Sunday, March 8, 2009

Clean Cruising

The NYTimes featured an article this week about the pollution emitted by ships at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal and potential plans to clean them up in the future. The article, which serves as a good update to comments made in recent weeks by Port Authority officials, says:

Environmental groups say that a single ship, docked for one day, emits as much exhaust as 10,000 cars, maybe more....

Most vexing, [local resident Adam Armstrong] added, is that a better alternative exists: San Francisco, Los Angeles and Seattle are among the West Coast ports that employ a process called cold ironing, in which docked vessels plug into what amounts to a giant extension cord from the shore. The system allows the ships to use land-based power and turn off their engines.

No such technology exists at the Red Hook terminal, but to the relief of residents, that may soon change.

Representatives of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the piers, and the city’s Economic Development Corporation, which leases Pier 12 for the cruise ship terminal, said that cold ironing is set to come to Brooklyn by 2011. That, they said, could make New York the first port on the East Coast to provide shore-based power for cruise ships.

Hopefully these plans work out! This neighborhood already faces so many environmental issues with the BQE, truck traffic, shopping traffic, and more, that we could really do without fumes coming off the water on top of it all.

Read the rest of the article here.

Image above from the NYTimes article.

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