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LAW AND ORDER: MARITIME EDITION

Princess Cruises to pay $40 million fine for polluting ocean

2:05 a.m. ET

 

Chichi Kamoshida/Getty Images

Three years after a Princess Cruise Lines engineer discovered a "magic pipe" used to illegally dump oil-contaminated waste into the water and notified authorities, Princess is paying a $40 million fine and apologizing for the damage done.

The cruise line pleaded guilty to seven federal charges, and its parent company, Carnival, will also have to put 78 ships through a five-year environmental compliance program. U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer called it the largest penalty of its kind. "Our open seas are not dumping grounds for waste," he said. "One thing we must never do is take our clear blue oceans for granted." Princess said it was "extremely disappointed" that the law was violated. If the plea deal is approved by a federal judge, $14 million of it will be used for environmental projects in Florida, Britain, and international open waters.

The waste comes from the engines and fuel systems of ships, and it's supposed to be offloaded when in port. From there, it is either burned in an incinerator or properly disposed at a waste facility. In some cases, if most of the oil is separated out, the waste can be diverted into the ocean. After the engineer came forward in 2013 with information on illegal dumping on the Caribbean Princess, investigators discovered that other Princess ships had been illegally discharging the oily water into the ocean since 2005, The Associated Press reports. Court documents show that during one dump, 4,227 gallons of oily waste was discharged into the water 20 miles off the coast of England. Authorities say this was done to save money, and officers and crew members were in on it. Catherine Garcia

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21 Answers

Saw that on another forum.  Disgusting--they deserved the penalties they got and more.

I'm thinking there may be a few job announcements for engineer staff.

Not sure that Princess or CCL are to blame (although, as owners, they are responsible), but rather the engineers taking it on themselves to take a shortcut.

ALL THREE ARE GUILTY, I cancelled a cruise with PRINCESS because of the way Carnival handled our nightmare cruise on the CARNIVAL TRIUMPH in OCTOBER 2016 "RUDE" and not customer friendly, called PRINCESS JUST TO RELOCATE CABIN AND BINGO SAME ATTITUDE SO CARNIVAL is teaching PRINCESS CRUISES all its lovely ways.  But dumping and contaminating the ocean were they make millions is as low as CARNIVAL AND PRINCESS can go disgusting company as a whole. MY OPINION ONLY.

Wow ... that is huge. The fine is the small part of it. The costliest part could prove to be the entire fleet of 78 ships having to submit to the environmental compliance program for the next 5 years. 

One would think that because they make their money on the ocean, it would be a no-brainer to make sure the ocean is treated  properly. I'm sure the bottom line comes into play here for all cruise lines and ocean freight companies tankers included. Like many corporations the only way to affect them is on their bottom line.

That is the same as crapping in your own house terrible trust me if they were dumping oil , etc. they were dumping waste. Sad and shameful. .......................

I cannot find myself believing that Princess and Carnival Corporate were aware of and condoned this illegal dumping. It would make for an amateurish business blunder if they had.

I'm sure it was the action of only the ships engineers who were taking shortcuts for some misguided reason, that have since been dealt with by Corporate.

Evidence for this theory can be found in the article (if we are to actually believe a reporterWink) where they talk about the whistleblower threatening to go to corporate to report the matter before the ship (presumably the chief engineer) fired them.

Also the fact that only 4 of the Princess ships were found to be out of compliance also tends to show that it was not a Princess condoned method.

 

My bet is that one engineer figured it out and showed it to a couple of his friends, who then transferred to other ships. I am 99% certain that it was not taught in corporate training.

God I want to believe you and thanks for the review but sounds fishy to me 'magic pipe"  huh .....

Seriously, if this were the standard way of disposing of waste materials, would it be called a "Magic Pipe"? I'm sure it would have a technical name such as "Starboard Engine Waste Oil Disposal Conduit" or some such.

"Magic Pipe" sounds like something an engineer would call a secret shortcut.

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