Va. Ship Scrappers Plead Guilty to Pollution Charges

April 13, 2012

The operators of a ship scrapping company each face up to a year in prison for federal environmental violations.

Fifty-six-year-old Steven E. Avery and 81-year-old Billy J. Avery, both of Virginia Beach, pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court in Norfolk.

Their company, Sea Solutions Inc., also pleaded guilty and faces a fine of up to $500,000.

U.S. Attorney Neil H. MacBride says sentencing for all three is set for July 12.

According to court documents, Sea Solutions bought the M/V Snow Bird in February 2010 and planned to scrap it. The defendants knew petroleum products and other pollutants were onboard the vessel. But they didn't remove the pollutants before beginning scrapping operations.

A major spill of oil and other pollutants occurred in the Elizabeth River in October 2010.


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