Thursday, June 29, 2017

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Hudson River anchorages issue apparently dead, says Maloney

WASHINGTON – Coast Guard Rear Admiral Steven Poulin announced on Wednesday that the agency would “suspend future rulemaking decisions” regarding designating additional anchorages on the Hudson River and that effectively kills the proposal, Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney (D, NY18) said.

Maloney called it “a victory that the Hudson Valley won together.” The river is “a national treasurer that should be preserved and protected for generations – not turned into a parking lot for commercial oil ships,” he said.

“We wanted to make sure that the Coast Guard got the message that this was a solution in search of a problem,” the congressman said. “This was a bad idea. We didn’t want it. We were going to work tirelessly to kill it we won. We have effectively won that fight.”

Congressman John Faso (R, NY19) said he was pleased to see the plan suspended and instead, the commissioning of a formal study “to better understand the risks associated with these anchorage grounds.”

US Senator Charles Schumer said it was a wise decision for the Coast Guard to shelve the anchorages proposal and solicit wide input on river safety. “While the proposal is not completely dead, our office will continue to work with local leaders, environmental groups and concerned citizens to protect and preserve the Hudson River’s majestic beauty for future generations,” Schumer said.


Westchester County Legislature Minority Leader John Testa (podium) joined by several local, county and state lawmakers
from up and down the Hudson, credited a "strong bi-partisan effort on all levels of government" in knocking down an "ill-conceived plan"

Andy Bicking, director of public policy for Scenic Hudson, said if the anchorages proposal is killed, a half dozen drinking water intakes close to the proposed locations will be spared from pollution.

He also pointed to the protections approved in Albany.

“With the passage of state legislation last week setting up tanker avoidance zones in the river, we actually have the ability to have New York State get ahead of the curve and if a federal rulemaking does come around in a second generation, the state can be in a much stronger position,” Bicking said.

Assemblywoman Didi Barrett (D, Hudson) is also pleased with the Coast Guard’s decision.

“It brings welcome relief from the threat of increased petroleum and potential oil spills that new anchorage grounds would inevitably bring,” Barrett said

Assemblyman James Skoufis (D, Woodbury) said he, also, was glad that the Coast Guard decided to “end this reckless, ill-advised proposal.”

“As we look across the banks of the Hudson, we are grateful to the many people and voices that came together and again protected this iconic view and majestic river –one like no other in the world,” said Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro.

Westchester County Executive Robert Astorino said the decision was “a clear win” for everyone who enjoys the river. “The federal government’s plan to reindustrialize the Hudson River and create a giant parking lot along its banks for tankers was a terrible idea from the start,” he said.

The proposal was initiated by a commercial shipping industry group, which asked the Coast Guard to consider it.

Some 20 municipalities up and down the river passed resolutions opposed to the plan and some 10,000 local people submitted comments against it.

 


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