December 08, 2004
As a result of the settlement, Holland America will pay a $200,000 federal fine. It will pay an additional $500,000 in restitution to prevent and mitigate future impacts from cruise ship that enter the coastal environments of Southeast Alaska. Holland America will spend an additional $1.3 million to implement a Focused Environmental Compliance Plan that puts in place new environmental safeguards and comprehensive training onboard its fleet of ships.
Holland America will also pay the state $65,000 as a civil penalty for violating the state's cruise ship law.
This is the first fine for an untreated sewage discharge under Alaska's cruise ship law. Federal charges came about due to federal legislation, passed in 2000, sponsored by Gov. Murkowski when he was in the U.S. Senate.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation worked with the U.S. Coast Guard in investigating the discharge, which occurred August 17, 2002 while the ship was at dock. The state Department of Law worked with the U.S. Attorney's Office to resolve the state and federal pollution claims.
"While we do not believe this discharge should have occurred, it is important to note that Holland America has installed advanced wastewater systems on most vessels visiting Alaska. With the benefit of the wakeup call provided by this incident and the protections this settlement will bring to Alaska waters, we accept Holland America's renewed commitment to protect our marine environment," Murkowski said. "That is the result we were seeking when we began several years ago to create cruise ship laws that would provide real protection to our environment."
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