Extra Credit Blog
It has definitely not been smooth sailing for one popular cruise line. The Princess Cruise has recently settled its court case after being charged for illegal dumping of pollution into the seas. The cruise line was charged with seven felony charges and received a $ 40 million fine. According to the Department of Justice, this is the largest fine ever received for “deliberate pollution.”
It all started in 2013 when one of the cruise line’s engineers exposed the ships unlawful practices to the British authorities. In an exclusive interview with NPR, public relations representatives for Princess Cruise said they conducted an internal investigation after the U.K authorities questioned the ships operations. The Justice Department says that after the engineer whistleblower alerted authorities, fellow engineers attempted to cover up the scandal.
According to reports, the Princess Cruise ships had been practicing illegal dumping for almost eight years. The Justice Department says, “The chief engineer that ordered the dumping off the coast of England told subordinate engineers that it cost too much to properly offload the waste in ports and that the shore-side superintendent who he reported to would not want to pay the expense.” In order to cut costs, the ship began using what they call a “magic pipe” to quickly dump waste and oil into the ocean. Now they are paying those prices, and more.
Assistant Attorney General John C. Cruden told NPR that these crimes reflect directly on the cruise lines reputation. Cruden says, “The pollution in this case was the result of more than just bad actors on one ship, it reflects very poorly on Princess’s culture and management.” In a public statement, the cruise line recognized the mistakes of these employees and apologized on their behalf. They also stated they would be making adjustments to their operations and make the environmental requirements their top priority.