Carnival Corporation pollution report finds breaches

carnival corporation pollution report
© iStock/Torresigner

A court-appointed monitor has found that ships operated by Carnival Corporation are still producing unacceptably high levels of pollution.

Boats belonging to the corporation, which has been on probation in the USA since 2017 after pleading guilty to producing and attempting to conceal vessel pollution, were found to have illegally released more than 500,000 gallons (227,3045 litres) of oil and other liquid waste into the ocean in 2018; as well as continuing to burn heavy fuel oil, which produces harmful levels of emissions. While some of the offences were found to be a result of equipment failures, including unexpected shutdowns of fuel scrubbers, mechanical failures and leaks caused by corroded fuel tanks, others were attributed to an institutional failure on the part of the company to develop effective procedures.

The report highlighted a “culture of blame” and lack of corporate accountability within the corporation, saying: “The company’s internal investigations are critically flawed. There is no consistent, reliable means to investigate incidents or near misses and identify root causes that can lead to meaningful corrective actions.”

Arnold Donald, President of Carnival, said: “Our environmental responsibility has been and remains a top priority for the company. Our aspiration is to leave the places we touch even better than when we first arrived. This is in the best interest of our guests, our company and the oceans upon which we travel. We look forward to clarifying any issues and demonstrating our commitment.”

The report acknowledged that Carnival had voluntarily introduced the Environmental Compliance Plan which was imposed on it after the 2017 court case not only to the vessels covered by the requirements of the court, but to all its ships. The requirements of the plan included the installation of effective seals and locks, training of employees and the implementation of an emissions sampling programme. Carnival announced last month that the vessels it deployed to the Arctic regions had transitioned to using clean maritime fuel.

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