Federal Agency to Partner with Port of New Bedford for Environmental Study

WASHINGTON--The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration is putting up $150,000 for a collaborative partnership with the Port of New Bedford to see if having ships use shore-generated electricity while in port cuts down on air pollution.

Air emissions from ships are an important environmental concern, especially in port cities. The use of shore power, also called “cold ironing,” has been offered as a possible opportunity to reduce emissions from vessels. Critics say that cold ironing simply shifts emissions from one source to another, and creates as many problems as it may solve.

This new collaborative partnership sets out to examine more closely the efficacy of shore-based power, focusing on port service or areas where shore power might realistically be employed, and on alternative energy sources that might be better for the environment.

“The Maritime Administration is working on a number of government-industry partnerships to address air-quality issues,” said Maritime Administrator Sean T. Connaughton. “Our work with the Port of New Bedford is part of our commitment to environmental stewardship in serving the nation’s freight and passenger needs.”

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