Royal Caribbean agrees to $18 million fine for illegal dumping

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd has pleaded guilty to 21 charges of illegally dumping oil and hazardous chemicals. A fine of $18 million comes a little more than a year after the company pleaded guilty to similar charges that resulted in a $9 million fine.

The felony charges relate to illegal activity by Royal Caribbean Cruises in six US districts. They are:

  • Alaska – $6.5 million fine for violations of the Oil Pollution Act involving routine and deliberate midnight dumping of harmful quantities of waste oil off the Alaskan coast, including the ecologically-sensitive Inside Passage
  • Miami – $3 million fine for the illegal storage of ignitable wastes in a pier-side facility in the Port of Miami and the discharge of pollutants into Miami coastal waters
  • New York – $3 million fine for false statements regarding oil records and for the discharge of pollutants, including photo and dry cleaning waste, into coastal waters
  • Los Angeles – $3 million fine for false statements regarding oil records
  • Virgin Islands – $1.5 million fine for the discharge of pollutants into coastal waters, including the Port of St Croix, and false statements of oil records.
  • San Juan, Puerto Rico – $1 million fine for false statement regarding oil records.

As a result of the criminal charges, Royal Caribbean Cruises’ operations will be subject to a five-year court-supervised environmental compliance plan.

If the agreement for $18 million of fines is agreed by US courts, $6 million of the $18 million total will be used by the Fish and Wildlife Federation and the National Park Service Foundations for environmental projects in each of the six districts where the pleas have been filed.

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