Numerous local people have repeatedly called for the State Ports Authority to require the Carnival cruise ship Fantasy to use plug-in power when it is at dock here.
Those people include preservationists, environmentalists and physicians. Both the local and state medical societies passed resolutions to that effect.
While their pleas have fallen on deaf ears here, an international organization that advocates for a healthy environment has taken note.
Friends of the Earth, for the fifth year in a row, has given the Fantasy an “F” for its environmental footprint.
The ship, the oldest in Carnival’s fleet, is home-based in Charleston. Its failings?
For one, the ship is not retrofitted to plug in to shore power, and instead runs polluting engines when docked in downtown Charleston.
But that’s not all. The Fantasy lacks the most advanced sewage and wastewater treatment systems, and instead dumps minimally treated sewage directly into the ocean, according to the assessment.
And the ship utilizes higher sulfur fuels continuously.
Overall, Carnival Cruise Lines was awarded a “C-” for its 24 ships.
Apologists say plug-in power isn’t necessary because, in years to come, government fuel regulations will be tougher, and emissions will decrease.
Somehow, that doesn’t make people who presently live, work and visit historic Charleston breathe any easier.
Charleston doesn’t stand for things inferior — from architecture to hospitality.
So why is it all right to look the other way as the environmentally “F”-rated Fantasy’s emissions-producing motors keep running?