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Norwegian Cruise Line Pleads Guilty to Atlantic Oil Dumping

In the seventh major case against a cruise line for dumping at sea, Norwegian Cruise Line Ltd. admitted it violated the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships by misleading the U.S. Coast Guard and agreed to pay a $1 million fine.

The company will also pay an additional $500,000 to environmental community service projects in South Florida.

In its plea, NCL admitted that for several years, it concealed the illegal discharge of oil-contaminated bilge waste into the Atlantic Ocean from the SS Norway and at least one other ship by making false statements in the ships' oil record books. After an NCL employee reported the dumping Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the company conducted an internal audit and has cooperated with the government's investigation.

Dumping oily bilge waste into the ocean can harm fish and other aquatic life. In several previous cases, the Royal Caribbean and Holland America Cruise Lines both paid multi-million dollar penalties for releasing oil into the sea.

EPA's Criminal Investigation Division, the Coast Guard Investigative Service, the United States Department of Transportation-Office of Inspector General, the FBI, the Miami-Dade Police Department Environmental Investigations Unit and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Criminal Investigation Division investigated the NCL case. The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's office in Miami and the Environmental Crimes Section of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.

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