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Alaska fishermen appeal Carnival’s $20 million pollution settlement

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Alaska fishermen appeal Carnival’s $20 million pollution settlement

was written by Jacob Resneck, CoastAlaska – Juneau , 2019-06-18 03:22:13

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Holland America was caught illegally dumping 26,000 gallons of grey water inside Glacier Bay National Park in 2018. It was fined $250 by the National Park Service. (Photo courtesy of National Park Service).

Three Alaskans are appealing a deal reached between Carnival Corporation and federal prosecutors after the world’s largest cruise company recently admitted to violating its felony probation.

The Miami-based cruise giant admitted to illegally discharging wastewater, plastics and other material and then trying to cover it up. One of its violations included tens of thousands of grey water discharged last year in Glacier Bay National Park.

Three Alaskans claimed harm from Carnival’s pollution under the federal Crime Victims Rights Act. But the district court judge denied the motion.

Eric Forrer, a retired fisherman who lives on Auke Bay near Juneau, said that left him perplexed.

“If the commercial fishermen, who are actually on the water, harvesting resources, from the very waters that Carnival is polluting aren’t injured — nobody is injured,” Forrer told CoastAlaska.

The settlement includes expanded court-ordered monitoring and a $20 million penalty in addition to the $40 million the company has already paid in 2016.

“That sounds like a lot of money to normal people,” said Kendra Ulrich, shipping campaigner for Stand.earth, the San Francisco-based group that’s coordinating the legal challenge filed Monday. “But for a multi-billion dollar international corporation it cannot even be characterized as a slap-on-the-wrist.”

Carnival posted a $3.2 billion profit during the last fiscal year.

In a written statement to CoastAlaska, Carnival said that environmental protection is a top corporate priority.

“We treasure the places we visit, and our goal is to leave these destinations even better than before we first arrived,” Roger Frizzell, spokesman for the Miami-based company, wrote.

Carnival owns more than 100 cruise ships operated by nine cruise brands. It plans to hire a chief compliance officer to oversee its subsidiaries including Holland America, Princess Cruise Lines and Cunard.

The appeals court is expected to rule later this week.

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Glacier Bay National Park. Glacier Bay is found in southeast Alaska, approximately 60 air miles west of the state capitol of Juneau. The closest community is Gustavus, Alaska situated 11 miles away. Glacier Bay National Park at present encompasses more than 3 million acres, and is often referred to as one of the Crown Jewels of the National Park system. The Park has snow-capped mountain ranges ascending to over 15,000 feet, coastal shorelines with protected coves, deep fjords, tidewater glaciers, coastal and estuarine waters, and freshwater ponds. In addition to breathtaking vistas, there are abundant wildlife viewing possibilities with a wide variety of seabirds, marine and land mammals. Many visitors experience Glacier Bay National Park while on big cruise ships that visit the Park for the day, whereas others remain inside the Park at the Glacier Bay Lodge. Even though there are no roads to Glacier Bay National Park, you will find convenient air connections to Gustavus through Juneau, Skagway and Haines. Ferry service can also be offered by Juneau. Through Gustavus it is about 10 miles by road to Glacier Bay Lodge & Tours situated from Bartlett cove and is home to the visitor center and departure point for day boat trips to Glacier Bay National Park. Lodging within Glacier Bay National Park are at the Glacier Bay Lodge. The lodge includes 56 rooms along with dining, activities desk, gift shop, and the Park visitor center can be found upstairs. Just about all rooms possess private bath and/or shower and can accommodate up to 4 guests. Glacier Bay Lodge is open mid-May to mid-September every year.

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