Cruise line ordered to pay a record $40 million for illegal dumping of oil contaminated waste and falsifying records
Eric Haun reports for MarineLink:
Princess Cruise Lines Ltd. was sentenced to pay a $40 million penalty – the largest-ever for crimes involving deliberate vessel pollution – related to illegal dumping overboard of oil contaminated waste and falsification of official logs in order to conceal the discharges.
The sentence was announced by Acting Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey H. Wood for the Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division, and Acting U.S. Attorney Benjamin G. Greenberg for the Southern District of Florida in Miami.
The sentence was imposed by U.S. District Judge Patricia A. Seitz in Miami, who also ordered that $1 million be awarded to a British engineer, who first reported the illegal discharges to the British Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), which in turn provided the evidence to the U.S. Coast Guard. The newly hired engineer on the Caribbean Princess reported that a so-called “magic pipe” had been used on August 23, 2013, to illegally discharge oily waste off the coast of England without the use of required pollution prevention equipment.
The evidence gathered by the whistleblower, including photographs of the magic pipe, led to an inspection of the cruise ship both in England and then when it reached New York on September 14, 2013. During each of the separate inspections certain crew members concealed the illegal activity by lying to the authorities in accordance with orders they had received from Caribbean Princess engineering officers.
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