Maloney Introduces Bill to Stop Barge Proposal

Would effectively bar anchorage in Hudson Valley

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, who represents New York’s 18th district in Congress, which includes Philipstown and Beacon, has introduced legislature that would ban the U.S. Coast Guard from adding new anchorage grounds on the Hudson River between Kingston and Yonkers.

The Coast Guard earlier this year announced it was considering a request from the shipping industry to create anchorage grounds at 10 spots along the river, including between Beacon and Newburgh. The Coast Guard is accepting public comment on the proposal until Dec. 7.

“This is a solution in search of a problem. There is no need for these additional anchorage sites,” Maloney told Rear Admiral Paul Thomas of the Coast Guard at a Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure hearing on Sept. 7. “This is a bad idea, this is not something we need – we don’t want it. And we want the process to take into account the intense public opposition to this from all corners, of all communities, in the Hudson Valley.”

A map of the five barge parking spots proposed between Beacon and Newburgh.
A map of the five barge parking spots proposed between Beacon and Newburgh.

The Coast Guard has received more than 3,200 overwhelmingly negative comments about the proposal.

Maloney’s bill, called the Hudson River Protection Act and co-sponsored by Rep. Eliot Engel of New York’s 16th District, which includes Yonkers, would prohibit the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the Coast Guard, from establishing anchorage sites for vessels carrying hazardous or flammable material (e.g., oil) within five miles of a Superfund site. That alone would cover the entire area where the Coast Guard has proposed anchorages, Maloney said, but for good measure the bill also restricts anchorage areas on the river within five miles of a nuclear power plant (i.e., Indian Point), any site on the National Register of Historic Places or a critical habitat of an endangered species.

The bill, as House Resolution 6202, was introduced on Sept. 28 and referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

Sue Serino, who represents Philipstown and Beacon in the New York State senate and also opposes the anchorage sites, will co-host a public hearing on the topic at the Croton Village Hall at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 19.

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One Response to "Maloney Introduces Bill to Stop Barge Proposal"

  1. Dale Cunningham   October 21, 2016 at 5:09 pm

    As a resident of New Hamburg, I wish to express my gratitude to legislators Sean Patrick Maloney and Eliot Engel for their active opposition to the Coast Guard’s recent proposal to endanger, in so many ways, the unique Hudson River – by designating it a parking lot for oil barges. While I’m being selfish in wanting to keep my section of the Hudson River as pristine as possible, this goes far beyond the ruining of a view from the house and hamlet this senior citizen chose so carefully, in which to spend her declining years. This affects, one way or another, everyone who lives in this beautiful valley and I urge them all to encourage their legislators to follow the example of Messrs. Malone and Engel and resist Big Oil and its greed. Not in our back water…