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Princess Cruises to plead guilty to polluting US ocean




One of the world’s biggest cruise lines, Princess Cruises, has been caught polluting the seas.
The California-based company, which is owned by cruise giant Carnival Corp., will plead guilty to seven felony charges related to the polluting and intentional acts to cover it up, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
As part of a plea agreement, Princess will pay a $40 million penalty, the largest ever involving deliberate vessel pollution, the Justice Department said.
The Justice Department said one of Princess’ 17 ships, the 3,192-passenger Caribbean Princess, discharged oily waste into the seas for years through a “magic pipe” that bypassed the ship’s normal equipment.
The discharges first came to light after a newly hired engineer on the Caribbean Princess reported the magic pipe to British authorities in 2013, according to the Justice Department. The ship was sailing out of the UK at the time.
The Justice Department said the chief engineer and senior first engineer of the vessel ordered a cover up, including the removal of the magic pipe, and directed subordinates to lie. The U.S. Coast Guard conducted an examination of the Caribbean Princess upon its arrival in New York on Sept. 14, 2013, during which certain crew members continued to lie in accordance with orders they had received from Princess employees, the Justice Department said.
The Justice Department said its investigation subsequently uncovered two other illegal practices that were found to have taken place on the Caribbean Princess as well as four other Princess ships – Star Princess, Grand Princess, Coral Princess and Golden Princess.
“The pollution in this case was the result of more than just bad actors on one ship,” Assistant Attorney General . It reflects very poorly on Princess’s culture and management,” said Assistant Attorney General john Cruden said. “This is a company that knew better and should have done better.”
As part of the plea agreement, Princess and cruise ships from seven other Carnival Corp.-owned brands including Carnival, Holland America and Seabourn will be under a court supervised Environmental Compliance Program for five years. The program will require independent audits by an outside entity and a court appointed monitor.

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