Carnival Cruise executives have faced a judge’s calls for proof they are working to curb ocean pollution.
US District Judge Patricia Seitz has asked executives of Carnival Cruise Line whether they are personally working to improve environmental compliance on its ships.
“We’re totally committed,” chairman Micky Arison said Wednesday, after being asked directly by Seitz, as reported by CBS. “How much more can we be saying as a management team that we’re totally committed? I don’t know how much more we could do.”
Carnival is currently serving a five-year probation order for a criminal pollution conviction.
Seitz reportedly said there should be better ways to specifically measure any improvements Carnival is making toward environmental compliance, for the next hearing set for April.
But although efforts aimed at environmental compliance are underway by Carnival Corporation, a report from the Court Appointed Monitor (CAM) in the case pending has revealed the cruise company is continuing to violate environmental laws and the court’s environmental compliance plan.
In 2019, these violations included incidents related to air emissions, discharges to the sea, pollution prevention equipment maintenance and operation, and recordkeeping.
Earlier that year, Carnival CEO Arnold Donald confessed the company had infringed probation terms from a 2016 criminal conviction for discharging oily waste from its Princess Cruise Lines ships and covered it up.
The cruise company was hit with a $28.6 million fine on top of $59 million that was originally imposed.
“As the CAM has emphasized, while these incidents are concerning, the company’s deeper and more pressing barriers to compliance relate not to individual incidents on ships, but to the company’s broader corporate leadership and culture issues,” the CAM reported.
The CAM also iterated that it would begin to examine issues related to Carnival’s ‘Advanced Air Quality Systems’ as the new global regulations on sulphur content in ships’ fuel oil comes into effect, limiting the global upper limit to 0.50 per cent.
Last week, Carnival Cruise Line reported that a grey water spillage had occurred on the Carnival Elation while docked at Port Canaveral on Thursday, which it said was caused by a valve problem.
According to Steve Linden, Port Canaveral’s director of communications and public affairs, the spill was reported just before 9am (local time). Carnival reported the issue to the Coast Guard Response Center, as per protocol, as reported by Florida Today.
“It’s gray water, and no human waste or anything biological” was involved, Linden told the outlet. “The majority of the discharge is just water, and not a threat to the environment or wildlife.”
In a statement, Carnival Cruise Line spokesman Vance Gulliksen reportedly added the water that discharged was from showers, sinks and laundry systems.