Cruise Ships in Brooklyn to Plug In on Shore

Daniel L. Squadron

April 13, 2011

NY Times

City Room Blog

April 13, 2011, 10:49 am


Michelle V. Agins/The New York Times The Queen Mary 2, docked at Red Hook in 2009, before the plug.

The mighty Queen Mary 2 will no longer be belching diesel fumes over Red Hook when it docks at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal next year. Instead, the cruise ship will shut its engines and plug into a giant electrical outlet built especially for the port.

After about two years of negotiations, the Bloomberg administration is set to announce today a multiagency agreement to supply cruise ships with “shore power,” according to several officials briefed on the agreement.

The Brooklyn terminal will become the first on the East Coast to adopt the cleaner technology, the officials said.

Red Hook residents and advocates for the environment, who have staged protests and lobbied politicians since 2006 on the issue, hope the pending agreement will rid the waterfront community of a veil of haze and what they contend are associated health risks.

“Here you have a community that’s growing, that’s traditionally left behind or that’s too often ignored, and it raised its voice,” said State Senator Daniel L. Squadron, a Democrat representing parts of Brooklyn, including the waterfront, and Lower Manhattan. “We said we’ll take the cruise terminal, but we need to protect our air, our families.”

He added: “The community got this started, and the community pushed it over the top.”

There has been little controversy about the merits of reducing pollution, mostly sulphuric gases, from cruise ships idling in port. Some environmental experts have said the contaminants cause asthma and may raise cancer risks.

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