WELLINGTON, New Zealand, April 5 (UPI) -- The owner of the grounded cargo vessel MV Rena faces an $8,100 fine for every day harmful substances were discharged from the ship, an agency said.
Rena struck a reef off the coast of New Zealand in October. It broke apart earlier this year and salvage teams are working to get shipping containers off the vessel.
The ship spilled around 2,000 barrels of oil into the sea when it hit the reef. Maritime New Zealand, the agency responding to the disaster, had removed most of the oil from the Rena by December.
MNZ announced that Daina Shipping Co., which has headquarters in Greece, has been charged with the "discharge of harmful substances from ships" in the coastal marine area. The charge carries a maximum $490,000 penalty and $8,100 for every day the offense continues.
A sheen of oil was seen stretching about a half mile from the site of the wreck after it was hammered by waves of around 25 feet earlier this week.
The charges are to be heard before the court next month. Sentencing for two members of the ship's crew is scheduled May 25.
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