Carnival Corporation and US federal prosecutors have reached a settlement wherein the cruise operator will be fined US$20 million after having admitted to willfully committing various maritime pollution violations despite having been put on probation for earlier similar offences.
On Monday, June 3, the company pleaded guilty to six counts of pollution and probation violations which include discharging "gray water" in marine protected areas, allowing plastic to be discharged into the sea along with food waste, falsifying compliance documents, and violating the terms of a 2016 criminal conviction for discharging oily waste into the sea and covering it up.
The 2016 conviction had a corresponding US$40 million fine and a five-year probation period.
Mr Arnold Donald, Carnival's CEO, told Senior US District Judge Patricia Seitz that he and the company "acknowledge the shortcomings" and that they are working on resolving all issues brought forth.
The settlement also included terms regarding improvements in the company's compliance and training programmes, its waste management practices, and its reporting of environmental violations to state and federal agencies.
Carnival could be penalised up to US$10 million per day if the company fails to comply with the terms of the settlement by the September 13 and October 9 deadlines set by the court.