Environmental activists with Stand.earth and 350 Seattle have protested against Port of Seattle’s Cruise Terminal 46 expansion proposal outside the Cruise Connections industry event on 6th November.
They called on the Port to stop doing business with companies like Carnival Corp that have a decade-long criminal record of felony violations, they claimed.
Cruise Connections was co-sponsored by the Port of Seattle and Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).
Outside the event, the activists expressed their concern over how the cruise terminal expansion proposal would impact local air quality and water quality, and contribute to global climate change.
Inside the event, activists interrupted the welcome speech by cruise executives.
Seattle Port is currently engaged in a process to select a developer for the proposed Terminal 46 Cruise Terminal. Bids from three consortia are being reviewed, one of which includes Carnival Corp. Holland America Line, which is headquartered in Seattle, and is a subsidiary of Carnival Corp.
“Carnival Corporation is currently on criminal probation in the US, following seven felony convictions for illegally dumping oily waste into the ocean for years and falsifying records to cover it up. Worse still, the company recently pleaded guilty to violating its probation, by illegally dumping wastewater and plastic into the ocean, burning dirty fuel where it wasn’t allowed, and other serious violations.
“The Port of Seattle should put its environmental values into practice by avoiding doing business with criminal entities like Carnival Corporation,” said Jim Ace, Climate Campaigner with Stand.earth.
Last month, 350 Seattle submitted a letter to the Port of Seattle asking for a supplemental RFP process that considers Carnival Corp’s criminal record for its environmental crimes. The letter also requests a comprehensive life cycle assessment to better understand the pollution impacts from the expansion.
350 Seattle has also asked the port to consider a broad range of environmental impacts during the scoping process for the cruise terminal expansion, which ran through 13th November.
“The Port of Seattle’s initial RFP failed to require that critical information is disclosed to the public about the corporate entities involved in this proposed cruise terminal expansion. The public has a right to make an informed decision about a project that puts the health of their communities and the climate at risk, including cruise companies’ criminal records and the potential pollution residents may be exposed to.
“The RFP must encompass comprehensive, independent tests to ensure Seattle residents are safe from the toxic air pollution these cruise ships emit, and complete transparency regarding the types and amounts of fuel, emissions, and discharges these ships will produce,” said Stacy Oaks, Organiser with 350 Seattle.
Stand.earth heads the international ’Clean Up Carnival’ coalition calling on Carnival Corp to clean up its environmental practices, including ending its use of heavy fuel oil.
In January, 2019, Stand.earth released a study commissioned from a Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health faculty member showing that air pollution on the decks of Carnival ships can be as bad or worse than some of the world’s most polluted cities.