Court Records Show Carnival Corporation Violations Include Continued Pollution

A court-appointed monitor found Carnival Corporation ships “illegally discharged more than a half-million gallons of treated sewage, gray water, oil and food waste, and burned heavy fuel oil in ports and waters close to shores around the world,” according to a Miami Herald report.

The violations occurred in the year after the company was convicted of dumping waste into the ocean and misleading regulators, and was operating under probation. Carnival’s actions were made public last week by U.S. District Judge Patricia Seitz, who published a previously confidential, 205-page report in which the monitor overseeing Carnival Corp.’s environmental compliance reported more than 800 incidents from April 2017 to April 2018.

None of the violations were intentional, according to a Herald review, which found 24 incidents of sewage, food, waste or oil dumping; 19 of burning heavy fuel oil in protected areas; and more than 150 of items like furniture accidentally going overboard.

In each instance. Carnival Corp. officials reported the violations to authorities or noted them in company records, although subsequent court filings found Carnival Corp. has “continued to violate environmental laws” in its second year of probation.

The monitor applauded Carnival Corp. officials’ “cooperativeness on board and ashore,” and also said personnel corrected conditions that led to the original charges. “Numerous [Carnival] individuals have exhibited a strong commitment to creating a sustainable culture of environmental compliance,” the monitor’s report states.

Although the report also praised the company’s training initiatives, it described Carnival Corp.’s internal investigations as “critically flawed,” saying company executives had not provided sufficient authority to its court-mandated corporate compliance manager, who in turn stated the “has the authority and the confidence” of Carnival Corp. executives.

Arnold Donald, Carnival Corp.’s CEO, said Carnival will meet the government’s expectations while on probation and exhibit “best in class on environmental compliance.”

Donald added, “Our aspiration is to leave the places we touch even better than when we first arrived. This is in the best interest of our guests, our company and the oceans upon which we travel. We look forward to clarifying any issues and demonstrating our commitment.”

In 2016 Carnival Corp. pleaded guilty to seven felony charges in relation to illegal oil dumping and a subsequent cover-up on five of its Princess Cruise ships. The company paid a $40 million fine and received five years of probation.

Judge Seitz appointed Steven Solow, a Washington D.C. lawyer, to inspect Carnival Corp. during the probation; Solow submitted his first annual report in June 2018. The report is based on ship inspections, company records, employee interviews and third-party audits.

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