Cruise Ships Docked at Red Hook Terminal 'Choking Brooklyn,' Community Leaders Say

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Cruise Ships Docked at Red Hook Terminal 'Choking Brooklyn,' Community Leaders Say

Brad speaking at Shore Power press conference
Erin Durkin
New York Daily News
01/04/2010

Cruise ships docked in Brooklyn are spewing tons of noxious fumes into the air, and a fix is bogged down in two years of bureaucratic nonsense, officials and community leaders complained Monday.

"We can smell that diesel wafting over the neighborhood," state Sen. Daniel Squadron (D-Brooklyn) said. "It's time for the cruise ship terminal to stop choking Brooklyn."

Cruise ships that dock at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal in Red Hook have to run on diesel because there's no way for them to plug into the electric grid.

Government agencies have pledged $15 million to build an electric system, known as shore power. But the Port Authority, which owns the property, and the city Economic Development Corp., which runs the terminal, are still fighting over who should have to pay to maintain it.

"We've had two years of idling ships and idling negotiations," said City Councilman Brad Lander (D-Brooklyn).

At a rally and news conference, residents wore masks to protest pollution from the terminal, which opened in 2006.

Each ship docked in Red Hook pollutes as much as thousands of cars a day, they said.

"Our kids are breathing in sulfur, nitrogen, diesel particulates," said Adam Armstrong, 46, a dad of two who lives on Pioneer St. near the terminal and blogs on the issue. "It's getting in people's lungs and .. . it's doing harm."

The Port Authority estimates installing shore power would be worth $9 million a year in health benefits. The PA wants the EDC to pay for maintaining the system.

However EDC spokesman David Lombino said, "This is a difficult fiscal climate and we're negotiating to make sure that city taxpayers get a fair deal."


Photo Credit: Paul Martinka for the Brooklyn Paper

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