Princess Cruises is facing a record $40 million fine after pleading guilty to seven charges of discharging untreated bilge water into the ocean.
The charges stem from 2013 when it was discovered that employees aboard the Caribbean Princess were dumping the untreated water off the coast of Britain. According to a report by The Guardian, authorities found the practice had been taking place aboard the ship since 2005, while a subsequent investigation revealed similar illegal actions had taken place on four other ships, including the use of clean ocean water to trick sensors which would detect untreated bilge water.
The plea agreement will also require Carnival, Princess’ parent company, to submit 78 of its cruise ships (across all eight Carnival brands) to a five-year environmental program, The Guardian reported.
A statement from Princess reads in part “we are extremely disappointed about the inexcusable actions of our employees who violated our policies and environmental law when they bypassed our bilge water treatment system and discharged untreated bilge water into the ocean... Although we had policies and procedures in place, it became apparent they were not fully effective. We are very sorry that this happened and have taken additional steps to ensure we meet or exceed all environmental requirements.”
The full statement can be found here.