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Published on Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Carnival fined yet again for polluting seas







Carnival Corp has been forced to pay a $20 million fine for continuing to pollute seas despite a previous conviction.

Environmental campaigners, Stand.earth, called the ruling a 'backroom deal', saying it has little regard for the communities and individuals impacted by cruise ship pollution.

"There was a lot of talk in this case about taking significant legal action to ensure Carnival Corporation ends its criminal behaviour. Instead, the communities and individuals impacted by the environmental crimes from this multi-billion dollar corporation ended up with more empty words and another backroom deal that cannot even be characterised as a slap on the wrist," said Kendra Ulrich, senior shipping campaigner at Stand.earth.

"This ruling was a betrayal of the public trust and a continuation of the weak enforcement that has allowed Carnival Corporation to continue to profit by selling the environment to its passengers while its cruise ships contribute to the destruction of the fragile ecosystems they visit."

In a Miami hearing, Carnival admitted violating terms of probation from a 2016 criminal conviction for discharging oily waste from its Princess Cruise ships and covering it up.

On that occasion, Carnival was fined $40 million and was put on five years' probation for all nine of its cruise brands.

Carnival has now admitted that since then its ships have committed environmental crimes, including dumping gray water in prohibited places such Alaska's Glacier Bay National Park and allowing plastic to be discharged along with food waste in the Bahamas, severely threatening marine life.

The company also admitted to falsifying compliance documents.

Carnival CEO Arnold Donald stood up in open court yesterday and admitted the cruise line's guilt.

"We acknowledge the shortcomings. I am here today to formulate a plan to fix them," he told the court.

Carnival promised it would improve waste management practices, introduce additional audits to check for violations, restructure its compliance and training programmes, and develop a better system for reporting environmental violations to state and federal agencies.

Senior U.S. District Judge Patricia Seitz replied: "The proof will be in the pudding, won't it? If you all did not have the environment, you would have nothing to sell."

At an earlier hearing the Judge had threatened to ban Carnival from docking at US ports because of the violations and threatened to hold executives individually liable for the probation violations.
 

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