Port Authority Grant Application Letter of Support Submitted May 14, 2024

May 14, 2024 Michael S. Regan U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW Washington, DC 20460 I am writing on behalf of the Board of Directors of the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut, Inc. (The Chamber) to express our strong support for the Connecticut Port Authority and Ørsted’s grant application before your agency to fund shore power infrastructure at the New London State Pier (NLSP).
The Chamber, with a membership of 1,400 organizations, is dedicated to supporting initiatives that enhance the economic and overall well-being of our region.
The installation of shore power facilities at the NLSP is a crucial step towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving air quality. By enabling docked vessels to connect to the local electric grid instead of running diesel auxiliary engines, this initiative will significantly cut air pollution—a change that is urgently needed in our community and particularly beneficial to the environmental justice communities located in southeastern Connecticut. This project, located in an enterprise/opportunity zone, not only promises significant environmental improvements but also supports economic and social benefits through community engagement and workforce training. The Connecticut Port Authority and Ørsted plan to involve local stakeholders in the implementation process. In doing so it will enhance community participation while reducing regional air emissions. Additionally, the provision for workforce training is particularly timely, as it prepares our local workers for future demands in the electric power sector–including offshore wind staging and assembly–ensuring long-term employment opportunities and skill development in a rapidly growing field.
The Chamber is specifically interested in supporting the proposed project in part because we believe that the successful implementation of shore power at NLSP will serve as a model for other ports nationwide, showcasing how infrastructure advancements can concurrently support environmental sustainability, community health, and economic growth. As a result, we urge the EPA to consider this grant application favorably and to provide the necessary funding to realize these significant benefits.
Thank you for considering our support for this important initiative. We are committed to continuing our collaboration with the Connecticut Port Authority, Ørsted, and other stakeholders to ensure the project’s success and to achieve our shared goals of a cleaner, healthier, and more sustainable community.
Tony Sheridan
President & CEO
Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut