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The Crown Princess cruise ship leaves the Port of Los Angeles late afternoon Friday, Feb. 5, 2016 in San Pedro, Calif., as rescue boats continue to search for wreckage from two small planes that collided in midair and plunged into the ocean off of Los Angeles harbor. There was no immediate word of any survivors, authorities said. The planes collided at around 3:30 p.m. and apparently went into the water about two miles outside the harbor entrance, U.S. Coast Guard and other officials said. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Princess Cruise Lines hit with a $40 million fine for dumping waste and lying about it


Not-so-smooth sailing

Carnival's Princess Cruises was hit with a $40 million fine for "deliberate pollution of the seas and intentional acts to cover it up," according to the Department of Justice -- the largest ocean pollution penalty in U.S. history.

The company also pleaded guilty to seven felony charges for crimes committed over eight years. According to the Justice Department, the cruise line made an effort to "hide the deliberate pollution of our seas with oily waste," Miami U.S. Attorney Wilfredo Ferrer said.

Princess Cruise Lines will pay the largest criminal fine ever levied for ocean pollution.

Our open seas are not dumping grounds for waste.
Miami U.S. Attorney Wilfredo Ferrer

Princess Cruise Lines has apologized for the pollution.

The company's president Jan Swartz said: 

"We are very sorry for any harm done to the environment and regret the actions of our employees."

Princess Cruises used a "magic pipe" connected to a tank used to dump waste into the water. 

IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR DISCOVERY 2015 - Astrophysicist Hakeem Oluseyi, right, from Science Channel takes a selfie with Bean the sloth at the celebration of Discovery at Sea with Princess Cruises on Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015 in New York. (Amy Sussman/AP Images for Discovery 2015)

As part of the agreement, Princess Cruise Lines will participate in an environmental compliance program.  A reported $10 million of the settlement will go toward community service projects to benefit marine environments. 

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