Maloney, podium, is joined by state and local officials and environmentalists
in opposition to the anchorages
NEWBURGH – The U.S. Coast Guard may have suspended the Ports and
Waterways Safety Assessment, an assessment of establishing more anchorages
up and down the Hudson River.
Surrounded by local officials and environmental group representatives,
Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney (D, NY-18), said that’s good, as
far is it goes, but, the Hudson Valley needs full participatory status
in any group or ongoing discussions on best use of the river.
“My concern about the initial process was that we had the interest
of the barge operators, which is to store product close to market, and
the interest of the Coast Guard, which is to minimize their enforcement
hassles when it comes to illegal anchoring. And yet, we didn’t have
as a priority, the facts about safety and the facts about harm to the
river and the potential threat to local communities.”
Maloney had some bipartisan support, including Republican Beacon Mayor
Randy Casale, who noted one of the proposed anchorage sites would have
been just adjacent to popular Long Dock Park.
Scenic Hudson’s Director of Public Policy, Andy Bicking, said going
forward, the balance must favor local interests.
“If we’re not successful in making sure that the river gets
its say and that the river gets its voice, we’re going to end up
with a decision that is driven not by the values that Hudson Valley communities
hold clear, but by the values that industry is interested in.” Bicking
Precisely the point, said Maloney.
“And I’m going to insist that at least half of the members
of the working group represent communities along the river; impacted businesses
and environmental groups,” Maloney said.
Earlier this year, Maloney introduced the Hudson River Protection Act,
which would prohibit establishing new anchorage sites for vessels carrying
hazardous or flammable material within five miles of an existing superfund
site, nuclear power plant, site on the national register of historic places,
or a critical habitat of an endangered species.
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