Brooklyn Boro

BP Adams funds upgrade to cut pollution at Red Hook’s cruise terminal

Device would make it easier for ships to access shore-based power

April 26, 2021 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
All hail the Queen Mary 2. Red Hook is one of its ports of call. Eagle photo by Lore Croghan

Borough President Eric Adams has committed $750,000 in funding to buy and install a mobile “cable positioning device” at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal that would make it easier for ships docked there to connect to the regular shore-based power supply rather than constantly running their own generators.

Such a development has been long sought by neighbors of the Red Hook cruise terminal and local activists, who have repeatedly raised alarms over the past decade about the 1,200 tons of toxic fumes emitted by cruise ships that dock at the terminal.

Use of the new mobile CPD will drastically reduce carbon emissions and other pollutants from cruise ships, helping to tackle a major source of air pollution in the area, said Adams.

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A New York Times report found that between 2016 and 2019, cruise ships only connected to the existing shore power device 30 out of 96 times at port. The low usage rate has stemmed in part from the fact that the current system is designed to fit only select ships and only has one connection point on the pier.

The new mobile device would allow all ships currently planned to sail from Brooklyn to connect to the shore-power system.

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. Eagle file photo by Paul Frangipane

“Communities like Red Hook, an immigrant enclave with large public housing populations, have often borne the brunt of environmental injustice. I am proud to champion projects and initiatives that repair these injustices and make Brooklyn a model for environmental leadership. Expanding shore power at this location will help improve the quality-of-life for Red Hook residents by cutting down on the noxious pollutants coming from the terminal,” said Adams.

The borough president also thanked the city’s Economic Development Corporation, which operates the cruise terminal, as well as Resilient New York, a local organization that, in its own words, seeks “urban resilience on the Brooklyn waterfront.”

“By upgrading shore power capabilities at BCT, we’ll be able to ensure that harmful emissions are reduced and clean air is prioritized for the Red Hook community, while continuing to support a valuable industry for New York City. We extend our deepest thanks to the Borough President and his staff for these funds,” EDC Acting President Rachel Loeb.

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“Resilient Red Hook thanks Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and his team for supporting our long-held dream of shore power for the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal. The funding for shore power at the cruise terminal in Red Hook is an important step in building a hub of commerce and job opportunities in South Brooklyn while minimizing cruise ship diesel generator-related air quality impacts on residents and employees,” said Resilient Red Hook Chair Hildegaard Link, an engineer, professor and community activist.


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