News > News > Preserve River Ecology > Riverkeeper statements regarding Coast Guard announcement that it will suspend future rulemaking decisions on the Hudson River anchorages proposal

Riverkeeper statements regarding Coast Guard announcement that it will suspend future rulemaking decisions on the Hudson River anchorages proposal

For immediate release: June 28, 2017
Contact: Leah Rae, Media Specialist
lrae@riverkeeper.org; 914-478-4501, ext 238

OSSINING — Late Wednesday, the U.S. Coast Guard said it will “suspend future rulemaking decisions” regarding the proposed rule to put new long-term anchorages designated for commercial shipping anchorages on the Hudson River between Yonkers and Kingston. The maritime industry says the anchorages will help facilitate the increased shipment of Bakken crude oil on the Hudson River.

Riverkeeper President Paul Gallay responded to the news with this statement: “With one voice, more than 10,000 Hudson Valley residents and their elected officials set the Coast Guard straight on the many flaws in the industry’s request to site ten new long-term anchorages to facilitate additional crude oil transport down the Hudson. Now, the Coast Guard is suspending its review of that plan, admitting ‘there’s a lot we didn’t know about the river.’ The main lesson learned by the feds is this: Those of us who live on and love the Hudson River will not let it come to harm. We will never, ever let a misbegotten plan like this one jeopardize a half-century of progress in restoring America’s First River.”

Riverkeeper Vice President of Advocacy John Lipscomb said: “We’re encouraged by the Coast Guard’s announcement to suspend its rulemaking on the proposed anchorages and we look forward to learning the details of their plan. It will be essential for the public to have a seat at the table during the Ports and Waterways Safety Assessment, which the Coast Guard now plans to undertake. This decision by the Coast Guard does not necessarily mean that the anchorages will not one day be authorized. We at Riverkeeper will not relax our vigilance in the least in the coming year and we hope that the public, the environmental community and the elected officials representing the valley and the river will do the same.”

Last week, the State Senate joined the Assembly in passing legislation that better enables the state to protect the Hudson and waterfront communities from a re-industrialization of the river and the dangerous oil barges which the proposed anchorages would support. The bill, passed by a vote of 93-2 in the Assembly and 62-1 in the Senate, comes in the wake of an industry request to the U.S. Coast Guard for 10 new anchorage grounds – 2,400-acres with space for 43 vessels – an unnecessary and drastic proposal intended to support the global oil trade.

This legislation, which has yet to be signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo, allows the state to develop specific conditions and rules under which petroleum bearing vessels may enter or move upon the navigable waters of the Hudson in order to protect the river.

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