New York State legislature passes bill addressing the anchorage proposal, limiting oil barges on the Hudson

New York State legislature passes bill addressing the anchorage proposal, limiting oil barges on the Hudson

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Key bill on anchorages passes State Assembly 93-2; Senate must act soon

Key bill on anchorages passes State Assembly 93-2; Senate must act soon

Riverkeeper: On Tuesday, June 20th, the New York State Assembly passed legislation — by a vote of 93-2 — to help protect the Hudson and waterfront communities from dangerous oil barges and the unnecessary anchorages requested by industry.

In order for the legislation to make it to the Governor’s desk, the state Senate must pass S.5197b (Serino), through the Rules Committee chaired by Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan.

The legislation (S.5197b/A.6825b) would allow the state Department of Environmental Conservation commissioner to better protect areas of the river that are important habitat for wildlife, as well as areas that are near waterfront communities, from new barge anchorages that could support a massive expansion of crude oil shipments through the Hudson Valley.

With just hours left in the 2017 legislative session, Riverkeeper and other local environmental groups are calling on the Senate leadership – Majority Leader Flanagan and Deputy Majority Leader DeFrancisco – to ensure that this legislation makes it onto the powerful Rules Committee agenda and the floor of the Senate.

Given the unprecedented public outcry to the proposed re-industrialization of the river, the Senate leadership is being urged to pass the bill.

Here’s how you can help.

Call Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan: (518) 455-2071

Call Senate Deputy Majority Leader John DeFrancisco: (518) 455-3511

What to Say:
Hi, I’m (name) from (town). I’m calling to ask the Senate to pass S.5197a (Serino) and ensure that the “Tanker Avoidance Zone” bill becomes law.

You can also tell your Senator that:

  • The Legislature needs to act quickly before the session ends on Wednesday.
  • The Coast Guard could move forward with a rulemaking process to establish new anchorage sites on the Hudson River at any time.
  • More oil barge traffic would put the Hudson at a greater risk for devastating oil spills, threaten drinking water supplies, and undermine millions of dollars that river towns have spent revitalizing their waterfronts.

Thank you for calling. Please click below to follow up with an e-mail to your state senator.

Learn more at Riverkeeper’s campaign hub riverkeeper.org/anchorages.

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Scenic Hudson urges public to call elected officials this week, before time runs out to avoid oil disaster

Scenic Hudson urges public to call elected officials this week, before time runs out to avoid oil disaster

Scenic Hudson: NYS Senate Temporary President John J. Flanagan needs to hear from you today to advance legislation that could protect our Hudson River and Hudson Valley communities from a major oil accident—explosion or spill—that could threaten our health and our economy and jobs. Time is running out before the state legislature goes into summer recess.

Call State Sen. Flanagan TODAY at 518 455 2071. Tell him you support the tanker avoidance legislation (S.5197b) and it should move ahead to a vote.

Nine of the 10 proposed oil barge anchorages in the Hudson River—“parking lots” for 43 massive barges carrying crude oil and other hazardous chemicals—lie within state-designated Significant Coastal Fish and Wildlife Habitats considered irreplaceable. The pending bill would enable the state Department of Environmental Conservation to establish Tanker Avoidance Zones based on the proximity of these fragile and sensitive habitats, environmental justice areas, contaminated areas and other concerns of waterfront communities.

We know you love the Hudson and know how to sound your voice to protect it and your neighbors. PLEASE CALL TODAY.

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Follow the facts on Hudson River anchorage plan, Riverkeeper captain says

Follow the facts on Hudson River anchorage plan, Riverkeeper captain says

Re “Anchorages would protect the Hudson,” June 14 letter:

The writer recommends that the public should “follow the facts.” He should do the same.

He states that industry seeks anchorage designations “so the U.S Coast Guard can properly manage the vessels anchoring there.” Any commercial vessel operator who experiences circumstances that make it unsafe to proceed (weather, mechanical failure, etc.) simply has to contact the Coast Guard. Permission to anchor is always granted to vessels in distress.

He states that more official anchorages would minimize train and truck transport. That is incorrect. As independent businesses, rail and barge industries will move as much oil as they have capacity to carry, so long as the market supports the volume.

He states that vessels are limited to 48 hours at any location. While that may be true in New York Harbor, it is not the case farther north. And 42 of the 43 new anchorage sites would allow “long term” use.

If, as the writer states, the tug and barge industry is concerned that the Champlain Hudson Power Express cable will preclude anchoring, why wasn’t this mentioned in the request to the Coast Guard? The Maritime Association of the Port of NY/NJ pointed only to the export trade “of American Bakken crude oil and ethanol.”  Read more.

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Anchorage legislation moves forward with support of local environmental groups and towns

Anchorage legislation moves forward with support of local environmental groups and towns

Hudson Valley legislators at both the national and state level have been working on legislation that addresses the threat posed by the Coast Guard’s proposal to establish ten new anchorage grounds on the Hudson River.  The legislation has been getting plenty of support from local environmental groups and Hudson Valley towns.  Here is a brief update.

Federal legislation

At the federal level, Congressmen Sean Patrick Maloney and John Faso have introduced legislation that would significantly slow down the Coast Guard’s proposal.

The original version of this legislation — H. R.1504, The Hudson River Protection Act — would have effectively banned development of new anchorages in the Hudson River.  This version would have prohibited “the establishment of areas located within five miles of a nuclear power plant, a location on the national register of historic places, a superfund site, or critical habitat of an endangered species as anchorage grounds in U.S. navigable waters for vessels carrying hazardous or flammable material as cargo.”

A revised version of the bill takes a softer approach, but it would delay any decision on establishing new anchorages for at least a year.   The Coast Guard would have six months to provide a summary of public comments on the proposed anchorages and then wait at least another six months before approving any new sites.  The Coast Guard would also be required to conduct environmental studies on the proposal.

There’s more about the legislation in this article in the Kingston Daily Freeman.

State legislation

On the state level, proposed legislation would give the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) the power to establish “Tanker Avoidance Zones” near sensitive aquatic habitats, waterfront communities and other factors critical to the safety and security of the Hudson River.

In establishing these zones, the DEC would need to consult with the Coast Guard, the Board of Commissioners of Pilots, the Department of State, the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, and local elected officials.

The version of the bill before the New York State Assembly (A.6825A), which was introduced by Assembly member Didi Barrett, was passed unanimously through the Committee on Environmental Conservation and now needs to go through the Ways and Means Committee.

The Senate bill (S.5197B), which was introduced by Senator Sue Serino, was also passed unanimously by the Environmental Conservation Committee, and it now needs to go through the Senate Rules committee.

The legislative session ends on June 21, so there are only a few days remaining during which the bills can be voted on, but they are on the short list to pass.

If the bill does pass both the Senate and Assembly, Governor Cuomo would have until September to sign it into law.

There’s more about the legislation in this article on WAMC.

Local support for legislation

Several environmental groups have issued memoranda of support for this legislation, and some local governments have also passed resolutions supporting the bills.  Here are some links:

What you can do

Ask your state Senator and Assembly member to co-sponsor bills (S.5197B and A.6825A, respectively) that would allow the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to establish “Tanker Avoidance Zones” on the basis of their close proximity to critical fish and wildlife habitats, waterfront communities, drinking water infrastructure, and other considerations.

You can call the Senate and Assembly directly using these numbers:

  • Senate switchboard: (518) 455-2800
  • Assembly switchboard: (518) 455-4100

In order to connect directly to your own state senator’s office, Food & Water Watch makes it easy on this page.

The NY State Legislature will adjourn by the end of next week, so please make your call as soon as possible.

You can also send a message to your elected officials using this form provided by Food & Water Watch.

There’s a helpful letter to concerned citizens from Food & Water Watch here.

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Anchorage plan threatens Hudson: Letter

Anchorage plan threatens Hudson: Letter

lohud.com: The U.S. Coast Guard is considering a proposal to establish 10 new anchorage areas in the Hudson River between Yonkers and Kingston, where a total of 43 massive oil barges could be parked for an indefinite period of time. This proposal comes in response to the dramatic increase in barge traffic over the past few years, largely due to the influx of fracked oil arriving by rail at the Port of Albany as well as the recent lifting of the ban on exporting crude oil to other countries.

The anchorages are of concern to all of us. They will turn the river into a parking lot for huge barges, cause sound and light pollution from noisy generators and “stadium” lighting, threaten wildlife habitats in and around the river, and damage the economic viability of villages with revitalized waterfronts. Most worrisome of all is that more oil barges on the Hudson would increase the risk of a catastrophic spill that could affect our entire area.

 

Bipartisan legislation has been introduced at the state level to make it more difficult to establish large-vessel anchorage grounds on the Hudson. I urge you to call your state senator and Assembly member now (their session ends in mid-June) and ask them to support this legislation (S5197 in the senate and A6825 in the Assembly). To find out who represents you, type your address into openstates.org. Additionally, please write you concerns about this issue to the Coast Guard:

  • Craig Lapiejko, Waterways Management Specialist, First Coast Guard District, 408 Atlantic Ave., Boston, MA 02110.

You can learn more about this issue at many excellent websites such as hudsonriveranchorages.org and Riverkeeper.org. This is not simply about our beautiful river becoming an eyesore and a parking lot for huge barges carrying toxic substances. The proposed anchorages reflect the wider threat fossil fuels pose to the environment and health of the planet.

Iris Hiskey Arno

Hastings-on-Hudson

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Maloney's Bill to Stop Coast Guard Proposal for Anchorages on Hudson Passes Key Hurdle

Maloney’s Bill to Stop Coast Guard Proposal for Anchorages on Hudson Passes Key Hurdle

Hudson Valley News Network: Representative Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) announced that federal legislation he wrote to halt the United States Coast Guard’s Proposed Rulemaking to expand mooring infrastructure on the Hudson River between Kingston and Yonkers was included as part of the Coast Guard Authorization Act, which passed today in committee.

Rep. Maloney’s Anchorages Away Act, would require the Coast Guard, within 180 days of passage, to submit a report to the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on the impacts of these proposed anchorages on existing superfund sites and habitats of endangered species and the Coast Guard’s response to these concerns.

In addition, the Coast Guard is prohibited from establishing any anchorages on the Hudson River between Yonkers and Kingston until at least 180 days after the submission of this report.

Today, during a House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee mark-up of the Coast Guard Authorization Act, Rep. Maloney spoke in favor of his legislation and encouraged the Coast Guard to end the dangerous proposed rulemaking. You can watch Rep. Maloney’s remarks here.

“The Coast Guard’s proposal to install new anchorage sites on the Hudson River is disaster – it’s a terrible idea and I’ll do whatever I can to stop it,” said Rep. Maloney. “Getting my provision into this bill will make sure we slow this thing down and find out the effects this dangerous proposal will have on our river and our communities. We are going to kill this proposal once and for all – and today was a step in the right direction.”  Read more.

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Stony Point supports proposed changes to Coast Guard barge plan

Stony Point supports proposed changes to Coast Guard barge plan

Rockland County Times: The U.S. Coast Guard’s plan to place several “parking spots” for crude oil barges and other tankers along the banks of the Hudson is being challenged in Albany.

The barge anchorage locations the Coast Guard is entertaining would permit more than 40 barges to “rest”  along the river’s coastline from Yonkers to Kingston to await arrival or departure times from the Port of Albany, a move that New York’s vocal environmental groups have come out against loud and clear.

While the maritime industry may support it, the Herculean efforts to clean up the Hudson and to balance the historic “waterway of industry” with the riverfront’s massive recreational/lifestyle makeover is currently being challenged in Albany, where bills in the Assembly (A006825) and Senate (S05197) are under consideration. Gov. Andrew Cuomo supports the measure.

As recently as April, 2017, a barge carrying 60,000 gallons of gasoline ran aground near Catskill in Greene County. It was stuck for hours as workers tried to determine if it was leaking as a result of striking rocks about 30 feet from the shoreline. Luckily, no damage was found and it was eventually towed to deeper water to continue on its way.

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“It is a real concern for all of us that the Federal government wants to negatively impact the waterfront and the communities and thinks we are going to do nothing about it,” said Deputy Supervisor Tom Basile. “The bills currently in Albany have a lot of support and would enable the state to control the anchorage areas to ensure the Hudson River and its waterfront communities will be protected.”  Read more.

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Congressional bill would delay Hudson River anchorage plan for at least a year

Congressional bill would delay Hudson River anchorage plan for at least a year

Kingston Daily Freeman: Recommendations on establishing 10 anchorage sites in the Hudson River will be delayed for at least a year under a congressional bill that would require the U.S. Coast Guard to conduct environmental studies on the proposal.

The move to slow the review process was announced in separate press releases from U.S. Rep. John Faso, R-Kinderhook, and U.S. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, D-Cold Spring, with both men taking credit for language that passed the house Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

Faso, in a telephone interview, said the Coast Guard would have six months to provide a summary of public comments on the proposed anchorages and then wait at least another six months before approving the sites, under the proposal.

“It basically requires the Coast Guard to provide a detailed report to the Senate and House Transportation Committee as to the public comments and to give us their opinion as to the comments and in the meantime make sure that no anchorages could be established while this discussion is pending,” he said. “In essence, what this does … (is stop) that process dead in its tracks and forces the Coast Guard to give us their analysis of this question.”  Read more.

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NY Congressman Maloney's Amendment To Slow Anchorage Site Proposal Advances

NY Congressman Maloney’s Amendment To Slow Anchorage Site Proposal Advances

WAMC: A bill authored by a New York congressman to halt proposed anchorage sites along the Hudson River until there is further study has advanced. An environmental professor says while it’s a good first step, the proposal should bring more accountability to bear on the U.S. Coast Guard.

Democratic Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney of the 18th district says legislation he wrote to halt the U.S. Coast Guard’s Proposed Rulemaking to create up to 10 anchorage sites between Kingston and Yonkers was included as part of the Coast Guard Authorization Act, which passed Wednesday in committee. Maloney had urged his amendment’s passage during a markup.

“The language in this amendment will guarantee that the Coast Guard study the impacts of this and report back to the Congress before it moves forward with this very controversial proposal,” Maloney said. “We owe this to the people we represent to get it right.”

Maloney’s Anchorages Away Act would require the Coast Guard to submit a report to the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on the impacts of these proposed anchorages on existing Superfund sites and endangered species habitats. The Coast Guard has proposed creating up to 10 anchorage sites in the Hudson River to park as many as 43 commercial vessels between Yonkers and Kingston.  Read more.

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Congressman Faso includes language in bill to halt Hudson River Anchorage process and require report to Congress

Congressman Faso includes language in bill to halt Hudson River Anchorage process and require report to Congress

Washington, D.C. – Congressman John Faso (R-Kinderhook) today announced the inclusion of language added at his request to H.R. 2518, the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2017, that would protect the public health and public safety of Hudson River communities by prohibiting proposed Yonkers-to-Kingston barge anchorages for up to one year while Congress assesses environmental and other impacts. The last reauthorization for the Coast Guard’s major funding bill was passed in 2015 and is set to expire this year.

“The Hudson River, like any finite resource, can only thrive when it is shared responsibly and all voices are heard. Since news of the Coast Guard’s proposal emerged, I have urged the agency to work with our communities and listen to their concerns. I saw the opportunity with a must-pass piece of legislation affecting the Coast Guard to add a provision which would halt the anchorage process and get this provision enacted into law,” said Faso.

“This amendment helps ensure an open, transparent and inclusive rulemaking process for communities that depend on the Hudson River for recreation and local economic growth, and I commend Congressman Faso for his hard work in getting this important provision added to the Coast Guard legislation,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA).

Congressman Faso’s language, which was included as part of the “manager’s amendment” to H.R. 2518, requires a six-month time limit for the Coast Guard to submit to Congress a “detailed summary” of the public comments it has collected related to its Proposed Rule for 10 anchorage grounds for barges between Yonkers (Westchester County) and Kingston, NY (Ulster County). The report must also include the Coast Guard’s responses to these concerns. None of the proposed anchorages may be established during this time. Once Congress receives the Coast Guard report, the agency may not approve the 10 proposed anchorages for an additional six months while the report is reviewed. At the behest of Faso and others, the Coast Guard lifted its original September 7, 2016 deadline for written comments and extended the public comment period until the end of that year.

“Parking commercial barges off our shores would have profound environmental, economic and public safety implications for Westchester residents. We need a better process to vet this proposal and ensure that local concerns are heard at the federal level. We’ve been asking for this for the better part of a year and thanks to Congressman Faso’s efforts, we may finally be on our way to a more open and transparent process we deserve and the opportunity to let our voices be heard,” said Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino.

“For too long the federal government has made decisions impacting our communities without an adequate public process, leaving key stakeholders out. This issue requires local and congressional involvement. I’m grateful to Congressman Faso for this amendment. Now Dutchess County and other river communities will have a real chance to be heard loud and clear,” said Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro.

“Congressman Faso’s legislation is important in that it ensures all information is studied and made available. This legislation helps give our communities the information we need to assess the issues relating to anchorages along the Hudson,” said Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus.

“I fundamentally respect the Coast Guard and its mission. However, our local concerns related to public safety and the risks associated with increased river traffic carrying oil and refined fuels need federal representation too. That’s why I’m pleased to support Congressman Faso’s measure pausing the anchorage rule until Congress can take a good look at our concerns. John listened to us and got the job done,” said Dutchess County Sheriff Adrian “Butch” Anderson.

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Gas Barge Grounding in New York Shows Risk of Turning Hudson River into ‘Pipeline on Water’

Gas Barge Grounding in New York Shows Risk of Turning Hudson River into ‘Pipeline on Water’

DeSmogBlog: On April 4 a barge carrying 60,000 barrels of gasoline ran aground in the Hudson River and was stranded for hours while New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation tried to determine if the barge was leaking. Luckily the Hudson is a tidal river and when the tide rose, the ship was able to be freed. No gasoline had spilled this time.

However, the nature of the accident highlights the risks of moving petroleum products in barges and tankers on the Hudson River — something that may become a lot more common in the near future. Basil Seggos, head of the state Department of Environmental Conservation, explained to the Albany Times Union what caused the accident but couldn’t explain why it happened.

“He’s way off the channel,” Seggos said. “It looks like it’s on a really bad trajectory at this point. If it hadn’t hit the channel marker it would have run into the shoreline, possibly.”

Captain John Lipscomb of Hudson Riverkeeper noted how even with modern safety technologies, the reality is that accidents happen. And what really concerns Lipscomb is the possibility of one of these accidents resulting in a crude oil spill in the Hudson. A major gasoline spill would cause some environmental damage and pose fire risks. But it would not have the potentially catastrophic impact of a major spill of Bakken crude or Canadian tar sands.

Lipscomb also mentioned an event that happened in 2012 when the oil-by-rail industry was ramping up in Albany. On the first such trip down the Hudson, an oil tanker filled with Bakken oil from the Albany rail terminal ran aground when the tanker had steering issues and was unable to stay in the channel. While the accident tore some large holes in the tanker’s outer shell, luckily the tanker was double-hulled, and no oil spilled.

Source: Read more

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NY governor promises investigation of Hudson River barge grounding

NY governor promises investigation of Hudson River barge grounding

WorkBoat: An articulated tug-barge carrying 60,000 bbl. of gasoline up the Hudson River got safely off Tuesday night after running aground about 30 miles south of Albany, N.Y.

There was no spill from the double hull barge RTC 150, and a rising tide lifted the 458’x72’ barge and its tug, the 119’x40’x22’, 7,200-hp Meredith C. Reinauer. The ATB continued to Albany where it unloaded its cargo.

But the incident is certain to play into debate over a proposal for up to 10 designated barge anchorages along the river, under consideration by the Coast Guard and opposed by environmental groups and town governments along the river.

“The Hudson River is a critical piece of the Empire State, both environmentally and economically, and we are launching a full-scale response to ensure this incident does not threaten it,” said Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who visited the scene just south of the Rip Van Winkle Bridge at the village of Catskill.

“The full resources of several state agencies including the Departments of Environmental Conservation and Health have been deployed to not only ensure a quick and thorough response, but to launch a full investigation into what caused the barge to run aground in the first place.”  Read more.

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Environmental groups sound alarm after barge carrying 60,000 barrels of gasoline runs aground on Hudson River near Catskill

Environmental groups sound alarm after barge carrying 60,000 barrels of gasoline runs aground on Hudson River near Catskill

Kingston Daily Freeman: A barge carrying about 2.5 million gallons of gasoline didn’t spill any of its cargo when it ran aground early Tuesday near the west shore of the Hudson River in Greene County, but the incident quickly became fuel for environmental groups fighting a proposal that would allow large vessels carrying crude to anchor at 10 locations on the river.

A barge called the RTC 150 ran aground on the “shallow, sandy river bottom” near Catskill about 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, according to state Department of Environmental Conservation spokesman Sean Mahar.

Reinauer Transportation Co., the Staten Island firm that owns the barge, didn’t cite a cause for the accident but noted in a statement to the press that it happened “in foggy weather.”  Read more.

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Barge Runs Aground in the Hudson, Spotlighting Dangers of Anchorage Proposal

Barge Runs Aground in the Hudson, Spotlighting Dangers of Anchorage Proposal

NRDC: A barge transporting 60,000 gallons of gasoline ran aground along the Hudson River in Catskill, New York earlier today. While no injuries have been reported and so far, there has been no fuel found leaking into the river, this accident highlights the real risk we face by encouraging more barges to travel and park in the Hudson River, turning this historic waterway into a fossil fuel parking lot.

As I’ve previously written, the United States Coast Guard is reviewing a proposal to expand the number of anchorage grounds—places for ships to anchor—in the Hudson River. The U.S. Coast Guard has proposed to add 43 new anchorage sites in areas not historically navigated by large vessels. In response to the proposal, the Coast Guard received over 10,000 public comments expressing alarm over the proposed anchorages in the Hudson River.

This time, the barge was carrying gasoline, but next time, it could be crude oil, much like the barge that ran aground in 2013. More berths would lead to more barges traveling the river, which could increase the risk of crude spills, which are notoriously difficult to clean up, and which could have catastrophic ecological effects on the river’s ecosystem. If tar sands oil were to eventually be shipped by tanker on the Hudson, the risks to the ecological health of the river are even greater. Indeed, according to the National Academy of Sciences, tar sands oil is extremely difficult to recover if spilled.

We are grateful no one was hurt this morning, and that the barge that ran aground did not leak. But fossil fuels are dangerous. Creating anchorage grounds along the river that may be used to store oil threatens the safety of our communities. It’s time to put this flawed proposal to bed, and turn our attention toward building a clean energy future.  Read more.

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Gasoline tanker runs aground on Hudson River, no spill reported

Gasoline tanker runs aground on Hudson River, no spill reported

LoHud.com: A tanker carrying 2.5 million gallons of gasoline ran aground in foggy weather on the Hudson River on Tuesday morning, but nothing was spilled and no one was injured.

Reinauer Transportation Companies, headquartered in Staten Island, says the barge hauled by the tugboat Meredith Reinauer ran aground around 8:30 a.m. Tuesday near Catskill, about 30 miles south of Albany. The company says it dispatched another tugboat to help transfer the gasoline to another barge.

The U.S. Coast Guard and state pollution response teams investigated and said there was no sign of a tank puncture or leaking gasoline.

A DEC spokesman says the barge was transporting 66,000 barrels of gasoline north to the Port of Albany.

The grounding comes as the Coast Guard continues to evaluate a proposed rule that would allow 10 new anchorage fields on a stretch of the Hudson River from Yonkers to Kingston, about 20 miles north of Catskill. The proposal was put forth at the behest of the shipping industry.  Read more.

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Hudson Valley State Lawmakers Take Aim Against Anchorage Site Proposal

Hudson Valley State Lawmakers Take Aim Against Anchorage Site Proposal

WAMC: Two New York state lawmakers from the Hudson Valley have introduced legislation aimed at safeguarding the Hudson River from proposed anchorage sites. Meanwhile, the U.S. Coast Guard has not yet decided how to proceed with the controversial proposal.

Last year, the Coast Guard proposed creating up to 10 anchorage sites in the Hudson River to park as many as 43 commercial vessels between Yonkers and Kingston. As the Coast Guard wades through the more than 10,000 comments it received by the December close of the public comment period, Republican state Senator Sue Serino has introduced a bill taking aim at the proposal.

“We want to protect the progress that we’ve made on Hudson River, and that we’ve got bipartisan support on this, which we’ve had,” Serino says.

Democrat Didi Barrett introduced the same bill in the Assembly.  Listen here.

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Legislation Introduced to Safeguard the Hudson River and Surrounding Communities

Legislation Introduced to Safeguard the Hudson River and Surrounding Communities

Hudson Valley News Network: With the U.S. Coast Guard proposing to establish new anchorage points across over 90 miles of the Hudson River, Senator Sue Serino (R, C, I—Hyde Park), Assemblymember Didi Barrett (D-Columbia, Dutchess) and Scenic Hudson teamed up today to announce legislation aimed at safeguarding the river and local communities against the increased risks associated with the transport of crude oil and other hazardous materials.

State Senator Sue Serino

“Our communities have worked far too hard for far too long on revitalizing our waterfront to risk compromising the Hudson River,” said Senator Sue Serino, who sponsors the legislation. “As someone who hails from a town that actually gets their drinking water directly from the Hudson, I cannot overstate the importance of this bill. While I am sensitive to the safety concerns expressed by the Coast Guard, this legislation is about ensuring the environmental safety of the river our communities depend on, the public safety of those in the Hudson Valley, and the economic viability of our waterfront communities.”

Assemblymember Didi Barrett

“Any plan to increase oil traffic on the Hudson River with barges carrying volatile Bakken crude must be viewed as an environmental, public health and homeland security concern by New York State. Since the Coast Guard’s proposal to fast track new anchorage sites along the Hudson was first put forth, my office has spoken out in opposition, and now we are taking direct action with this new legislation,” said Assemblymember Didi Barrett, who sponsors the bill in the Assembly. “The proposed anchorages seriously threaten drinking water, local businesses, historic viewsheds, the Hudson Valley’s vibrant tourist industry and the safety of communities on both sides of the river. New York State must exert its authority in order to protect the health and well-being of the entire Hudson River Valley.”

 Read more.

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

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

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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Hastings-on-Hudson to screen "The Hudson, A River at Risk" with discussion

Hastings-on-Hudson to screen “The Hudson, A River at Risk” with discussion

Friday, March 24th, 6:30pm–9pm
James Harmon Community Center, 44 Main Street
Screening begins at 7pm; Come at 6:30 to browse materials on environmental issues and chat with fellow residents.

Following the screening, join a community conversation on environmental stewardship with a panel discussionand Q&A, featuring representatives from Hudson Valley organizations including Scenic Hudson and Riverkeeperalong with other guests.

To learn more about the film: http://www.hudsonriveratrisk.com

The Panel:

Jon Bowermaster, President, Oceans 8 Films and One Ocean Media Foundation
Online bio: http://www.jonbowermaster.com/about.php

Writer, filmmaker and adventurer, Jon is a six-time grantee of the National Geographic Expeditions Council. One of the Society’s ‘Ocean Heroes,’ his first assignment for National Geographic Magazine was documenting a 3,741 mile crossing of Antarctica by dogsled. Jon has written a dozen books and produced/directed more than fifteen documentary films.

Erin Doran, Staff Attorney, Riverkeeper
Online bio: https://www.riverkeeper.org/about-us/our-team/erin-doran/

Erin joined Riverkeeper as a staff attorney in 2016 after five years of representing non-profit organizations and community associations as an attorney with Environmental Law Clinic at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. Her experience also includes evaluating and commenting on environmental permits, analyzing the implementation of environmental laws, and developing educational trainings for local watershed advocates.

Audrey Friedrichsen, Land Use and Environmental Advocacy Attorney, Scenic Hudson
Online bio: http://www.scenichudson.org/aboutus/staff/bios/friedrichsen

A Hudson Valley native, Audrey Friedrichsen studied biology at Cornell University before earning her J.D. with a Certificate in Environmental Law from Pace Law School. She returned to Pace for a Master of Laws in Environmental Law, with a track in Land Use and Sustainable Development, in 2014. Before joining Scenic Hudson, she was in private practice for 10 years, where she practiced land use, zoning, planning, municipal and environmental law.

Paul Harris, President, Paul Harris Development

Paul Harris works with The Carbon Underground to promote Regenerative Agriculture. He has also worked on energy projects, such as power plants, LNG terminals and natural gas pipelines for clients in the US, Canada and France, for over 30 years.  He is on the Board of Raey Hiwot, an organization that helps girls in rural Ethiopia stay in school, and has lived in Hastings since 1989 with Susan Harris, who co-leads the Hastings Vine Squad.

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Dutchess legislature on record opposing anchorages, but it was not unanimous

Dutchess legislature on record opposing anchorages, but it was not unanimous

MidHudsonNews.com: Dutchess lawmakers joined counterparts in Ulster and Orange counties in opposing the commercial marine industry’s request of the Coast Guard to expand barge anchorages in the Hudson River.  Most county legislators, on both sides, concurred, but Republican Alan Surman said his colleagues were not looking at the big picture.

“The shipment of oil down the Hudson River has been going on for years, mostly through very, very long freight trains and they are more problematic,” he said, noting the derailment in Newburgh last week.   “Transporting oil by barge is far safer,” Surman said, arguing the county has no business involving itself in interstate commerce.

Democrat Minority Leader Micki Strawinski said Surman is missing the point.

“The resolution talks about anchoraging these barges, berthing them in several places along the Hudson River,” Strawinski said.  “We all believe that this, many of us believe that this is a very dangerous thing and could cause us more problems.”

The memorializing resolution passed with one dissent, from Surman

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In fight against anchorage plan, Rhinebeck Town Board joins Hudson River Waterfront Alliance

In fight against anchorage plan, Rhinebeck Town Board joins Hudson River Waterfront Alliance

The Town Board members has agreed to join the Hudson River Waterfront Alliance, a coalition fighting a proposal to establish barge and large-vessel anchorages on the Hudson River, including one along the town’s shoreline and two immediately across the river.

The decision was made during a meeting Monday at which Supervisor Elizabeth Spinzia said there would not be any obligation to contribute financially toward opposition activities.

“There’s no dues, no legal fee,” she said. “We won’t incur any costs to support this.”

The proposed Rhinebeck anchorage site directly in front of the shoreline would be the Kingston Flats South Anchorage Ground, covering about 279 acres and accommodating up to three vessels for long-term use.  Read more.

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Federal lawmakers fight Hudson anchorages

Federal lawmakers fight Hudson anchorages

lohud.com: The federal fight against the Hudson River anchorage plan has been revived, with two lawmakers re-introducing legislation to prevent the Coast Guard from establishing new moorings for commercial ships off local shores.

On Monday, Representatives Sean Patrick Maloney, D-Cold Spring, and Eliot Engel, D-Bronx, along with Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano, gathered on the Yonkers waterfront Monday to tout the a bill that would halt any plan by the U.S. Coast Guard to allow commercial vessels to moor at 10 locations in the Hudson River between Yonkers and Kingston, including areas near Montrose and Tompkins Cove. Watch the news report.

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Maloney Introduces Legislation to 'Protect' Hudson

Maloney Introduces Legislation to ‘Protect’ Hudson

Hudson Valley News Network: A group of Hudson Valley public officials, led by Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, announced plans to propose legislation to prevent the U.S. Coast Guard from approving a proposal to erect ten anchorage sites for oil barges on the Hudson River.

Joined by Rep. Eliot Engel and Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano, Maloney introduced The Hudson River Protection Act. This act would bar the Department of Homeland Security from planting the anchorages for vessels with potentially hazardous waste material in certain locations. Sites within five miles of nuclear power stations, Superfund cleanup designations, areas on the National Registry of Historic Places, and living habitats for endangered species would be prohibited.

“When it comes to anchorages, my message is simple: we don’t want em, we don’t need em, and working together we’re going to kill this proposal,” said Maloney at a press conference this morning.

Source: Read more

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Legislation Would Block Oil Barges From Anchoring On The Hudson

Legislation Would Block Oil Barges From Anchoring On The Hudson

CBS New York: The Coast Guard is getting ready for increased barge traffic as the Hudson River is used to move oil from Albany to the city, but opponents are saying ‘no.’

Lawmakers gathered on the Yonkers riverfront Monday, to announce new proposed legislation to ban oil barges from anchoring near sensitive areas on the river.

Environmentalists said it’s about time.

“The idea that you would double down on crude oil shipments on the Hudson when the Hudson is coming back as a place to live, as a place to recreate, as a place to build your business is just crazy,” riverkeeper Paul Gallay said.  Read more

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Lawmakers, environmentalists seek to halt Hudson River barge plan

Lawmakers, environmentalists seek to halt Hudson River barge plan

News 12 Westchester: Lawmakers and environmentalists say they are taking steps to stop the Coast Guard’s plan to put more barges in the Hudson River.

State and local leaders held a news conference today revealing the steps they will take to stop the barges.

The U.S. Coast Guard’s proposal centers on plans to create 10 new anchor barges and 43 additional anchorage berths on the Hudson River, from Yonkers to Kingston. The Coast Guard says it would allow increased movement in the transport of crude oil up and down the river.  Watch the news report..

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Backlash over plan to park oil barges on Hudson

Backlash over plan to park oil barges on Hudson

NorthJersey.com: Just north of the George Washington Bridge near the preserved banks of Palisades Interstate Park lies a 715-acre section of the Hudson River that could soon become a virtual parking lot for the scores of oil barges that travel the waterway.

The U.S. Coast Guard is evaluating a proposal that would allow up to 16 barges to drop anchor in the middle of the river between Alpine and Yonkers, N.Y., to accommodate an expected increase in the amount of oil hauled to and from Albany N.Y.

It is the largest and southernmost of seven proposed anchorages on the Hudson, and has galvanized local officials, residents and environmental groups in New York. They say the plan is an environmental threat that will “re-industrialize” the river, make it unsightly and increase the risk of an oil spill. Supporters say it will make the river safer by having more places to anchor with increased traffic.

The issue, however, has gone largely unnoticed in New Jersey even though more people live along the state’s 26 miles of waterfront than ever before. Of the 10,212 comments sent to the Coast Guard about the project, few came from New Jersey.

“It’s the forgotten river for so many here, but this proposal will affect New Jersey, no question,” said Gil Hawkins, president of the Hudson River Fishermen’s Association, who lives in Leonia. “When you go to the Palisades and look down and see these giant oil barges instead of small boats or eagles hunting fish, maybe then people will realize how important this issue is.”  Read more.

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Esopus is asked to join group opposing proposed Hudson River anchorage sites

Esopus is asked to join group opposing proposed Hudson River anchorage sites

Kingston Daily Freeman: Just north of the George Washington Bridge near the preserved banks of Palisades Interstate Park lies a 715-acre section of the Hudson River that could soon become a virtual parking lot for the scores of oil barges that travel the waterway.

The U.S. Coast Guard is evaluating a proposal that would allow up to 16 barges to drop anchor in the middle of the river between Alpine and Yonkers, N.Y., to accommodate an expected increase in the amount of oil hauled to and from Albany N.Y.

It is the largest and southernmost of seven proposed anchorages on the Hudson, and has galvanized local officials, residents and environmental groups in New York. They say the plan is an environmental threat that will “re-industrialize” the river, make it unsightly and increase the risk of an oil spill. Supporters say it will make the river safer by having more places to anchor with increased traffic.

The issue, however, has gone largely unnoticed in New Jersey even though more people live along the state’s 26 miles of waterfront than ever before. Of the 10,212 comments sent to the Coast Guard about the project, few came from New Jersey.

“It’s the forgotten river for so many here, but this proposal will affect New Jersey, no question,” said Gil Hawkins, president of the Hudson River Fishermen’s Association, who lives in Leonia. “When you go to the Palisades and look down and see these giant oil barges instead of small boats or eagles hunting fish, maybe then people will realize how important this issue is.”  Read more.

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U.S. Coast Guard Anchorage Proposal May Harm Health of Hudson

U.S. Coast Guard Anchorage Proposal May Harm Health of Hudson

The Groundhog: If you’re an individual who has lived for an extended amount of time in the Hudson Valley, chances are that at least one important memory in your life is linked to the Hudson River. You may have proudly taken your parents or grandparents down there during a college visit, or attempted to woo a potential significant other with the sways of the water, or even just gone down by the docks with a few friends for a moment of peace and quiet after a stressful week. Whatever it may entail, these moments are made timeless and memorable by the picturesque scenery of the river, a feeling that is seldom replicated in other locations.

Now imagine those same moments, interrupted by a noisy, smoke billowing, thousand pound oil barge… Not quite the same impact, is it?

That sort of big-business interruption to peaceful river life is one of the many reasons behind the continuing controversy over the U.S. Coast Guard’s proposal for oil barge anchorages sites on the Hudson. The preliminary concept, which would introduce ten locations from Yonkers to Kingston for oil barges to dock, has been widely protested by Hudson Valley residents, politicians, and environmental activists, inciting a months long struggle between the financial interests of federal government and the culture of small town society.  Read more.

Source: U.S. Coast Guard Anchorage Proposal May Harm Health of Hudson – The Groundhog – Medium

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Riverkeeper: Fireside chat with the The Hudson: A River at Risk

Riverkeeper: Fireside chat with the The Hudson: A River at Risk

WHEN: February 16, 2017: 7:00PM to 9:00PM
WHERE: St. James’ Episcopal Church 4526 Albany Post Rd, Hyde Park, New York 12538 map
TO ATTEND: Facebook Event

A series of short films produced by environmentalist, adventurer and filmmaker Jon Bowermaster will highlight the growing threats to the river environment and the local towns. The films will feature segments on the transportation of crude oil by rail along the river, the PCB’s still remaining after the required cleanup from General Electric, the shutdown of the aging Indian Point nuclear plant, pipelines, and the proposed barge anchorage sites. The 45-minute presentation “The Hudson: A River at Risk” will take place February 16 at historic St. James’ Chapel, 10 East Market Street, Hyde Park (across for the Post Office) at 7:00 p.m. as part of the Fireside Chat series sponsored by St. James’ Church. Immediately following the screening, filmmaker Jon Bowermaster, Jeremy Cherson from Riverkeeper and David Ray, Town Councilman from Hyde Park will discuss the implications of these projects.  Read more.

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