Rally for shore power
5th January 2011 23:57 GMT

Representatives from government and the community braved the cold this week to hold a rally and press conference to try to push forward the stalled plan to bring shore power to the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal in Red Hook.

This is a plan that will allow the cruise ships to turn off their extra-dirty diesel engines while in port instead of idling, as they currently do, spreading dangerous substances through the air of the neighbourhoods of Red Hook, Carroll Gardens, the Columbia Waterfront, Cobble Hill and beyond.

We should be thankful that those who are representing us in government are providing the political muscle to try to break the deadlock that is stopping this deal, more than two years in the making, from being finalised. It's been missing in the past, but, in recent years, Congresswoman Velazquez, CM Lander and Senator Squadron have really taken the lead on this.

I'm happy to say the others are now truly "on board" and at the rally showed themselves to be outspoken advocates for our communities on this matter.

After spending many years asking questions, writing my first letter to the City in 2005 about whether shore power was going to be used at the $56 million Brooklyn Cruise Terminal being built at the end of my young family's residential street, trying to educate myself about, and raise awareness of the issue of ship pollution - not only with cruise ships, but with container and cargo ships too - I am so pleased to see this matter being given the coverage it deserves in the press.

It's something that should be getting broad coverage and a matter that should be addressed seriously by the Ports of New York and New Jersey.

In reality, the plan for shore power at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal should be the first step in implementing this pollution mitigating practice throughout our city's ports - cleaning the air and bringing the resultant health benefits to all of our city's residents.

Hopefully, this recent coverage will help to push this initial, important process forward - urgently.

The bottom line is, this is taking too long. All parties involved agree this should happen.

The EPA has made statements that this plan will eliminate tonnes of harmful substances from our neighbourhoods' air and the lungs of those who are most vulnerable to their impact.

The Port Authority has stated that this plan will save Brooklyn residents a monetised amount "that approaches $9 Million" in yearly health costs every year.

I don't really care about the quibbling, who wants to pay, who doesn't. At the moment it's our residents who are paying, many who are the most vulnerable in our community. As others have also said, this is a matter of environmental justice.

All I can say is let's get this done. For our kids. For our neighbourhood. For our city. It will be worth it.

Adam Armstrong,
5th January 2011 23:57 GMT

Comments on this Blog
Heinz Otto
8th January 2011
Thanks for your statement, Adam,
2 years ago it was, as the shipping community in hamburg had a meeting in the Chamber of commerce, to see what can be done.
Watch and wait, what the world will do, to get the cheapest and multi suitable system for hamburg.
Administration, media and residents talked about it, result: one
cruise ship dock in the new habourcity gets a system; the second cruise ship dock in Altona gets nothing, because: to expensive.
I will show your Statement to some responsible people in Hamburg.
once again, THANKS
from Heinz Otto, www.windschiffe.de (I know like you, why I struggle for windpowered ships)
Caroline Clarke
14th February 2011
Hello Adam,

Recent innovation nee Asea Brown Bouverie (ABB) development on shore to ship electricity generation, see the Sustainable Shipping 10th February, 2010 “Shore Power at the Port of Melbourne” may support a solution - reduction in the particulate matter emitted from ships whilst at Port.

It would be interesting to review net present value NPV and payback considering results below.

"During a 10-hour stay in port, the diesel engines of a cruise ship burn 20 metric tonnes of fuel and produce 60 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2)," said ABB.

"This is equivalent to the total yearly emissions of 25 average-sized cars, which can be eliminated by supplying the ship’s infrastructure with shoreside power," added ABB.

Engaging stakeholders seeking to achieve savings.
Kind regards
Jay Ach
18th February 2011
The Port of San Francisco brought online California's first shoreside power system for cruise ships this past October 2010.

As project manager for the effort, I was able to cobble together a State air grant ($1.9M), an EPA Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) grant ($1.0M), and $1.5M in utility funding to finance most of the design and construction costs. Funding is a challenge, but not an impossibility.

Note, however, that the House of Representatives has proposed eliminating further DERA funding from the Federal budget.

On another note, it is politically popular to focus on carbon emission reductions (we calculated 20 tons CO2 for 17 tons fuel consumed vs. the ABB numbers cited above). However, diesel particulate (DPM) emission reductions are the most important from a direct human health perspective. While our calculated reduction of 140 pounds per 17 tons of fuel seems miniscule in comparison to CO2 numbers, this represents a tremendous reduction in local DPM emissions. Since we have little cargo here, the shoreside power system effectively addresses the Port of SF's single largest DPM source.

Best of luck,
Jay Ach
Jay Ach
18th February 2011
I forgot to state that our total design and construction cost was just under $5.0 million.
- Jay
Caroline Clarke
22nd February 2011
Dear Jay and Adam,

Here my dream is to one day see offsets from shipping applied in the development of such projects.

Kind regards

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