November 15, 2011
To the editor: Thank you for the article, “Phoenix Rises Into Red Hook Container Port” (October 18, 2011). The port is an environmental asset for New York. On balance, it pollutes less than other ways of transporting goods to our region. But the port is a dirty business for the Columbia Waterfront and Red Hook. One of our biggest problems is port truck pollution. Many port trucking companies misclassify their drivers as independent contractors and force them to buy their own vehicles. They pay the drivers so little that they can only afford the oldest and dirtiest trucks. The Columbia Waterfront Neighborhood Association and our allies in the Coalition for Healthy Ports believe it is time to clean up the port trucking industry. Phoenix Beverages, the new port operator, could be another important ally in this fight. Or it could be an obstacle. The good news is that the company has a record of negotiating with the community and even committed to decreasing pollution from its private truck fleet. Here’s hoping that Phoenix continues to be a good neighbor.
Norman Cox, President Columbia Waterfront Neighborhood Association
This letter was also printed in the Red Hook Star-Revue http://www.redhookstar.com/Star%20Revue%20Archive/Red%20Hook%20Star-Revue%20November%201%20for%20web.pdf