Director of Communications, Scenic Hudson, Inc.
Tel: (845) 473-4440 x222 Cell: (914) 489-0362 Fax: (845) 473-0740
Proposed “parking lot” for barges a threat to public health, safety and economy
HUDSON VALLEY—Scenic Hudson commends U.S. House of Representatives members Eliot Engel and Sean Patrick Maloney for their leadership in reintroducing the Hudson River Protection Act in the U.S. Congress. Reps. Engel and Maloney’s legislation is essential to safeguard Hudson waterfront communities against the U.S. Coast Guard’s proposal to permit 10 new anchorages and 43 berths for crude-oil carrying vessels on the Hudson River.
The legislation would prohibit the Secretary of Homeland Security, and by extension the Coast Guard, from establishing new anchorage sites for vessels carrying hazardous or flammable material within five miles of an existing superfund site, a nuclear power plant, a site on the national register of historic places, or a critical habitat of an endangered species.
“Residents of New York’s Hudson River Valley are looking to Congress and the administration of President Donald Trump for leadership in halting a major threat to the region’s public health, safety and economic vitality—a Coast Guard proposal that would turn the river into a parking lot for up to 43 barges carrying crude oil and other hazardous materials,” said Scenic Hudson Director of Public Policy Andy Bicking. “Congressman Engel and Congressman Maloney’s reintroduction of the Hudson River Protection Act takes a critical step forward, and, if signed into law, would protect the Hudson River’s vibrant waterfronts and natural habitats from the Coast Guard’s devastating proposal.”
Mr. Bicking also congratulated Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano, who has been an articulate and outspoken opponent of the proposal, and has organized the Hudson River Waterfront Alliance to mount significant municipal opposition.
“The Coast Guard’s ill-conceived proposal would impact half a dozen drinking water intakes that are in close proximity to the proposed anchorage sites and present a major threat to public safety, with Indian Point nuclear plant a few miles downstream from another. It is no wonder the agency has already received more than 10,000 comments from the public, most of them opposed to the concept,” said Mr. Bicking.
Mr. Bicking also noted that residents and tourists strolling or boating along revitalized waterfronts who enjoy breathtaking views will instead be confronted by floating industrial storage facilities—with each barge being longer than a football field—as well as belching diesel fumes and glaring nighttime safety lights, if the Coast Guard proposal is enacted. Scenic Hudson has conducted a state-of-the-art visual analysis of the impact of the proposed anchorages, which is available at: www.scenichudson.org/ourwork/environmentaladvocacy/anchorages.
About Scenic Hudson
Scenic Hudson works to protect and restore the Hudson River and its majestic landscape as an irreplaceable national treasure and a vital resource for residents and visitors. 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 nearly 40,000 acres.