Royal Caribbean Fined $6.5 Million For Spill

Friday, October 29, 1999
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., the world's second-largest passenger cruise line, was fined $6.5 million on Oct. 21 for dumping oily bilge water and other pollutants into Alaskan waters. "I find the circumstances of this case truly egregious," U.S. District Judge John Sedwick said in handing down the sentence. "What happened is inexcusable. A company this big, with this many resources, should be able to avoid, to weed out the kind of behavior that occurred here." Sedwick placed the Miami-based cruise line on five years' probation and ordered Royal Caribbean to adhere to stringent environmental oversight, within the company and on every cruise ship. Quarterly reports are to be filed to several federal agencies, including the Coast Guard and the Environmental Protection Agency. The court suspended $3 million of the fine in return for prompt payment of the remainder, a U.S. attorney said later. Jack Williams, president of Royal Caribbean International, appeared before Sedwick to say he agreed with the court. "I have said publicly on a number of occasions since this case unfolded that these acts are inexcusable, they were wrong, and they never should have happened. I truly believe that as I sit here today in this court," Williams said. He said he had talked with many local residents at recent town meetings in the southeast Alaska communities of Skagway, Haines, Juneau and Ketchikan. "The purpose of those meetings for me personally as the president of this company was, first, to let the people of Alaska know how profoundly sorry we are that these incidents took place," Williams said. The second purpose was to begin telling people what the company had done to make sure such behavior would not be tolerated again, he said. Sedwick ordered the cruise line to pay $2 million of its fine to the National Parks Foundation and $1 million to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, for use on environmental projects and initiatives stated in a plea agreement. On condition that those funds are paid immediately and an additional $500,000 goes to the U.S. Treasury, the court agreed to suspend $3 million of its fine, Robert C. Bundy, U.S. attorney for Alaska, said. An attorney for Royal Caribbean said the fine was paid on Oct. 21. In a plea agreement filed in July with six judicial districts, Royal Caribbean, a Liberian corporation, agreed to plead guilty to 21 counts and pay a total criminal fine of $18 million. The criminal conduct involved pollution by Royal Caribbean cruise ships calling on Alaska, California, Florida, New York, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. An investigation into the fleet began in Puerto Rico in 1994 when Coast Guard officials noticed Royal Caribbean's Sovereign of Seas coming into port trailing an oil sheen. Royal Caribbean admitted last year it had routinely dumped oil from its ships, and it agreed to implement a court-supervised program to improve its procedures. Attorney General Janet Reno told a Justice Department news conference in Washington in July that "Royal Caribbean used our nation's waters as its dumping ground even as it promoted itself as an environmentally green company." Reno added, "If people flimflam us, they should expect the consequences."
Maritime Reporter July 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Legal

Skangass Granted Permission for LNG Terminal

The Swedish Government (Länsstyrelsen in Dalarnas Län) has granted Skangass permission to build and operate a new Terminal for LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) within the harbour in Gävle, Sweden.

Iraq to Appeal US Court Decision on Kurdish Oil

The Iraqi oil ministry said on Thursday it would challenge a U.S. court decision that stopped U.S. Marshals from seizing some one million barrels of disputed Kurdish oil docked near Texas.

USCG Shares Safety Tips for Labor Day, Riverfest

Labor Day weekend marks the unofficial end of the boating season and is known as one of the busiest recreational boating weekends on the Ohio River. With approximately 2,

Ship Sales

KKR & Borealis Maritime Acquire 9 Containerships

KKR and Borealis Maritime say they have acquired a portfolio of nine feeder container vessels in a sale process coordinated by Commerzbank. The vessels were previously

G E Shipping Sells General Purpose Product Tanker

The Great Eastern Shipping Company Ltd. (G E Shipping) has signed a contract to sell the 1991-built General Purpose Product Tanker Jag Prachi (28,610 dwt). The

Euronav Books Profit from Sale of Chartered Ship

The owner of the 157,258 dwt containership Cap Isabella (built 2013), a vessel which Euronav had on bareboat charter, decided to sell the vessel to an unrelated third party.

 
 
Maritime Security Maritime Standards Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Ship Electronics Ship Repair Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1560 sec (6 req/sec)