Judge calls out Carnival over environmental record

A federal judge in the US pushed Carnival Cruise Line to move faster to clean up its act following a conviction for ocean pollution.

At a hearing in Miami Federal Court last week, US District Judge Patricia Seitz said she had not seen enough action from the cruise line to improve its environmental record.

“We’re not there. And we should be,” she told company executives, according to news reports.

Earlier this year, Carnival, which is part of the consortium seeking to build new cruise and cargo facilities in George Town, admitted violating probation from a 2016 criminal pollution case, USA Today reported. It was hit with a US$20 million penalty, on top of a US$40 million fine imposed in the original case.

The environmental problems included allowing plastic to be discharged along with food into water; dumping “grey water” in prohibited places such as Alaska’s Glacier Bay National Park; and permitting a corporate culture to persist that does not value compliance with environmental laws, the newspaper reported.

Last week’s hearing was a status update, required as part of a five-year probation term stemming from the original conviction.