EPA fines Princess Cruise Lines for 2011 Clean Water Act violation in Glacier Bay

Princes Cruise Lines has agreed to pay a $20,000 fine for dumping water from on-board swimming pools into Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve in 2011.

The fine was announced by the Environmental Protection Agency Tuesday, along with six other enforcement actions taken in Alaska late last year.

In a signed consent agreement and final court order, the EPA says Princess violated the Clean Water Act in May 2011 when more than 66,000 gallons of pool water was discharged into Glacier Bay.

The order says there was a software malfunction on the ship the Golden Princess, causing the pool dump valves to open. The malfunction allowed chlorinated water from six of the ship’s pools and spas to drain into the national park and preserve.

Princess notified the EPA of the discharges the next day.

The wastewater permit for large cruise ships prohibits the discharge of pool or spa water in national parks and refuges. The federal Clean Water Act allows the EPA to fine cruise companies for permit violations.

The Golden Princess can carry more than 500 passengers and sails in Alaska during the summer. It sails to Hawaii, the South Pacific and South America at other times of the year.