For years, we’ve heard about the pollution of our planet’s oceans, but rarely have the people responsible for such pollution been held responsible for their negligence. That’s changing, thanks to the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships, also known as APPS. APPS allows pollution whistleblowers to alert authorities to corporate misbehavior and receive up to half of the fine charged against the company.

In recent years, APPS has held several major companies responsible for their pollution. In 2016, Princess Cruise lines had to pay $40 million for dumping oily substances into the ocean. A former engineer on one of the cruise ships was the one responsible for blowing the whistle and stood to receive close to $1 million for his courage.

Last month, the Department of Justice secured a settlement from two companies, the Egyptian Tanker Company and Thome Ship Management after a ship dispensed of oily waste in the Gulf of Mexico. Bags of garbage were also tossed into the water. During a Coast Guard inspection, a crew member brought the misdeeds to light. He provided a written statement along with photos and video of the pollution. Thanks to his reports, the companies were fined. The whistle blower stands to receive more than $950,000 for his honesty.

Pollution won’t stop on its own. Without whistle blowers like the ones mentioned above, companies would likely continue to pollute without a second thought. Now, Princess Cruises, the Egyptian Tanker Company and Thome Ship Management will be more thoughtful about how they do away with waste.

Have You Witnessed Illegal Practices?

If you have been brave enough to reveal unsafe, fraudulent, or deceitful practices within your company, you should not be punished.  If you are aware of unsafe, fraudulent, or deceitful practices within your company, but have not come forward, you need guidance.  In both instances, you deserve the protection that the law affords you. Do not stand by and be bullied into silence by your company.

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