Ferry Company to pay $300,000 fine and issue public apology

Company must also run apology ads in Standard-Times and Cape Cod Times

A company based in Marblehead pled guilty February 8 in federal court to charges that it dumped raw sewage into North Shore waters from a popular ferry it operates out of Salem. Under the terms of a plea agreement, the company will pay a fine of $300,000 and publish apologies in regional newspapers.

The 59-foot long passenger vessel named the P/V Hannah Glover above and the 116-foot barge called the P/V Rockmore below.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz, Rear Admiral J. L. Nimmich, United States Coast Guard, Commander, First Coast Guard District and William Schenkelberg, Special Agent in Charge of the Northeast Region of the Coast Guard Investigative Service, announced today that The Rockmore Company, Inc. pled guilty to two violations of the Rivers and Harbors Act arising out of its practice of dumping human waste into local waters.

From 1990 to 2006 the company has operated a 59-foot long passenger vessel named the P/V Hannah Glover based in Salem. The Hannah Glover provides dinner cruises and sightseeing tours in the waters along the shores of the Massachusetts towns of Marblehead, Beverly and Manchester-by-the-Sea. On several occasions, the vessel ferried passengers to the Charles River in Boston to view the annual 4th of July celebration on the Charles River Esplanade. The company also regularly shuttled children from Marblehead to a summer camp on Children's Island just off the Massachusetts coast. The company also operated a 116-foot barge called the P/V Rockmore, on which the company maintained a restaurant.

Under a plea agreement between the Rockmore Company and the Government, the company will pay a fine of $300,000, of which $75,000 will be directed to the Massachusetts Environmental Trust to be used for water quality projects. The company will also issue a public apology in regional newspapers that serve coastal communities, including the Boston Herald, Standard-Times of New Bedford, Cape Cod Times and the Salem News. During its three years on probation, the company must report its activities to the U.S. Coast Guard and discharge its sewage in municipally approved disposal facilities.

Source: The U.S. Department of Justice's U.S. Attorney's office for the District of Massachusetts.

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