Call for Shore Power at New York Cruise Terminals

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Published Feb 27, 2020 6:32 PM by The Maritime Executive

New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer has sent a letter to Economic Development Corporation President and CEO James Patchett demanding a comprehensive plan to reduce cruise ship emissions, including a strategy to install shoreside power at Manhattan and Brooklyn cruise terminals.

The letter comes as NYC Economic Development Corporation undertakes works to expand NYCruise's terminal capacity to handle larger ships.

Last year, 214 cruise ships docked at the Manhattan and Brooklyn cruise terminals. Estimates have shown that a single cruise ship idling for a day can generate as much diesel exhaust as 34,400 idling tractor-trailers, says Stringer. The cruise terminal in Red Hook, Brooklyn, already has shore power, but Stringer alleges that only one-third of ships use it. 

“While cruise ships bring hundreds of thousands of visitors to New York City’s ports each year, these same ships are also responsible for spewing toxic, asthma-inducing exhaust fumes into neighborhoods that are already burdened with some of the city’s poorest air quality,” said Stringer. “I stand with New Yorkers who live in Hell’s Kitchen and Red Hook who have had to suffer the impact of this suffocating, poisonous pollution for too long. 

“The infrastructure we build today directly affects our climate goals for the future, and we need a plan to mitigate the excessive and easily reducible cruise ship pollution at both the Manhattan and Brooklyn terminals. For the sake of our city, our planet, and our neighborhoods, this has to change.”

The Economic Development Corporation is expected to start a feasibility study on the request soon. Works already planned include a $15 million pier extension in Brooklyn expected to be operational this year. In Manhattan, Pier 90 will be expanded, fitted with new boarding bridges and have a new apron added, allowing ships with overhanging lifeboats to dock. This work is expected to be completed in 2021. Pier 92 will also be expanded, and a new terminal is being considered.

The letter is available here.