Holland America Line will pay the state a $17,653 fine a year after one of its cruise ship’s holding tanks leaked grey water into Glacier Bay National Park, according to the terms of a settlement released this week to CoastAlaska.
The 936-foot Westerdam was visiting the national park on September 11, 2018 when a crew member mistakenly opened the wrong valve. That’s according to the state’s notice of violation issued late last year.
At least 22,500 gallons overflowed into national park waters. The discharge lasted about 25 minutes and was reported to state authorities.
The settlement — signed August 1 by Holland America’s attorney Kelly W. Clark — says the cruise line “does not admit to any, and hereby denies all, of the factual allegations or legal claims set forth herein.”
A spokeswoman for Holland America, a subsidiary of Carnival Corporation, said the company didn’t have any additional comment, “other than we remain committed to environmental excellence and compliance, and protecting the environment in which we live, work and sail.”
Grey water is untreated runoff, usually from cleaning and kitchen use. It’s less hazardous than wastewater containing human waste.
Cruise ships are prohibited from discharging anything within park boundaries. The National Park Service also fined the cruise line $250 over the incident.
Glacier Bay National Park is one of the most sought-after cruise destinations with park authorities granting limited concessions to certain cruise lines.
Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to incorporate a comment from Holland America Line.