WASHINGTON – After working to kill the Coast Guard’s initial proposal to install ten new anchorage sites on the Hudson River, Representative Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) announced that his amendment to defund future attempts to establish these sites passed with unanimous support in the House of Representatives.
The amendment, attached to a bill which funds the Coast Guard, would prohibit the agency from establishing any anchorages along the Hudson River between Yonkers and Kingston.
“Just in case anyone gets any bright ideas, this is one more way to make sure that stupid proposal stays dead and buried,” said Rep. Maloney. “I’m not letting my guard down on this, and even after the PAWSA process, this will make sure that our river is safe and doesn’t become a parking lot for oil barges.”
“This action barring expenditure for new Anchorages will help safeguard the Hudson from potentially devastating risks to the environment and economy of the region,” said Ned Sullivan, President of Scenic Hudson. “Scenic Hudson is grateful for Congressman Maloney’s tireless and effective leadership on this key issue.”
“Over 10,000 New Yorkers have risen up to stop the Hudson River from becoming a parking lot for crude oil-carrying barges and tankers,” said Paul Gallay, President of Riverkeeper, Inc. “We thank Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney for working to ensure that the Coast Guard will not expend funds to advance this unnecessary and environmentally unsound plan for the next year.”
Rep. Maloney’s amendment prohibits funds appropriated by the Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2018 from being used to establish anchorages on the Hudson River between Yonkers and Kingston. The combined funding bill includes allocations for the Coast Guard. If passed into law, this amendment would make it impossible for the agency to establish any anchorage sites in the specified area prior to October 1, 2018.
In March, Rep. Maloney introduced legislation called 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 was looking at for potential anchorages.
In July, Rep. Maloney and local stakeholders announced the next steps regarding the U.S. Coast Guard anchorage proposal, which was suspended on June 28, 2017. The Coast Guard announced that it will conduct a “Ports and Waterways Safety Assessment” or PAWSA to determine next steps and inform future rulemakings. The PAWSA is still being planned, but will include working groups of stakeholders appointed by the Coast Guard. In response, Rep. Maloney demanded the Coast Guard establish certain standards for the creation of the upcoming PAWSA. You can read a copy of Rep. Maloney’s letter to the Coast Guard here.