Once again Carnival Corp. to pay millions in fines for environmental protection law violations

You would think after being convicted back in 2016 for violating environmental protection laws and covering up its dumping of waste in the oceans and paying $40 million in penalties, that Carnival Corp. would have mended its ways, but rather than doing so, it continued to violate its probation. 

The cruise line was given a five year probationary period three years ago to clean up its act and change its waste disposal practices. But instead of complying, it continued its criminal practices and was found guilty, again.

Today, Carnival agreed to pay another $20 million in fines and make changes to its waste disposal practices.

Carnival is the largest cruise line in the industry with over 100 ships in its fleet of several different brands of cruise ships, and was convicted of violating its probation and found guilty of dumping ‘gray water’ waste in Alaska’s Glacier Bay National Parkas well as dumping food waste and plastic in the Bahamas, severely endangering marine life there.

In 2016 Carnival not only paid the hefty fine for being convicted of criminal practices of dumping oily waste from its Princess Line brand of cruise ships and covering it up, but agreed in 2016 to make changes. Instead the company was found guilty of continuing to violate environmental laws as well as falsifying documents regarding its compliance but also having a ‘clean-up team’ pay a visit just before it was inspected.  

Today, it has agreed to not only paying the additional fine of $20 million but agreed to do the following: accept additional audit checks for violations; restructuring the way it will comply to environmental laws and its training of personnel to do so; have a better system in place of reporting to federal and state agencies regarding its compliance to environmental protection rules; and improving how it will handle its waste management.

Carnival also promises to comply to other changes such as reducing single-use plastic items throughout its entire fleet. It also promises to create so-called ‘tiger teams’ to provide internal improvements to the food and beverage systems in its entire line of cruise ships and how all waste will be handled at sea.

Knoll Lowney, the attorney who represents the victims of Carnival’s environmental violations is skeptical that Carnival will really comply. He said Carnival has behaved with contempt towards not only environmental protection laws, but also for the rule of law over and over again.