Savino Declares Victory at Sea! NY will keep National Ballast Water Standards

Diane J. Savino

February 22, 2012

St. George- State Senator Diane Savino (D-North Shore/South Brooklyn) declared victory today and praised Governor Andrew Cuomo; in her fight to keep the Port of New York and New Jersey open for business. Hundreds of thousands of jobs are saved and the prices of all goods are kept where they are by the importation of goods through the Port of New York. If the DEC had set a higher standard than the ports of Philadelphia, Baltimore, Halifax, or Miami, goods would have been redirected there; effectively shutting down the Martine industry in the Port of New York/New Jersey.

Increased regulations would have drastically increased the standard for cleaning of ballast water released from ships in New York waterways. Large vessels take on and pump out water to keep them stable as they load and unload. In order to protect the ecosystem, this water must be cleaned before being released into local waters. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently increased the federal standard, but DEC was poised to surpass that level ten to 100 times over – a degree of cleanliness that is technologically impossible.

New York City is home to a $37 billion maritime industry, we risked losing shipping vessels to harbors like Philadelphia and Baltimore. This would cost the state up to 450,000 jobs and $5 billion in lost tax revenue.

Senator Savino in conjunction with Assembly Members Michael Cusick, Matthew Titone and Nicole Malliotakis have worked closely with the Maritime Association of New York/New Jersey, as well as MP Pierre Poilievre, Parliamentary Secretary to the Canadian Minister of Transport, to expose the consequences the proposed regulation would have on the region.

Ed Kelly, Executive Director of the Maritime Association, commented, “The New York Harbor Maritime Industry, is extremely pleased with the decision of the Cuomo Administration; we can now move to raise the Bayonne Bridge and expand operations at New York Container Terminal with a new berth, meaning more jobs, cheaper produce and goods, all thanks to the efforts of Senator Savino and her colleagues.”

Richard Sabatini of Staten Island Terminal, “Thanks to the efforts of Senator Diane Savino and her colleagues New York remains open for business.” Staten Island Terminal is a concrete import plant that will open soon and will permanently employ 300 plus workers, in the shadow of the Bayonne Bridge,

“Thanks to Governor Cuomo for understanding the importance of this issue, we made our case with Commissioner Martens of State DEC, and because of their actions today New York will continue to make it a priority to protect our waterways, while at the same time allow New York’s Maritime Industry flourish.” Said Senator Savino.

Assemblywomen Malliotakis said, "By bringing New York in line with national ballast water regulations, we have neutralized the threat of losing business to neighboring coastal cities like Philadelphia and Baltimore. The City's maritime industry is a vital job creator, where the Red Hook Container Terminal, Brooklyn Cruise Terminal and New York Container Terminal are cornerstones of our economy. I applaud the governor for his action on this issue and am happy to say that, today, New York has embraced our shipping industry."

Assemblyman Matthew Titone noted, “This is a huge win for the maritime industry in New York State and Staten Island in particular, and I commend the DEC for listening to and truly addressing the concerns of the industry while at the same time protecting our environment. I look forward to continue working with Senator Savino, the DEC, and the maritime industry towards working out a national standard that will foster economic growth while preserving our natural resources.”

Assemblyman Michael Cusick pointed out, “I am pleased that the DEC has come up with a common sense approach that will protect our waters, and ensure that the Port of New York continues to be a leader in shipping and maritime commerce.”