The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey will pay ship operators incentives to lessen their environmental impact over the next three years under a $4.875 million Clean-Vessel Incentive program.
The program, approved Wednesday by the port’s Board of Commissioners, is designed to encourage ship operators to improve their engines, use cleaner fuels, and upgrade their technology to reduce emissions from oceangoing vessels, which are the largest source of air pollutants at port-related facilities.
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, 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 lower ship speeds to no more than 10 knots starting 20 nautical miles from the entrance to the New York-New Jersey harbor.
The port authority anticipates approximately 600 vessels a year will participate in the CVI program, which would provide annual emissions reductions of 182.2 tons of nitrogen oxide, 38.3 tons of particulate matter, and 264.1 tons of sulfur dioxide.
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 ESI program is the latest in a series of measures adopted by the port authority to reduce pollution in the harbor; a truck replacement program was introduced last year.