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 April 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Legal

Truckers to Strike Four SoCal Shippers

Truckers who haul freight from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach will go on strike against four ground-shipment companies on Monday, a Teamsters union official said,

Maritime Tension Dominates Southeast Asia Summit

Southeast Asian leaders edged closer to open criticism of China's land reclamation in the disputed South China Sea at a regional summit on Monday, as the Philippines

PSA Commissions new Dammam Terminal

Saudi Global Ports LLC (SGP), a joint-venture company formed between the Public Investment Fund (PIF) of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and PSA International (PSA)

Ship Sales

Scorpio Bulkers Sells Three Newbuilds for $111m

Scorpio Bulkers Inc. announced that it has entered into agreements to sell three newbuild dry bulk vessels, including two Capesize ships and an Ultramax ship, for

SFL Acquires Eight Bulk Carriers from Golden Ocean

Ship Finance International Limited (SFL) has entered an agreement to acquire eight Capesize dry-bulk carriers from subsidiaries of Golden Ocean Group Limited, the company announced today.

Norwegian Car Carriers to Buy Two from Hyundai Samho

Oslo-listed Norwegian Car Carriers (NOCC) has signed a contract with Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries for the construction of two 6500 ceu Pure Car Truck Carrier (OCTCs).

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Offshore Oil Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Repair Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | 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: 0.3573 sec (3 req/sec)