B'klyn moves to clean up pollution from Cruise Ship Terminal at Pier 12

Daniel L. Squadron

January 04, 2011


Picture 12,000 cars idling on a block — and you’ll have some idea what it’s like near the Brooklyn waterfront when a single cruise ship is in port, experts say.

So local lawmakers and activist gathered today in Red Hook to call on the city, state and Carnival Cruise lines to finally cut a deal to bring clear-air "shore power technology" to the Brooklyn Cruise Ship Terminal on Pier 12.

"It’s time to stop choking Brooklyn," said state Sen. Daniel Squadron (D-Brooklyn).

"Cruise ships idling at port force Brooklynites to breathe in dirty, dangerous diesel fumes. Putting an end to it is long overdue."

The terminal, which opened in April 2006, hosted 42 cruise ships last year that each ran their diesel engines at port for hours at a time.

Shore power would ease the burden on Red Hook — where respiratory disease is already a huge problem — by allowing ships to plug into an electrical grid at the port.

This technology has already been implemented at ports on the West Coast and in Europe but would be the first of its kind on the East Coast. Introducing shore power in Brooklyn could also catalyze the conversion to shore power throughout New York Harbor, pols and community leaders said.

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