“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,” said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises, in a video presentation on the line’s website.
A prepared company response stated the following:
When we became aware of this back in August 2013, our headquarter management cooperated with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) and at the same time we launched our own internal investigation to learn all that we could about what happened.
As a result of our investigation we discovered practices, on some other ships, where we were operating out of policy and in violation of environmental law. We have reached a plea agreement with the DOJ, which was announced today.
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.
In fact, over the past three years we have implemented a number of corrective measures to improve our oversight and accountability. For example, we completely restructured our entire fleet operations organization including new leadership. We also increased the scope and frequency of our training, and proactively invested millions of dollars to upgrade our equipment to new ship standards to ensure compliance with all environmental regulations.
The marine environment is incredibly important to us and we are using this experience to further improve our operations. Princess Cruises stands committed to environmental practices that protect our oceans.
In a separate message to media, a spokesperson went on to say that the settlement agreement involves Princess Cruises paying a substantial fine and Carnival Corporation, the parent company, agreeing to have all ships from all brands participate in a mandatory Environmental Compliance Program, the details of which are included in the court filing documents.
“We are extremely disappointed about the inexcusable actions of our employees. This settlement clearly shows that we fell short on our commitment to the environment, and for this we are very sorry and we take full responsibility,” he said.
“More information is included in the statement and we’ve created a response page on our website with even more detail about what happened, the internal investigation we immediately launched, and the corrective measures we initiated proactively while we cooperated with the DOJ during their investigation.”