New York and New Jersey Port Authority Approves New Environmental Initiative (USA)

New York and New Jersey Port Authority Approves New Environmental Iniciativ (USA)

As part of the agency’s ongoing initiatives to be a good steward of the environment, the Port Authority Board of Commissioners today approved an incentive program for ocean vessels that call on the Port of New York and New Jersey.

The three year, $4.875 million Ocean-Going Vessel Clean-Vessel Incentive (CVI) program aims to encourage ship operators to improve their engines, use cleaner fuels, and upgrade their technology to reduce emissions from ocean-going vessels, which are the largest source of air pollutants at port-related facilities.

The Port Authority anticipates approximately 600 vessels a year will participate in the CVI program, which will provide annual emission reductions of 182.2 tons of nitrogen oxide, 38.3 tons of particulate matter, and 264.1 tons of sulfur dioxides.

Today’s action is the latest initiative the Board has undertaken as part of its comprehensive strategy to make Port Authority operations cleaner and more environmentally friendly. That strategy includes environmental programs already underway at other Port Authority port and aviation facilities as well as at the World Trade Center site.

“Dramatically reducing air pollution, while keeping the port economically competitive, is a win for the port community and those who live in the region,” said Port Authority Chairman David Samson. “This initiative furthers our longstanding commitment to be a responsible steward of the environment in the Port District, and is yet another example of how we are working with the private sector to improve the air quality at our port facilities.”

“Today’s action will result in significant air pollution reductions at our ports by providing incentives for vessel owners to invest in newer, cleaner technology,” said Port Authority Vice Chairman Scott Rechler. “The Port Authority is committed to remaining a leader in green port initiatives.”

“The Clean Vessel Incentive program will result in cleaner air, which in turn means better health for the people who live and work in the Port District,” said Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye.

“This program means that more of the ships that call on our port will be cleaner ships, burning cleaner fuel,” said Port Authority Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni. “That means fewer emissions and greener port operations.”

As part of the Port Authority’s Clean Air Strategy, the CVI provides financial incentives to ships achieving a score of 20 points or higher based on the World Port Climate Initiative’s Environmental Ship Index (ESI). The ESI is a worldwide mechanism that awards points to vessels that exceed the environmental standards set by the International Maritime Organization. Additional points are allocated to vessels that participate in the speed-reduction program, which would reduce speed to no more than 10 knots starting 20 nautical miles from the entrance to the New York New Jersey harbor.

Currently, 14 European ports have an ESI incentive program; the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey would be the second U.S. port, after the Port of Los Angeles, to adopt an ESI incentive program.

The Clean Vessel Program is just one of many initiatives designed to protect the environment in and around Port Authority facilities.

At the maritime port, the Board approved approximately $30 million in funding over a six-year period (2009-2015) to fund environmental initiatives to improve air quality. As of the first quarter of 2012, these actions have resulted in emissions reductions of over 500 tons of nitrogen oxide and 26 tons of particulate matter.

The Board previously authorized $34 million to assist the owners of trucks with 2003 or older engines that serve Port Authority marine terminals to purchase newer, more environmentally friendly vehicles. This past spring, the Truck Replacement Program won the Northeast Diesel Collaborative’s (NEDC) Breathe Easy Award. The Northeast Diesel Collaborative is a partnership among the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, state agencies, and private and nonprofit groups. The Breathe Easy award recognizes the outstanding efforts of individuals or organizations who actively promote NEDC’s goal to reduce diesel emissions, and have made significant contributions to improving air quality and public health.

In addition, the Board in 2011 approved a $6 million Low-Sulfur Fuel Program to provide incentives to operators of ocean vessels for up to 50 percent of the cost differential between conventional high-sulfur bunker fuel and low sulfur fuel.

Just last month, the Board took action to move forward with another Clean Air Strategy initiative, the installation of Shore Power technology at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal. The project will allow cruise ships serving the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal to plug in to a more environmentally friendly electrical landside power source. The expected environmental benefits of the Shore Power Project include annual reductions of 1,400 tons of greenhouse gasses, 90 tons of nitrogen oxide, 93 tons of sulfur dioxide and 6 tons of particulate matter.

In April of this year, the Board approved a contribution of up to $4 million to help acquire a nearly 43-acre conservation easement on Staten Island that will help preserve the William H. Pouch Scout Camp, the last remaining scout camp in New York City. The $4 million contribution is part of a $60 million Harbor Estuary Resources Program, launched 11 years ago to mitigate the impact of the port’s 50-foot channel deepening project. The program seeks to preserve and protect environmentally sensitive tracts of land in New York and New Jersey.

To date the program has protected eight properties in New York City and ten properties in New Jersey, totaling more than 340 acres, much of it waterfront property. The investments have resulted in the creation of important public spaces, while also protecting critical wildlife habitat, including woodlands and wetlands for migratory birds and other wildlife.

At the World Trade Center site, One World Trade Center aims to be one of the most sustainable office buildings of its size and achieve LEED Gold certification standard. These standards will result in lower energy expenses, lower operating expenses, access to natural light through floor to ceiling glass windows and highly filtered air.

Starting in 1983, the Port Authority, partnering with the Federal Aviation Administration, has provided funds for a school soundproofing program under which 77 schools in New York and New Jersey have received nearly $285 million in Port Authority funds for soundproofing measures. Soundproofing has successfully reduced aircraft noise levels by at least 50 percent in affected classrooms.

Source: panynj, August 2, 2012

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