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Due to a favorable ruling by a judge in a federal hearing, the Carnival Corporation could still resume cruise sailings in the United States on December 1.
According to The Miami Herald, U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of Florida, Patricia Seitz, ruled that Carnival would need to validate the environmental protection status for each ship in the company's fleet 30 days before they reenter American waters.
Carnival officials will be responsible for notifying federal regulators about the status of every vessel's "pollution prevention equipment, spare parts, staffing, voyage planning software, and vetting of shore-side waste vendors."
"I have tried to make sure we are balancing constantly the interests of the community and the environment in which the company operates and the needs of the defendant," Seitz said during the hearing.
Carnival CEO Arnold Donald will be responsible for any issues found during inspections and the company would need to develop a plan and timeline to address any outstanding problems. Seitz retains the ability to order further review if necessary.
The ruling helped the cruise line avoid a stricter order proposed last week that would have required Carnival to make all necessary changes and receive approval from Seitz 60 days before reentering U.S. waters.
The judge also ruled that Carnival can file its certification up to seven days after returning for ships entering U.S. waters before December 31.
"We continue to make strong progress on our efforts tied to compliance and environmental protection across the company," Carnival spokesperson Roger Frizzell said. "This will be one more action that supports our goal for continuous improvement in these two critically important areas."
Carnival has been on probation since 2017 after pleading guilty to environmental crimes and paying a $40 million fine. The company paid an additional $20 million fine of additional violations in 2019.
Donald Wood is TravelPulse’s senior writer in the breaking news department, bringing nearly 15 years of experience to the desk....
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