To the Editor:
The Department of Justice filed this report to the Office of Public Affairs, Boston 2009. Paul Revere Bus Company agreed to pay a $650,000 fine for violating the Clean Air Act and Boston’s five-minute diesel idling law. There were 242 violations by the Revere Bus Company in Roxbury, where there was an exceptionally high rate of asthma. Asthma is particularly affected by sulfur dioxide, which turns into sulfuric acid when it hits any mucus membranes. They were letting some of their 60 buses idle 15 ppm sulfur dioxide in the company yard for over an hour.
Cruise ships idle using 1,000 ppm sulfur dioxide; 66 times the amount of a bus. A 1,700 passenger ship plus crew would be putting off as much sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere as 15,000 buses. It ends up each passenger that does disembark (66 percent) on a cruise from Boston and sets foot on Main Street Bar Harbor costs the environment over 400 gallons worth of five-minute restricted, dirty diesel sulfur dioxide fuel to get here. Studies by the EU and EPA have shown that sulfur dioxide is responsible for thousands of deaths in shipping ports around the world.
A family of five driving a van up from Boston will be using two gallons of gas each, which has very little sulfur and also has a catalytic converter to rid other harmful chemicals.
Two summers ago, I sat on my porch a mile from the anchorage A and smelled an industrial rotten egg smell with a hint of diesel. I followed the breeze to the dock and there was a cruise ship with the funnels fumigating plume of 1,000 ppm down drafting on an incoming sea breeze fog bank right through Bar Harbor.
I do not want to live next to a rotten egg. I do not want my family to be exposed to this either. I would not want anyone to suffer the ill effects of this much pollution. It’s terminal pollution, and it’s all for pennies that add up to minus millions in lost-land based tourists spending and a devalued ocean vista.