House cleaning

I believe that a number of people misunderstood the point made in a July 3 article regarding the increased amount of soot/airborne particulate matter being experienced downtown as a result of Carnival Fantasy home-porting here.

The issue is that this is the air we are breathing.

The exhaust emitted by the Fantasy is a proven carcinogen. People are already experiencing bronchial and other health issues as a result.

The local and state medical associations have expressed deep concerns.

Soot from engines idling while in port is evidence of a health issue that alarms the S.C. Medical Association. Our “Soot Away” flags focus on this health issue.

Solutions are possible, but Carnival has not responded to repeated inquiries about living up to policies and practices it uses at other ports as described in its own Sustainability Report.

Unfortunately, the only way you can physically see these emissions is by swiping the black, greasy debris from a window sill or ceiling fan. The winds carry it and deposit it throughout the eastern portion of the downtown peninsula.

The soot does not, as some would like us to believe, just fall “straight down.” The breeze carries it across much of the Charleston area, and many people should be concerned — not simply those of us who live south of Calhoun Street. And it is not, as proven by testing, the same “dirt” caused by cars and trucks on the roads.

Just because we experience other forms of air pollution does not mean we shouldn’t control these air-borne emissions.

The problem can be resolved by using shoreside power — as is used, for example, in Juneau, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Brooklyn.

At what point is the health and well-being of tax-paying residents, business owners and workers trumped by the cost of being pro-active and having the cruise ships utilize shore power as they do in so many other, less residential and historically sensitive places?

Carrie Agnew, Executive Director
Charleston Communities for Cruise Control (C4)
Hasell Street