On June 17, the Port of New York and New Jersey Port Performance Task Force released its final report, A Collaborative Effort for a Collective Change.
In the introduction, the report noted:
“…a growing awareness of the environmental aspects of port operations. Most of the power used to move cargo was generated by internal combustion engines. Unwanted pollution became a major focal point, not only from governmental regulators but also from a growing number of nongovernmental entities including community groups that demanded reductions in the port’s environmental footprint. Addressing both issues has taken significant resources and time on the part of many organizations.”
The task force included no members from the surrounding communities or environmental groups, and apparently no environmental health experts. In this report, references to the port community clearly did not include nearby residents.
Interestingly, the word health was never used in this 41 page report, except to refer to the “health of the port.” Pollution was mentioned just twice.
Among the report’s recommendations are:
- Develop a mandatory Container Fee Transfer Program to help fund replacement of aging trucks with trucks with 2007 or newer engines.
- Implement a truck management system to reduce the expected longer wait times and increased air pollution likely to be caused by the increases in ship sizes.
- Develop “shared branding for joint stakeholders”, and consider defining “port community” to include local residents as well as our federal, state and local partners.