Bipartisan bill in NY Legislature seeks control over Hudson River anchorage plans

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Kingston Freeman: A bipartisan effort to make it more difficult to establish large-vessel anchorage grounds on the Hudson River is being spearheaded by state Sen. Sue Serino, R-Hyde Park, and state Assemblywoman Didi Barrett, D-Hudson.

Legislation was introduced this week to the Environmental Conservation Committees in both the Senate and Assembly in an effort to pre-empt a pending U.S. Coast Guard decision about whether to allow barges and other large vessels to anchor at 10 sites between Kingston and Yonkers.

“It strengthens what the state guidelines for these barges is,” Bill Gustafon, chief of staff for Barrett, said of the legislation. “It can’t supersede federal law, but it can increase New York state’s authority for what it can do.”

The legislation calls for amending existing law to allow the state Department of Environmental Conservation to work with the state Department of State and the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation to set “conditions for petroleum-bearing vessels to enter or move upon navigable waters of the state” and to establish “tanker-avoidance zones.”  Read more.

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