oil samples from ships in Danish ports that are analyzed to determine the content of sulfur.This is supplemented by aerial surveillance using so-called "sniffers." One is installed on the Great Belt Bridge and another on a small plane that can sniff out if ships in Danish waters using illegal fuel.
The EPA says the sniffers ae designed to send investigators on the trail of "sulfur sinners."
Since January 2015 over 200 oil samples have been taken and analyzed over 200 oil samples.
EPA has reported the five carriers to the police based on oil sample results. The new reviews range from violations of 20 percent over the limit to nearly nine times the limit.
The EPA says that it is now up to the police to investigate notifications and that the courts will decide on sentencing and the size of any fines. It notes that the EU sulfur directive says that fines should be effective, proportionate to the infringement, deprive the offenders of any financial profit, and be dissuasive of recidivism.