Ash ship operators charged with lying about dumping Md. man named in indictment over freighter.

July 15, 1992|By Knight-Ridder Newspapers

Two shipping-company executives who operated the notorious Khian Sea -- the freighter that tried to dump incinerator ash on three continents -- have been indicted in Wilmington, Del., on charges that they lied to a federal grand jury.

William P. Reilly, 66, of Severna Park, and John Patrick Dowd, 39, of Washington had told a grand jury sitting in Wilmington that the ash was not dumped at sea.

Federal investigators say they determined that the ash was dumped in the Indian Ocean while the ship was traveling between Yugoslavia and Singapore.

The freighter was leased by the Amalgamated Shipping Co. of Freeport, Bahamas, and was being operated on a day-to-day basis by Coastal Carrier Inc. of Annapolis.

Mr. Reilly was vice president and Mr. Dowd president of Coastal Carriers.

The Khian Sea left Philadelphia with about 15,000 tons of municipal incinerator ash on Aug. 30, 1986, bound for Ocean Cay, Bahamas. But the Bahamian government blocked the use of the ash on the barrier island and set in motion a two-year odyssey for the freighter.

Before the ash finally was dumped in the sea, sometime after the ship passed through the Suez Canal in August 1988, the waste had been rejected by the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Honduras, Costa Rica, Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde, Turkey and Chile.

During its stop in Haiti, the ship unloaded about 4,000 tons of ash on a beach on the northern coast, where it remains.

The ship returned briefly to the Delaware Bay in March 1988 in an attempt to return the ash to Philadelphia, but community groups blocked those efforts.

According to the indictment returned yesterday, Mr. Reilly and Mr. Dowd made false statements in grand jury testimony in early 1990 concerning their knowledge of the disposal and unloading of the ash.

The maximum sentence on the charge is five years in jail and a $25,000 fine.

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