Press Release Article


Date: Nov 19, 2015
Press Release Number: 183-2015

Investment in Ocean-Going Clean Vessel Incentive Program will build on port's 33-percent reduction in harmful pollutants

Continuing the Port Authority's initiatives to be good environmental stewards, the agency's Board of Directors today approved a three-year extension to an incentive program for ocean vessels that call on the Port of New York and New Jersey.

The Board approved an additional $3.12 million for the Ocean-Going Vessel Clean Vessel Incentive Program to allow it to continue through the end of 2018. The program, launched in January 2013, encourages ship operators to improve their engines, use cleaner fuels and upgrade their technology to reduce emissions from ocean-going vessels, which are the largest source of air pollutants at port facilities.

Based on a forecasted participation rate of more than 2,600 total vessel calls, the program's extension is expected to provide emission reductions of 21,000 tons of carbon dioxide, 210 tons of nitrogen oxides, 10 tons of particulate matter and 3 tons of sulfur oxides. The emission reductions are the equivalent of taking 23,000 cars off the road.

The program will build on all of the port's environmental strategies, which have resulted in a reduction in port related air emissions by an average of 33 percent across all pollutants between 2006 and 2013, despite a 7-percent increase in cargo volumes over the same period.

"This program continues our efforts to balance the need to maintain the port's competitive position with our environmental responsibilities to the communities that surround it," said Port Authority Chairman John Degnan. "The results to date are clear evidence that our investments in environmental programs like this one are clearly making a difference in people's lives."

"While our ports are vital economic drivers for the region, it's just as important that we remain good neighbors to the community. Today's action will continue our efforts to reduce harmful emissions, while maintaining our position as the largest port on the east coast," said Port Authority Vice Chairman Scott Rechler. "This Board stands firmly behind our commitment to be a responsible steward of the environment throughout the Port District."

As part of the Port Authority's Clean Air Strategy, the Clean Vessel Incentive Program provides financial incentives to ships achieving a score of 20 points or higher based on the World Port Climate Initiative's Environmental Ship Index (ESI). The ESI is 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 Vessel Speed Reduction program, which encourages ships to travel at slower speeds to reduce fuel burned, which in turn will lower pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions.

Based on scoring, vessels can receive incentives between $1,000 and $2,500 per vessel call on the port. To encourage vessel operators to send their cleanest ships to the port, an additional incentive is provided for ships equipped with newer engines of $1,000 to $2,000 per vessel call depending on the type of engine.

Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

Founded in 1921, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey builds, operates, and maintains many of the most important transportation and trade infrastructure assets in the country. The agency's network of aviation, ground, rail, and seaport facilities is among the busiest in the country, supports more than 550,000 regional jobs, and generates more than $23 billion in annual wages and $80 billion in annual economic activity. The Port Authority also owns and manages the 16-acre World Trade Center site, where construction crews are building the iconic One World Trade Center, which is now the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere. The Port Authority receives no tax revenue from either the State of New York or New Jersey or from the City of New York. The agency raises the necessary funds for the improvement, construction or acquisition of its facilities primarily on its own credit. For more information, please visit

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