Representative Sean Patrick Maloney and other local officials introduce legislation meant to protect Hudson River from oil anchorage sites.

Sean Patrick Maloney

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney

YONKERS – A group of Hudson Valley public officials, led by Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, announced plans to propose legislation to prevent the U.S. Coast Guard from approving a proposal to erect ten anchorage sites for oil barges on the Hudson River.

Joined by Rep. Eliot Engel and Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano, Maloney introduced The Hudson River Protection Act. This act would bar the Department of Homeland Security from planting the anchorages for vessels with potentially hazardous waste material in certain locations. Sites within five miles of nuclear power stations, Superfund cleanup designations, areas on the National Registry of Historic Places, and living habitats for endangered species would be prohibited.

“When it comes to anchorages, my message is simple: we don’t want em, we don’t need em, and working together we’re going to kill this proposal,” said Maloney at a press conference this morning.

“We cannot allow New York to be dumped on by this proposal from the Coast Guard,” said Rep. Engel. “The Yonkers and Hastings waterfronts which I represent have undergone incredible revitalization in recent years. We will continue to fight this matter tooth and nail at both the federal and local levels.”

This legislative introduction is the latest development in the ongoing protests of the anchorages by the Hudson Valley community. Dissenters of the proposal, led by environmental agencies like Scenic Hudson and Riverkeeper, fear the negative impact that the proposal may have on the Hudson River’s environmental, economic, and recreational impact.

“If you increase oil shipments on the Hudson, you are going to increase spills,” said President of Riverkeeper Paul Gallay.

As of publication time, over 10,000 comments of complaint had been filed to the

U.S. Coast Guard

U.S. Coast Guard over the controversy. Maloney’s proposal on Monday prompted a response from their public affairs office.

“We continue to analyze every comment received in order to help us determine what the next step in the process should be and to shape any potential rule-making regarding creating possible new anchorages on the  Hudson River,” stated Chief Warrant Officer Allyson Conroy.

The response by the Coast Guard is their second public comment on the controversy since the period for public comment ended in early December, as they also responded in January to a group of Pace University students’ investigation into the proposal. 

For more background information on the anchorage controversy, visit: https://medium.com/thegroundhog/u-s-coast-guard-anchorage-proposal-may-harm-health-of-hudson-9b075a85a84d#.nuxgmobah

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