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Long Island Barge Company Agrees To Pay Fine To Whistleblower

Courtesy of Pixabay

A Long Island barge company will pay $375,000 to a whistleblower who was fired for telling authorities about safety concerns. The whistleblower’s brother was killed because of those safety concerns.

The Melville-based Bouchard Transportation settled with the U.S. Department of Labor after a sailor came forward to say his brother was killed in an explosion because of safety violations aboard a petroleum barge. A second sailor was also killed.

Investigators with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration said they found serious safety concerns with the vessel. The blast, which occurred in the Gulf of Mexico in 2017, dumped 2,000 barrels of oil and caused $5 million in clean up costs.

The company and its three executives — Morton Bouchard, Brendan Bouchard and Kevin Donohue — all agreed to pay the fine.

Charles is senior reporter focusing on special projects. He has won numerous awards including an IRE award, three SPJ Public Service Awards, and a National Murrow. He was also a finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists and Third Coast Director’s Choice Award.