Skip to main content

Carnival reaches deal to pay $20 million in damages for polluting the environment

Carnival Corp. reaches deal with federal prosecutors to pay pay $20 million in damages

Federal prosecutors and Carnival Corporation have reached a tentative agreement to pay $20 million in fines, following evidence some of the cruise line's ships continued to pollute the oceans despite promising years ago to stop.

Carnival acknowledged in court documents Monday it violated terms of probation from a 2016 criminal conviction for discharging oily waste from its subsidary cruise line, Princess Cruise Lines, and subsequently covering it up.

Incidents of violating the probation include dumping “gray water” in prohibited places such as the Bahamas and knowingly allowing plastic to be discharged along with food waste, which poses a severe threat to marine life.

Carnival Cruises Chairman Micky Arison signed the proposed settlement.

Under the proposed settlement, Carnival promised there would be additional audits to check for violations, a restructuring of the company’s compliance and training programs, a better system for reporting environmental violations to state and federal agencies and better waste management practices.

The agreement also would set Sept. 13 and Oct. 9 deadlines to create an improved compliance plan and make other changes, subject to fines of $1 million per day if those deadlines are not met.

Other proposed changes include a reduction by Carnival in the use of single-use plastic items across its entire fleet and creation of “tiger teams” meant to make improvements in the ships’ food and beverage systems and how waste is handled at sea.