Cruise Pollution Charges
October 19, 2000
Carnival Cruise Lines is the latest; a grand jury subpoenaed the line, requesting documents relating to environmental procedures. The subpoena includes all six of its brands -- Carnival, Costa, Cunard, Seabourn, Windstar and Holland America. Holland America, itself, is no stranger to environmental offenses. In 1998, crew on the Rotterdam were caught pumping untreated bilge water overboard in Alaskan waters. The line agreed in a plea bargain to pay $2 million. But the toughest penalties have, to date, been reserved for Royal Caribbean. The line was the subject of a many-months pollution investigation that resulted, in 1999, in Royal Caribbean pleading guilty to the charges that they knowingly dumped waste in Pacific and Caribbean waters. The fine was a record $18 million. Even worse, the company had already paid, the year before, a $9 million fine for pollution transgressions. Carnival says it has no idea why it was subpoenaed, saying, in a statement issued by the cruise line, “at present we know very little about why the subpoena came to us and what the U.S. attorney is looking for.” Stay tuned...The U.S. environmental police continue to target the cruise industry.