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Morning Spew

Cruise Ships Might Actually Have to Stop Spewing Pollution in Red Hook

The "Our Air, Our Water" Act was passed by the City Council yesterday. Plus, more links for your weekend.

(Hell Gate)

On Thursday, City Council passed legislation that will compel cruise ship operators to actually use shore power batteries in Red Hook, rather than spewing pollution into the neighborhood's water ways. In celebrating the passage of the "Our Air, Our Water" Act, Councilmember Alexa Avilés released a statement calling the bill "a community victory that's been years in the making."

The statement goes on to say that, "unfortunately, outer borough neighborhoods, like ours, are routinely on the receiving end of policies made about us without us."

The Port Authority and EDC spent millions setting up the shore power batteries, which basically act like a big charging port that ships can use while docked, instead of idling on their diesel engines, spewing pollution into the surrounding area. 

But for almost a decade now the City has been unable to get the ships to stop spewing diesel and just plug in. 

Some Red Hookers say cruise ships are a bad deal for the neighborhood whether they plug in or not. Susan Povich, co-founder of the Red Hook Lobster Pound, told the Red Hook Star-Revue that cruises extract money from the neighborhood. "Red Hook retail businesses and restaurants earn 80 percent of their revenue from May 1 through September when locals and tourists tend to take a day trip to Red Hook," Povich said. 

"This coincides with the heaviest cruising days. The congestion this past year during those peak months resulted in retail business declines across the entire neighborhood,” Povich added. Talking about the MSC Meraviglia, which docked in Red Hook in April 2023, Povich said. "My personal business could not open on time on numerous occasions that the Meraviglia was docked, because employees could not get to work.”

Let these links go on in your neighborhood:

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