Mike Hekkers looks at an air quality measurement device that was installed by the Department of Environmental Conservation at his downtown Juneau home on Thursday, April 18, 2019. The device, along with a number of others, will measure air quality in downtown during this summer’s cruise ship season. (Michael Penn |Juneau Empire)

Mike Hekkers looks at an air quality measurement device that was installed by the Department of Environmental Conservation at his downtown Juneau home on Thursday, April 18, 2019. The device, along with a number of others, will measure air quality in downtown during this summer’s cruise ship season. (Michael Penn |Juneau Empire)

Opinion: New devices can help monitor cruise ship air pollution

Keep our summertime air clean.

On Tuesday, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation took the wise first step in Juneau’s cruise ship air pollution problem and installed a pollution monitoring device in my front yard.

Before the first cruise ship arrives, DEC will have a network of these devices installed around downtown and the flats. I’m happy to see DEC is addressing residents’ air quality complaints and that the City and Borough of Juneau supports quantifying and locating the pollution risks. Thank you to both agencies for this wise first step for public health.

[Opinion: Alaska welcomes EPA’s action plan on contaminated drinking water]

The next step is to work toward more shore power at the two new CBJ docks at Marine Park and the cruise ship terminal (next to the Mount Roberts Tram) so that we can have three docked ships plugged in and emitting no air pollution. The Princess Dock, aka Franklin Dock, has had shore power for years and most of the time Alaska Electric Light & Power has (interruptible) power for them. The private AJ Dock should be the eventual fourth dock with shore power.

[Judge threatens to stop Carnival cruise ships from docking in US]

CBJ should skip costly $250,000 feasibility studies outlined in the latest Capital Improvement Program budget and simply start design work on pulling power out to the CBJ docks. The two docks were designed for eventual shore power. AEL&P and the upcoming Juneau Hydropower will have to increase their capacity to accommodate two and eventually three more ships.

Please plug in the ships and clean our summertime air.

Michael Hekkers,

Juneau


• My Turns and Letters to the Editor represent the view of the author, not the view of the Juneau Empire.


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