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Minneapolis — A German company that operates a cargo ship that was detained outside the Lake Superior port of Duluth last winter has pleaded guilty to conspiring to cover up the illegal dumping of oily waste into the Great Lakes.

The U.S. attorney’s office for Minnesota says the company, MST Mineralien Schiffahrt, was fined $1 million Tuesday. It says $200,000 is earmarked for the protection of Lake Superior and its watershed.

The shipper was charged with violating federal law by failing to maintain an accurate ship record about its discharges of oil-contaminated waste.

The company operates the M/V Cornelia. The 576-foot, Liberian-flagged ship was detained just outside the Duluth harbor for more than a month last year while the Coast Guard investigated.

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