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Cruise Company Given $2 Million Sentence in Alaska Pollution Case

Release Date: 12/22/2004
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Contact: John Millett 202-564-7842 /

(12/22/04) HAL Marine Ltd., an operating company of Holland America Cruise Lines which is based in Seattle, Wash., pleaded guilty and was sentenced on Dec. 13 in U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska in Anchorage on a misdemeanor violation of a federal law commonly known as the Murkowski Cruise Ship Law. This is the first criminal prosecution under this law which focuses on releases of pollutants from ships in Alaskan waters. The case involved the release of 20,000 gallons of sewage from the cruise ship Ryndam into the harbor at Juneau, Alaska, on Aug. 17, 2002. HAL Marine will pay a $200,000 federal fine, provide $500,000 to the National Forest Foundation of environmental work in Southeast Alaska, pay $1.3 million for an environmental compliance program and serve three years probation. A separate civil penalty of $65,000 will be paid to the state of Alaska. Releasing sewage into harbors can create a public health hazard. The case was investigated by the U.S. Coast Guard, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation and the Anchorage office of EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division. It is being prosecuted by the U.S. attorney’s office in Anchorage and counsel from EPA Region 10.