Celebrity Cruises settles with state over air quality charges

Posted: Thursday, September 06, 2001

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Celebrity Cruise Lines has reached a settlement with the state over emission violations charges, the Attorney General's office announced Wednesday.

The cruise line will pay $55,000 to satisfy the state's claims that the company violated air standards twice in the 2000 season.

Celebrity Cruises is one of seven cruise lines operating in Alaska waters last year that received a total of 15 air-quality violation notices from the state Department of Environmental Conservation. Celebrity is the first to respond.

''This settlement represents another positive step by the state and Celebrity Cruises to resolve environmental concerns raised over the last several years,'' Attorney General Bruce Botelho said. ''I am pleased that Celebrity was willing to cooperatively resolve these Notices of Violation short of litigation.''

Assistant Attorney General Chris Kennedy said the 15 violation notices represent 32 incidents. Three of the notices targeted Celebrity Cruises and involved a total of four incidents involving the company vessels Mercury and Galaxy. The Attorney General's office pursued two of the incidents as violations of the air opacity standards.

Under the settlement, Celebrity Cruises is not admitting or denying the state's allegations, Kennedy said.

The DEC is investigating incidents over this year's summer season that could lead to possible civil violations charges, according to Kennedy. He said the investigation is focusing on Celebrity Cruises and five other cruise lines.

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