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.”
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.