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New York City Council Requires Most Cruise Ships to Use Shore Power

A cruise ship alongside at the Brooklyn terminal, 2008 (file image courtesy Jim Henderson / public domain)
Queen Mary 2 alongside at the Brooklyn terminal, 2008 (file image courtesy Jim Henderson / public domain)

Published Mar 13, 2024 7:06 PM by The Maritime Executive

The New York City Council has voted in favor of a resolution to require cruise ships to use shore power when they moor at city facilities. The measure is intended to reduce air pollution in Midtown Manhattan and Brooklyn's Red Hook neighborhood, where the major cruise lines dock. 

“The Council is passing critical legislation to protect and support residents who live in communities surrounding our city’s terminals,” said Speaker Adrienne Adams. “By requiring cruise ships to connect to shore power, this law will limit harmful emissions and mitigate pollution, noise, and other impacts on local neighborhoods."

The measure requires the New York City Economic Development Corporation - which administers the cruise terminals - to mandate shore power for all cruise ships equipped to use it. 

In addition, the measure directs EDC to create traffic mitigation plans around each terminal to reduce the burden on local residents. 

The Brooklyn terminal has shore power arrangements, but the equipment is not fully used, according to the council. The legislation is primarily aimed at increasing usage at this site. The Manhattan terminal does not currently have shore power set up.

“This is a community-led victory that’s been years in the making, a step toward righting historical wrongs, and I’m grateful to play a part in its passage," said Council Member Alexa Aviles, who represents Sunset Park and Red Hook. 

Aviles told local media that the city is in conversation with cruise operators whose vessels are not currently set up to interface with the terminal's shore power setup (though most are already capable).