Princess Cruises has been fined $20,000 for dumping water from onboard swimming pools into the protected waters of Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, more than 66,000 gallons of chlorinated pool water from six pools and spas onboard Golden Princess were flushed into the marine preserve after a software malfunction caused the pool dump valves to open in 2011.
Reportedly, Princess notified the Environmental Protection Agency of the discharges by phone the day after the incident occurred.
According to the Alaska Public Radio Web site, the incident “violated the wastewater discharge permit for large cruise ships, which prohibits the discharge of pool or spa water in national parks and refuges.” Under terms of the U.S. Clean Water Act, the EPA can fine cruise ships for permit violations. The EPA levied the fine Tuesday, January 29.
In a statement to Cruise Critic, a Princess spokesperson said: "We sincerely regret the accidental discharge of swimming pool water that occurred in 2011, and subsequently we took measures to prevent this from happening again."
The 109,000-ton, 2,600-passenger Golden Princess sails in Alaska during the summer season and to Hawaii and South America the rest of the year.