Feds Say Shipowner Owes $1.65M For Spill Cleanup

Law360, New York (March 7, 2017, 2:46 PM EST) -- Ahead of trial in Alaska, the federal government contended Monday that a shipowner owes it the $1.65 million it spent cleaning up an oil spill from a ship that he allegedly abandoned in Alaskan waters and that eventually sank.

The U.S. is suing L/C Sound Developer owner John Mehelich to recover the $1,657,085.53 the government incurred in salvage and cleanup costs associated with the ship's discharge of oil into the waters of the Cordova Small Boat Harbor. Trial is slated to begin April 3.

The suit comes partially under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, which is a strict liability statute,...

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