Together We’ve Scored Big Win for the Hudson

Friday, March 23, 2018 -- Scenic Hudson
Contact: 

Jay Burgess
Director of Communications, Scenic Hudson, Inc.
Tel: (845) 473-4440 x222 Cell: (914) 489-0362 Fax: (845) 473-0740
jburgess@scenichudson.org

Green groups, citizens, officials, businesses & boaters united against anchorages

On March 13, the U.S. Coast Guard issued its report on the Hudson River Ports and Waterways Safety Assessment (PAWSA) workshops held in November 2017. The workshops were intended to evaluate ways to improve the safety of navigation on the Hudson River in response to a proposal for new anchorages for 43 industrial barges carrying hazardous chemicals. Scenic Hudson President Ned Sullivan and Environmental Advocacy Director Hayley Carlock participated as experts in the PAWSA workshops, citing powerful data showing anchorages are not needed for safety on the river.

So many groups and individuals rallied to create a groundswell of public opposition to industrializing our river. No other issue in decades has so united citizens, businesses, public officials and environmentalists to stand up to defend the Hudson!

The result? The Coast Guard has wisely decided not to call for the new anchorages that would have stretched from Kingston to Yonkers off the shores of beautiful, natural areas and populated communities. The workshops and public resistance helped establish that there is no current risk for which anchorages are the best or most appropriate solution. Safety on the river can be enhanced without anchorages that would damage the Hudson’s natural resources, community assets and regional economies.

The Coast Guard did not rule out pursuing regulations for anchorages in the future, so we must remain vigilant. Scenic Hudson is proud to have brought its grassroots organizing, research, environmental law and public policy know-how to this battle and to have partnered with so many great allies.

We salute the following for their great work:

  • 10,000+ citizens who wrote letters of opposition.
  • U.S. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, who has led the charge in Washington, D.C., against the new anchorages, and U.S. Rep. John Faso, who joined Congressman Maloney in a budget proposal that would require studying the issue before any regulations could be issued.
  • U.S. Reps. Eliot Engel and Nita Lowey.
  • U.S. Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles Schumer.
  • Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
  • NYS Sen. Sue Serino and Assemblymember Didi Barrett, who passed legislation strengthening New York State’s ability to create exclusion zones for petroleum-bearing vessels in the Hudson River. 
  • The Hudson Valley’s entire state legislative delegation, who remained engaged as vocal opponents to the anchorage proposal and supported legislation sponsored by NYS Sen. Serino and Assemblymember Barrett.
  • Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro rallied other executives to oppose the plan, including Mike Hein from Ulster, Rob Astorino and then George Latimer from Westchester, Steve Neuhaus from Orange, MaryEllen Odell from Putnam and Ed Day from Rockland.
  • Sherriff Adrian (Butch) Anderson.
  • Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano, who led a coalition of municipalities opposed to the plan.
  • Dozens of advocacy groups and community organizations that opposed the plan, notably Riverkeeper, Sierra Club, Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, and Food and Water Watch.

For a complete list of those who partnered in this campaign and helped contribute toward its success, see http://www.hudsonriveranchorages.org/letters-submitted-to-coast-guard/.

We also thank the Coast Guard for listening to the citizens of the region, suspending its rulemaking and accurately reflecting the results of the PAWSA workshops. Questions remain about why the Coast Guard has not ruled out the possibility of revisiting this issue since its original ill-conceived proposal generated near unanimous opposition, and its own facilitated PAWSA process showed no basis for new anchorages.

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