Council Members Push to Bring Greener Fuel to the Staten Island Ferry
by Vincent Barone (SI Live) Conversation has begun between city officials and council members on legislation that would increase the amount of biofuel used in city-owned vessels, including the Staten Island Ferry.
Legislation introduced by Queens Councilman Costa Constantinides would require the Staten Island Ferry boats and the Department of Environmental Protection’s fleet of vessels to use at least 5 percent biodiesel fuel in their ships, with that amount increasing over time.
But the city is pushing back on the legislation. During Tuesday’s meeting of the Environmental Protection Committee, representatives of the Department of Transportation and Department of Enviornmental Protection both argued that their ships already use low-sulfer diesel fuel and that biofuel would present a variety of operational problems.
The departments said that biofuel could perform poorly in cold water; bring on engine damage and storage complications.
A DOT spokesman said the Staten Island ferries currently being designed by Seattle-based Elliott Bay Design will comply with stringent emission standards, meeting Federal EPA Tier IV requirements.
“We just feel that the biodiesel could play a good roll in making the Staten Island Ferry even more green. And we want to work with the DOT to make that happen,” said Constantinides, who spoke of successful biodiesel integration in some large cruise lines and in ferries that operate in colder climates, like Washington State.
He also said that that biofuel has come a long way since the DOT trialed the fuel source in 2008. READ MORE