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Maloney and Hudson Valley Leaders Celebrate his Successful Fight to Permanently Ban Oil Barge Anchorages on the Lower Hudson River

Jan 11, 2021
Press Release

Maloney and Hudson Valley Leaders Celebrate his Successful Fight to Permanently Ban Oil Barge Anchorages on the Lower Hudson River

New Windsor, NY – Today, Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) brought together a bipartisan group of local community and environmental leaders to celebrate his successful fight to permanently ban the establishment of new anchorages for oil barges on the lower Hudson River. He was joined by Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus, Newburgh Mayor Torrance Harvey, Paul Gallay of Riverkeeper; Ned Sullivan of Scenic Hudson; and Steve Stanne of Hudson Valley Sloop Clearwater.

The press conference was streamed live, and can be found here.

“This is major win for the Hudson Valley – and not just for New Yorkers here today, but for our kids and grandkids. As Chairman of the House’s Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee, I authored and championed the provision to permanently ban the establishment of new anchorages along the Hudson River between Kingston and Yonkers and I’m so proud to announce that ban is now law.

“This ban is the product of a bipartisan group of local leaders, community members, and environmentalists working together to do the right thing. It’s been my honor to have led this team effort at the federal level, and thank everyone involved for their work to get this bill over the finish line,” said Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney.

“The Hudson River is an economic and environmental asset for Orange County and our entire State. Enabling free passage along the Hudson without having to navigate oil barges, makes our communities more attractive and safer,” said Steve Neuhaus, County Executive of Orange County.

“Powerful interests continue to try to damage the generations long progress our region made to clean up and protect the Hudson River and its tributaries. Dutchess County was the first county to call out the dangerous and destructive anchorages.

“Our region sent a message with one voice that the most significant waterway in America is the lifeblood of the Hudson Valley. We’ve rebuilt communities and economies along it. We’ve restored its ecology and we intend to protect—forever.  We are grateful to Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney and our colleagues on both sides of the aisle for not backing down and putting a halt to the abuse. This is an important step, one more we will build on to protect the history, legacy and future of our most treasured resource for generations to come,” said Marc Molinaro, County Executive of Dutchess County.

“Thanks to Congressman Maloney’s leadership, the threat of the placement of massive oil-tanker parking stations along our riverfronts – which would lead to increased river traffic, the degradation of our efforts to enhance the space for economic and environmental purposes, and would have created a sitting environmental disaster waiting to happen, is no more.  The mighty Hudson is one of our greatest natural treasures and we must continue to work tirelessly to protect it now and into the future,” said George Latimer, County Executive of Westchester County.

“Our great Hudson River is essential to the well-being and prosperity of our region, and we know that oil traffic poses unacceptable risks to our drinking water, river-front businesses, and river-bottom habitats. I want to extend my deepest thanks to Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney, who championed and helped secure a permanent ban on new oil anchorages along the stretch of river between Kingston and Yonkers. Today, our river is a destination for recreational enjoyment, and that’s due in large part to the dedicated work of our federal and state representatives, our environmental organizations, and our communities, who have fought together for decades to restore the health of this important waterway. We love our Hudson River, and it’s up to us to protect it,” said New York State Senator Michelle Hinchey (SD-46)

“The Hudson River is safer today because of the legislation — drafted by Congressman Maloney — which bars the creation of new anchorages in the mid-Hudson.” said Hudson Riverkeeper Paul Gallay. “Communities from Yonkers to Rhinebeck banded together to stop the ill-conceived plan that would have led to new anchorages for oil barges, threatening the progress made restoring the river. Thanks to the congressman, local officials and the public’s voice, federal law now formally precludes the establishment of any new anchorages in the mid-Hudson.”

“From the very beginning of our four-year campaign to halt new barge anchorages, Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney’s leadership was decisive in victories at every stage. Now, thanks to his vision and perseverance, the threat is ended. We can stop worrying about floating ‘parking lots’ destroying world-class scenic beauty or resulting in catastrophic spills that could pollute communities’ drinking water, poison wildlife or imperil river-based tourism. In a year filled with so many challenges, Congressman Maloney has closed out 2020 with a resounding victory for the people of the Hudson Valley,” said Ned Sullivan of Scenic Hudson.

“Like her 19th century ancestors, the sloop Clearwater is a workboat. We recognize the Hudson’s importance as a working river, including shipment of fuels to meet the region’s needs. However, the anchorage proposal was driven not by regional needs but by a gusher of fracked crude oil headed from the Bakken formation of North Dakota to East Coast refineries. Clearwater applauds Representative Maloney’s work to prevent the river from becoming a depot for tankers loaded with this volatile crude,” said Steve Stanne, Hudson Valley Sloop Clearwater board president.

In his role as Chairman of the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee, Rep. Maloney authored the provision to permanently ban the establishment of new anchorages along the Hudson River between Kingston and Yonkers. This provision was included in the Elijah E. Cummings Coast Guard Authorization Act, which authorizes funds and sets policy for the United States Coast Guard and Federal Maritime Commission and was attached to the National Defense Authorization Act of 2021, which passed with bipartisan support. Both chambers of Congress overrode a presidential veto, and the bill is now law.

Representative Maloney has been a longtime champion of the effort to ban anchorage sites on the Hudson River. For years, he worked alongside local communities, elected officials from both parties, and environmental groups in the Hudson Valley to kill a proposal to install ten new anchorage sites on the Hudson River from Yonkers to Kingston, including 42 long-term berths which would be used for oil storage.

Read more about the bill here.