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Maloney Bill to Stop Coast Guard Proposal for Anchorages on the Hudson River Passes Key Hurdle

May 24, 2017
Press Release
Legislation Included in FY18 Coast Guard Authorization Act

Bill Would Halt Dangerous Barge Proposal Until Coast Guard Studies Effects on River, Local Communities

Washington – Representative Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) announced that federal legislation he wrote to halt the United States Coast Guard’s Proposed Rulemaking to expand mooring infrastructure on the Hudson River between Kingston and Yonkers was included as part of the Coast Guard Authorization Act, which passed today in committee. Rep. Maloney’s Anchorages Away Act, would require the Coast Guard, within 180 days of passage, to submit a report to the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on the impacts of these proposed anchorages on existing superfund sites and habitats of endangered species and the Coast Guard’s response to these concerns. In addition, the Coast Guard is prohibited from establishing any anchorages on the Hudson River between Yonkers and Kingston until at least 180 days after the submission of this report.

Today, during a House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee mark-up of the Coast Guard Authorization Act, Rep. Maloney spoke in favor of his legislation and encouraged the Coast Guard to end the dangerous proposed rulemaking. You can watch Rep. Maloney’s remarks here.

“The Coast Guard’s proposal to install new anchorage sites on the Hudson River is disaster – it’s a terrible idea and I’ll do whatever I can to stop it,” said Rep. Maloney. “Getting my provision into this bill will make sure we slow this thing down and find out the effects this dangerous proposal will have on our river and our communities. We are going to kill this proposal once and for all – and today was a step in the right direction.”

Since the beginning, Rep. Maloney has fought to hold the Coast Guard accountable, ensure residents could make their voices heard on this issue, and ultimately stop this dangerous proposed rulemaking. Rep. Maloney has repeatedly called for a comprehensive environmental impact study and additional hearings before the proposal can advance, and sent a letter to the Coast Guard on August 18. In August, Reps. Maloney and Engel, along with Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, and Rep. Lowey, 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. In December, Rep. Maloney submitted 404 comments from local residents to the U.S. Coast Guard.

Last year, Rep. Maloney introduced the Hudson River Protection Act, which 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. Maloney joined Rep. Engel to reintroduce this legislation in March, 2016.