Big meeting tonight to discuss the fate of the polluting NY Waterway boats

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November 1, 2011

By Steven Greer, MD

The CB1 Battery Park City subcommittee will meet tonight to discuss the fate of the BillyBey Ferry Company’s air and noise polluting ferry boats (6:00 PM, 1 World Financial Center, 24th floor). After several meetings leading up to this one, scheduled to be in attendance tonight are the CEO of BillyBey, representatives from Senator Gillibrand and Rep. Nadler’s offices, the EPA, the DOT, the non-profit environmental watchdog group the NRDC, and The New York Times.

Key issues to be determined will be:

  • What did BillyBey do with the more than $7 Million in grants provided by an arcane grant from the State and City specifically meant for cleaning up ferry boat exhaust? “The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), in partnership with the New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), announces the Deployment Phase of the New York City Private Ferry Emission Reduction Program.”
  • BillyBey claims that several of their boats have already been retrofitted with diesel particulate filters. However, per our filming and reporting, not a single New York Waterway ferry that docks at the Vesey Street slip seems to have any such filter.
  • BillyBey also claims to be completely replacing older diesel engines with more modern “clean diesel”. When will this take place?
  • What happened to the brand new super-clean and quiet Goldman Sachs ferry boats, seen briefly in April and reported by the New York Times? They seem to have disappeared and never made it into service. BillyBey CEO Goodman refused to answer that question in our previous call with him.
  • What powers does the federal Clean Air Act give our local EPA to enforce pollution violations that appear to be committed by the BillyBey New York Waterway ferries? The well-funded non-profit environmental watchdog group, the NRDC, and the EPA, will shed some light onto that.
  • What role will the Port Authority, operator of the Vesey Street slip and contractor with BillyBey, play in resolving this public health problem?
  • What role will the city play now that the city is in contract with BillyBey for the East River new ferry services?

After decades of being subjected to noise and air pollution from the BillyBey New York Waterway ferries, our community seems to the most support ever for resolving this problem. Please attend the meeting tonight.

(unedited filming of ferry boat pollution)

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