Maloney Announces Legislation to Stop Coast Guard Proposal for Anchorages on the Hudson River
Newburgh, NY – After successfully pressing the Coast Guard to extend the public comment period for proposed Hudson River anchorage sites, Representative Sean Patrick Maloney announced new federal legislation that would halt the current, and any future United States Coast Guard proposal to expand mooring infrastructure on the Hudson River between Kingston and Yonkers. Rep. Maloney’s Hudson River Protection Act, would prohibit the Secretary of Homeland Security, and by extension the United States Coast Guard, from establishing new anchorage sites for vessels carrying hazardous or flammable material within five miles of an existing superfund site, a nuclear power plant, a site on the national register of historic places, or a critical habitat of an endangered species. While there are a wide range of sites in the Hudson Valley on the national register of historic places and critical habitats of endangered species, the superfund requirement alone covers the entire section of the Hudson River that the Coast Guard proposal is looking at for potential anchorages. Rep. Eliot Engel (NY-16) is an original cosponsor of the bill.
“The Coast Guard’s proposal to install new anchorage sites is a bad idea and I will do whatever I can to stop it, including passing legislation on this issue,” said Rep. Maloney. “We don’t need more anchorage sites, we don’t want them – it is too dangerous and too harmful to our Hudson River, which is still recovering from PCB contamination – the last thing we need are dangerous oil tankers parking on our shores.”
“I commend Congressman Maloney for the Hudson River Protection Act. The plan to locate numerous anchorages in the Mid-Hudson Valley will not just be an aesthetic blight, but it has the dangerous potential to pollute the river we have been fighting so hard to keep clean for the public to enjoy and for nature to thrive,” said Assemblyman Frank Skartados.
“I want to thank Congressman Maloney for looking out for our communities by introducing this bill to keep unnecessary barges out of the Hudson River. This legislation will ensure our access to the river is maintained, our property values aren't adversely affected, and our region remains safe from needless spills,” said Assemblyman James Skoufis.
“I would like to commend Congressman Maloney for introducing this important legislation to address what is by all accounts a dangerous proposition. The introduction of these barges, moored on our beautiful Hudson River, many containing highly combustible or toxic chemicals, is a potential disaster. Orange County stands ready to support this important legislation,” said Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus.
The Coast Guard has announced advanced notice of a proposed rulemaking which, if conducted, could result in the construction of ten new anchorage sites along the Hudson River for large commercial ships travelling from up-river to the port of New York. The anchorage sites would provide these ships a location to drop anchor before continuing on to the port. Rep. Maloney has repeatedly called for a comprehensive environmental impact study and additional hearings before the proposal can advance, and sent his own letter to the Coast Guard on August 18. In August, Representative Maloney, along with Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, and fellow Representatives Lowey and Engel, sent a letter to the Coast Guard requesting a 90-day extension to provide the public time to learn about the proposal and to offer comments. Following this letter, the Coast Guard announced it was extending the public comment period to December 6th. In September, Maloney questioned Coast Guard officials and secured a commitment to an open and transparent process, including public hearings.
On September 15th, Rep. Maloney asked Hudson Valley residents to contact his office directly to provide comments in regards to the proposal to install ten new anchorage sites on the Hudson River from Yonkers to Kingston. Rep. Maloney’s office will collect all comments and deliver them to the Coast Guard prior to the end of the extended comment period on December 7th. Residents can express their opinion by visiting: https://seanmaloney.house.gov/contact/email-me or by filing electronically with the Coast Guard by visiting: https://www.regulations.gov/comment?D=USCG-2016-0132-0001.