The Astoria City Council plans to approve a lease to grant American Cruise Lines the use of the east portion of the 17th Street Dock ("Astoria reaches deal with river cruise lines on 17th Street Dock," The Astorian, Oct. 10). American Cruise Lines proposes extending the dock to accommodate two cruise ships simultaneously.
The city is moving too fast on this lease, allowing just two weeks for citizens to express opinions about a proposal made public only a few weeks ago.
While berthed at the 17th Street Dock, these ships continuously operate their main engines in order to provide electrical power, producing not only air pollution, but also considerable noise pollution, particularly noticeable in the neighborhoods to the south, such as my neighborhood on Irving Avenue.
This air and noise pollution occurs near the heart of the city, alongside the Riverwalk. While the noise of one ship is annoying, especially while trying to sleep, doubling that noise may well be intolerable.
Many cities on the West Coast require cruise ships to plug into what is called "shoreside power." The Coast Guard currently uses shoreside power at the 17th Street Dock, but there are no power terminals for cruise ships at the dock.
I have urged the City Council to not allow two cruise ships at the 17th Street Dock at the same time until there is infrastructure that allows cruise ships to plug into shoreside power. I hope others will join me in opposing an open-ended lease.