Acadia National Park does not monitor air pollution from cruise ships

SOMESVILLE, Jan. 9, 2021 – Acadia National Park’s air quality monitoring data does not correlate cruise ship activities outside of the park to air quality in the park, a spokesperson for the park confirmed.

This was a validation of a previous QSJ post citing park biologist William Gawley as verifying that the park’s air pollution monitors are incapable of detecting pollution emitted by cruise ships in Bar Harbor.

“It is my understanding that Kevin Schneider, Superintendent of Acadia National Park addressed this issue at a Bar Harbor Town Council meeting. He referenced the fact that this park is a Class 1 airshed under the Clean Air Act which requires us to have the best air in the nation and that we do monitoring in conjunction with Maine DEP,” Christie Anastasia of the Park Service, wrote in an email. “What really drives our air quality metrics is pollution generated from outside the state – cars and power plants in Northeast and Midwest. We do not have a direct correlation between cruise ships and air quality monitoring in the park.

Some members of the town council and the industry-dominated Bar Harbor cruise ships committee have used Schneider’s comments as giving the cruise ships a clean bill of health when it comes to air pollution.

In fact, several readers of QSJ wrote that air pollution from the cruise ships are much worse that was reported in an earlier QSJ post.

A reader, Jim O’Connell, scolded QSJ, writing:

“This article fails in its assessment when it states 700 trucks worth of So2 are emitted when a typical 10-hour visit with the ‘Anthem of the Seas’ 1100 feet long will put out 40,000 idling semi trucks worth of carcinogenic SO2. A code violation on our downtown by 4,500,000 times.”

Subsequent emails to Mr. O’Connell were not returned.


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