Scenic Hudson Supports U.S. Rep. Maloney Request for Coast Guard Assessment of Anchoring by Crude Oil Barges

Tuesday, July 11, 2017 -- Scenic Hudson
Contact: 

Andy Bicking
Director of Public Policy & Special Projects
914 489 1568, abicking@scenichudson.org

HUDSON VALLEY—Scenic Hudson supports the call by U.S. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney that the U.S. Coast Guard must adhere to four basic principles as it conducts its Ports and Waterways Safety Assessment (PAWSA) for the Hudson River. These principles will ensure that all stakeholders, including communities and environmental organizations, have a meaningful voice in the process.

Equal participation by communities and environmental organizations is imperative to ensure that maritime industry concerns do not dominate the process. Given the limited number of participants in PAWSA workshops and high level of civic engagement in the Hudson Valley, participants with purely navigational or business interests should not be given an outsized voice. All participants must be able to utilize outside experts if they choose to ensure that the PAWSA report reflects the full breadth of information on all issues pertinent to Hudson River navigation, including petroleum and hazardous materials discharge, environmental and aquatic resources impacts, and economic consequences. Use of subject-matter experts will increase the effectiveness of the PAWSA process for all parties involved.

Public attention on the Coast Guard’s anchorage proposal has been at a level not seen since the beginnings of the environmental movement in the Hudson Valley. For this reason, the Hudson River PAWSA is unique compared to those conducted on other waterways, and the Coast Guard has a responsibility to ensure that the PAWSA process is transparent and that members of the public can observe the workshops in person or via webcast. Scenic Hudson commends the Coast Guard for providing this opportunity to fully evaluate the safety and environmental risks of navigation on the Hudson River.

Invited to speak today at a press conference held by Congressman Maloney, Scenic Hudson Director of Public Policy Andy Bicking summarized why the Coast Guard review is significant. “Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney has shared four thoughtful principles to help guide the U.S. Coast Guard’s PAWSA process. The Hudson River Valley is unique, and we are fortunate to live and work in a region that celebrates its environment and municipal waterfronts as integral to its economy and our quality of life. We also have a rich tradition of individuals engaging with public decision-making processes and have found strength in our diverse voices, which, when considered, lead to high-quality results. These values must be respected and made part of the Coast Guard’s deliberations in the PAWSA process and beyond.”

About Scenic Hudson

Scenic Hudson preserves land and farms and creates parks that connect people with the inspirational power of the Hudson River, while fighting threats to the river and natural resources that are the foundation of the valley’s prosperity. A crusader for the valley since 1963, we are credited with saving fabled Storm King Mountain from a destructive industrial project and launching the modern grass-roots environmental movement. Today with more than 25,000 ardent supporters, we are the largest environmental group focused on the Hudson River Valley. Our team of experts combines land acquisition, support for agriculture, citizen-based advocacy and sophisticated planning tools to create environmentally healthy communities, champion smart economic growth, open up riverfronts to the public and preserve the valley’s inspiring beauty and natural resources. To date Scenic Hudson has created or enhanced more than 65 parks, preserves and historic sites up and down the Hudson River and conserved more than 40,000 acres.

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