Carnival Cruise Lines Ordered to Pay $20 Million for Illegal Dumping After Violating Its Probation

The Carnival Corp. cruise ship Fascination sets sail December 17, 2001 in Miami, Florida. (Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The Carnival Corp. cruise ship Fascination sets sail December 17, 2001 in Miami, Florida. (Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Carnival Cruise Lines has once again found itself in troubled waters.

In 2017, the Miami-based cruise giant was ordered to pay $40 million for illegally dumping oil contaminated waste and falsifying logs to hide its actions.

Now Carnival has been handed another $20 million penalty for violating its environmental probation, the US Department of Justice said.

After Carnival was convicted for illegal dumping and attempting to cover it up, it was placed on a five-year probation and required to follow a court-approved and supervised compliance plan.

In April this year a federal judge threatened to bar Carnival’s cruise ships from entering American ports as punishment for potential violations of its probation.

Carnival admits to six violations of probation

However, the cruise line failed to comply with its probation, the Justice Department said Monday.

The company admitted to six violations, including falsifying environmental training records for two ships and deliberately releasing plastic into Bahamian waters without accurately recording the illegal discharge.

“A corporation is responsible to its shareholders and board of directors to be profitable, but not by breaking the law and destroying the very environment in which it navigates for profit,” US Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Ariana Fajardo Orshan, said in a statement.

In addition, Carnival interfered with the court’s supervision of its probation by sending undisclosed teams to ships to prepare them for the independent inspections. Even after the court discovered the first team and the judge ordered the cruise line to stop the practice, Carnival persisted in doing so, the Justice Department said.

“Carnival sought to avoid the discovery of problems during the audits rather than learn from them,” Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Bossert Clark for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division said in a statement. “Carnival’s deliberate deception undermined the court’s supervision of probation.”

Carnival said it has reached a new settlement agreement with the Justice Department.

“The Court approved our agreement with the Department of Justice — setting forth new initiatives, improved procedures, additional training and significant investments to ensure we have the strongest and most sustainable environmental compliance program possible,” Carnival said in a statement.

“Carnival Corporation remains committed to environmental excellence and protecting the environment in which we live, work, and travel. Our aspiration is to leave the places we touch even better than when we first arrived.”

The company added that it plans to create an executive compliance committee, appoint a chief compliance officer, and develop strategies to reduce plastic and food waste.

Carnival’s fleet of 102 cruise ships takes about 11.5 million people to ports across the globe every year, according to its website.

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