Kingston Daily Freeman: Federal legislation aimed at preventing large vessels from anchoring on the Hudson River between Kingston and Yonkers has been approved by the House, U.S. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney said Friday.
Maloney, D-Cold Spring, said language he wrote to halt the U.S. Coast Guard’s proposed rulemaking to expand mooring infrastructure along that stretch of the river was included in the Department of Homeland Security Authorization Act of 2017, which the House passed Thursday by a vote of 386-41.
Maloney’s said his “Anchorages Away Act,” if approved by the Senate and signed by the president, would require the Coast Guard, within 180 days of being enacted, to submit a report to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on the impacts of proposed anchorages on existing superfund sites and habitats of endangered species, as well as the Coast Guard’s response to those concerns.
The Coast Guard then would be barred from establishing any anchorages between Kingston and Yonkers until at least 180 days after submission of the report. Read more.
USCG Press Release: The U.S. Coast Guard has announced it will conduct a Ports and Waterways Safety Assessment of the Hudson River.
In 2016, the U.S. Coast Guard promulgated an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) to seek comprehensive public input and examine whether there is a need for a proposed rule on new anchorage grounds on the Hudson River to promote safe navigation. An ANPRM is an optional, pre-rulemaking tool for seeking information from the public.
More than 10,200 comments were received from waterway stakeholders during the ANPRM comment period that ended December 6, 2016. A summary of the comments can be found here in the docket for the ANPRM.
After a review of the comments, Rear Adm. Steven Poulin, Commander of the First Coast Guard District, has suspended future rulemaking decisions and directed a formal risk identification and evaluation of the Hudson River, known as a Ports and Waterways Safety Assessment (PAWSA). The PAWSA process is a disciplined approach to identify major waterway safety hazards, estimate risk levels, evaluate potential mitigation measures, and set the stage for implementation of selected measures to reduce risk. Additional information about a PAWSA and the entire process can be found here at the Coast Guard Navigation Center website.
In the fall, a group of waterway users and stakeholders will conduct a two-day structured workshop to meet these objectives and ensure the PAWSA process is a joint effort involving waterway users, stakeholders, and agencies to determine the safety of the waterway.
The Coast Guard will announce the workshop dates, times, locations, and participant selection process in a separate notice. Within the workshop capacity, the District Commander’s goal is to build a team that helps ensure the diverse concerns conveyed in the ANPRM comments are represented through the PAWSA risk analysis process. The discussions will help promote navigation safety and environmental protection.
If members of the public wish to be considered for participation in the workshops please email: HudsonRiverPAWSA@uscg.mil by July 21 with name, contact information, connection to the waterway, experience, and related skills.
June 28, 2017
U.S. Coast Guard 1st District PA Detachment New York
Contact: Coast Guard PA Detachment New York
Office: (212) 514-4291
After Hours: (917) 703-0983
We did it! The Coast Guard suspended its proposal to add more anchorage sites for fracked-oil barges on the Hudson River!
That’s great news, but we’re not done yet.
Because the proposal could come back in the future, we need to make sure Governor Cuomo signs the bill strengthening New York’s ability to protect the Hudson from fracked oil.
The Coast Guard’s decision comes after months of grassroots organizing, building people power in opposition to this dangerous plan! Last fall, Food & Water Watch supporters like YOU submitted nearly 2,000 comments in opposition to increasing oil barge traffic on the Hudson.
With the Coast Guard’s proposal looming, we worked with our allies at Scenic Hudson and Riverkeeper to convince Albany lawmakers to strengthen protection of the Hudson River from fracked oil. Thanks to YOU, we generated over 4,000 emails and hundreds of phone calls to the legislature, which led to its decision at the end of June to pass a bill to increase New York’s oversight over oil barges on the river.
Make sure Governor Cuomo finishes the job by signing the bill to protect the Hudson.
Meanwhile, the Coast Guard has agreed to conduct a risk assessment of its proposal. We will work with our allies to ensure that the public’s voice is adequately represented in this review process. While the Coast Guard’s proposal is temporarily halted, it is imperative that Governor Cuomo sign legislation passed in Albany, so that New York has increased authority to help block any future attempts by the Coast Guard to revisit this plan.
Thanks for your persistent activism,
Food & Water Watch
Times Union: SeaChange is a social movement whose efforts to stop climate change unfold atop and along the Hudson River. This weekend SeaChangers will be in Troy and Albany.
A crew of artists, musicians and Mohawk tribe members will launch a 10-day voyage down the river. They are scheduled to board a boat near Troy’s Farmers Market at 9:30 a.m. Saturday. A Mohawk DJ will provide music on the cruise to Albany where the group will observe air, soil and water pollution problems in the South End and the Hudson River. The crew will stage a theatrical performance that evening. Sunday morning, there will be a riverfront ceremony before SeaChange continues its journey.
It sounds like 24 hours designed to make radio show host and climate change denier Alex Jones shriek but it might otherwise struggle for attention on a summer weekend. But Solar Sal, the solar-powered boat that will transport SeaChange, is a proven crowd magnet. Solar Sal’s creator, designer and captain is Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute professor David Borton, who teaches mechanical, aerospace, and nuclear engineering. SeaChange organizer Kevin Buckland met Borton when the scientist visited a SeaChange event.
SeaChange’s ambitious goals also include saving the Hudson River from pollution and “bomb barges.” (The latter term is the nickname for vessels that transport volatile Bakken crude through New York via waterways rather than on land by trucks or trains). Read more
Rye City Review: After an outpouring of negative commentary and bipartisan backlash from elected officials, a proposal from the U.S. Coast Guard to add dozens of anchorages across the Hudson River has been suspended, but may not be fully dead in the water.
According to a statement made by the Coast Guard following their decision to halt the process on June 28, the suspension of a rule-making process to install 43 additional anchorages across the Hudson will coincide with a study of the waterway’s safety.
Concern over the safe passage of barges traversing the Hudson has been frequently cited as the agency’s impetus for floating the anchorage proposal in the first place.
The study, called a Ports and Waterways Safety Assessment, PAWSA, will assess “safety hazards, estimate risk levels, evaluate potential mitigation measures, and set the stage for implementation of selected measures to reduce risk,” according to the Coast Guard.
In addition to political opposition, including Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, a Republican, who described the Coast Guard plan as a “parking lot” for large oil barges, public comments against the anchorage proposal, which totaled more than 10,000 before the comment period closed, were overwhelmingly negative.
In December last year, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, also called for more scrutiny of the Coast Guard’s proposal. Read more.
WAMC: Hudson Valley Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney Monday announced next steps regarding the suspended U.S. Coast Guard proposal for anchorage sites along the Hudson River. WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne reports from the Newburgh waterfront.
The Coast Guard at the end of June suspended the rulemaking process for a proposal of up to 10 additional anchorage sites between Yonkers and Kingston. And it directed a formal study through a longstanding process called a ports and waterways safety assessment, or a PAWSA. Maloney, a Democrat who represents the 18th District, has four principles he wants to ensure are included.
“The first is that Hudson Valley voices have to matter,” Maloney says. “Local voices have to matter.”
The second is relying on facts and science.
“Number three, the river gets a vote. The river gets a vote,” Maloney says. “The Hudson River is a national treasure.”
The fourth is let the sunshine in — a call for transparency.
“Over my dead body is this going to be a backdoor way to bring this proposal back. And over my dead body is it going to be some way to shut out the local community and railroad through some ill-guided proposal in another form. We have killed the anchorages proposals; that’s good. We’re putting the final nails in the coffin on that,” Maloney says. “And we’re going to go forward on a constructive conversation on public safety but it has to align with these principles. And we are going to bend and mold the PAWSA process in whatever way we have to do to get that done.” Read more.
Recordonline.com: Opponents of a controversial proposal to create 43 sites between Kingston and Yonkers where barges and tugboats plying the Hudson River could anchor celebrated when the U.S. Coast Guard announced last month a suspension of the plan while it undertook a risk assessment of the river and its ports.
Those same opponents are now demanding that the Coast Guard give equal representatives to Hudson River towns and municipalities when it chooses the workgroup that will oversee the study.
While the process calls for “waterway users” to represent 60 percent of the workgroup and the balance “stakeholders,” U.S. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, local officials and environmentalists gathered at the City of Newburgh’s waterfront on Monday to say they will demand that the mix be 50/50.
Maloney outlined four principles: the inclusion of local representatives; a reliance on science; a consideration of the river’s needs and a transparent process that would include public hearings.
“We’re not taking our eyes off this for a second,” said Maloney, who has sought to kill the plan through federal legislation. “We are not going to be hoodwinked, we are not going to be railroaded and we are not going to be left out of this process.” Read more.
Hudson Valley News Network: On the waterfront in the City of Newburgh, Representative Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) and local stakeholders announced the next steps regarding the U.S. Coast Guard anchorage proposal, which was suspended on June 28, 2017.
Instead, the Coast Guard announced that it will conduct a “Ports and Waterways Safety Assessment” or PAWSA to determine next steps and inform future rulemakings
The PAWSA is still being planned, but will include working groups of stakeholders appointed by the Coast Guard.
In response, Rep. Maloney demanded the Coast Guard establish certain standards for the creation of the upcoming PAWSA.
“This has been a team effort from day one – thousands of people wrote in to tell the Coast Guard this idea stinks – and just about every elected official in this neck of the woods was on the team that helped kill it,” said Rep. Maloney. “We know the old proposal is pretty much dead, but as this new review is planned we have to make sure it’s done right – local folks must have as much input as they did the first time around, we’ve got to insist on using the most up-to-date science, and the process must be transparent. Our river is a national treasure, you can be sure I’ll continue leading the fight to make sure it is preserved and protected for generations.” Read more.
Poughkeepsie Journal: In response to your June 27 editorial (“N.Y. moves to protect Hudson – but where are the feds?”), there is good news to report for readers of this newspaper and other river-community residents concerned about the future of the Hudson.
On June 28, the Coast Guard announced it is suspending its plan to add 10 anchorages along the Hudson River from Yonkers to Kingston.The new anchorages would have effectively turned our river into a parking lot for barges, imperiling public safety and health, and threatening the local recreational economy this natural resource supports. Since news of the Coast Guard’s original proposal emerged, I have called on the agency to work with our communities and listen to their concerns.
On May 24, I successfully included a provision in the Coast Guard’s budget bill to delay the new anchorages until a study had been completed and Congress could review public comments. 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. After I spoke out last year, the Coast Guard lifted its original Sept. 7, 2016 deadline for written comments and extended the public comment period until the end of that year.
The news that the Coast Guard will suspend its plan to add these permanent barge anchorages is a victory for the Hudson Valley. Our community spoke with one voice, and Washington listened.
U.S. Rep. John J. Faso, R-Kinderhook
19th Congressional District
MidHudsonNews.com: The U.S. Coast Guard may have suspended the Ports and Waterways Safety Assessment, an assessment of establishing more anchorages up and down the Hudson River.
Surrounded by local officials and environmental group representatives, Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney (D, NY-18), said that’s good, as far is it goes, but, the Hudson Valley needs full participatory status in any group or ongoing discussions on best use of the river.
“My concern about the initial process was that we had the interest of the barge operators, which is to store product close to market, and the interest of the Coast Guard, which is to minimize their enforcement hassles when it comes to illegal anchoring. And yet, we didn’t have as a priority, the facts about safety and the facts about harm to the river and the potential threat to local communities.” Read more.
Westchester News: Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney and several environmental groups are demanding the United States Coast Guard meet new standards in its ports and waterways safety assessment concerning a proposed anchorage site in the Hudson River.
The Coast Guard already suspended its plan for the site last month after facing stiff resistance. It would have allowed dozens of additional barges to drop anchor in the Hudson River between Yonkers and Kingston.
Many residents complained that the barges would destroy scenic views of the river and create dangers for recreational water use. The Coast Guard says it received more than 10,000 public comments on the issue, with more than 90 percent of them opposed to the plan.
Officials say the assessment will help decision makers determine how best to accommodate the barges that travel down the river while keeping other stakeholders involved Read more.
WAMC: A New York congressman from the Hudson Valley is standing his ground after declaring last week that a U.S. Coast Guard proposal for Hudson River anchorage sites is effectively dead. Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney was the first to announce the Coast Guard’s decision to suspend the proposal and say it was killed. Others have been more circumspect in their descriptions.
Congressman Maloney, a Democrat who represents the 18th District, broke the news June 28 that the Coast Guard was suspending future rulemaking decisions on a proposal for up to 10 anchorage sites on the Hudson between Yonkers and Kingston. Maloney’s press office issued a release with the headline “Maloney Announces Major Victory: Coast Guard Agrees to Kill Anchorages Proposal.” During a press call the same day, he characterized the proposal as effectively dead. He reiterated his stance Thursday.
“I’m very confident saying that that idea as proposed is now dead. The fact that they want to talk about safety on the river, well, fine with me, we’re always willing to have that conversation,” Maloney says. “But if they think they’re going to resurrect this proposal somehow, well they’re going to find that our opposition has only gotten broader and stronger, and they’re going to have a problem with me.”
The Coast Guard had planned to release news of the suspension two days after Maloney. Chief Warrant Officer Allyson Conroy is U.S. Coast Guard spokeswoman and had this to say the day after Maloney spread the word.
“It is not effectively killed; it is suspended for the moment, that we can take part in this ports and waterways safety assessment,” says Conroy. Read more.
The Riverdale Press: There won’t be any new places to anchor along the Hudson River. At least not for the foreseeable future.
The U.S. Coast Guard announced last week they delayed a decision on granting 10 additional anchoring site requests along the river. Instead, they will conduct a study to gain a clearer understanding of safety and environmental risks of the waterway, before conducting an informational workshop in the fall.
“This whole process is an inclusive process,” Allyson Conroy, a chief warrant officer for the Coast Guard, said. “We want to include all of the people that use the Hudson on a regular basis.”
Right now, there is just one federally reserved anchorage ground for ships in the 70-mile stretch of the Hudson between Yonkers and Kingston. That site, however, closes for a three-month span between December and February each year.
The sites are similar to rest stops on an interstate. They allow ship crews to take breaks or handle emergencies. Mariners are concerned they’ll be stuck in no-man’s land if they get caught in extreme weather, or experience some other kind of problem.
The proposal introduced last year would allow for 10 additional sites along the river from Yonkers to Kingston. The Coast Guard allowed the public to weigh in on the matter, and in the process received more than 10,000 comments in a six-month span, according to the military branch. A vast majority of that feedback — around 90 percent — was negative.
“This issue is not new,” Conroy said. “What is unique is that we were able to garner so much feedback and conversation.” Read more.
The Legislative Gazette: The Coast Guard has announced it will “suspend future rule making decisions” regarding a controversial proposal to put new commercial shipping anchorage points along the Hudson River.
The proposal would have set up 10 new anchorage points and 43 new berths between Kingston and Yonkers for commercial shipping vessels.
The Coast Guard’s decision to suspend consideration of the proposal comes after it was vocally opposed by both state lawmakers and New York residents.
The maritime industry originally requested the anchorage points last summer to facilitate the shipment of crude oil along the Hudson.
In direct response to the Coast Guard’s proposal, both houses in the state Legislature passed a bill that would give the state more authority to issue guidelines regarding anchorage points in the Hudson River.
The bill, passed by a vote of 93-2 in the Assembly and 62-1 in the Senate, comes in the wake of an industry request to the U.S. Coast Guard for 10 new anchorage grounds – 2,400-acres with space for 43 vessels – which is “an unnecessary and drastic proposal intended to support the global oil trade,” according to Riverkeeper.
The legislation would also give the state the power to set conditions and rules for petroleum vessels carrying oil. Governor Cuomo has not yet signed the bill into law.
The Examiner News: The U.S. Coast Guard has decided to temporarily suspend plans to create 43 new anchorages in 10 locations along the Hudson River from Yonkers to Kingston.
After reviewing more than 10,200 comments that were received from elected officials and residents during a comment period that ended last December, Rear Adm. Steven Poulin, commander of the First Coast Guard District, announced last week the Coast Guard was suspending “future rulemaking decisions” and directing a formal risk identification and evaluation of the Hudson River, known as a Ports and Waterways Safety Assessment (PAWSA).
The PAWSA process is designed to identify major waterway safety hazards, estimate risk levels, evaluate potential mitigation measures, and set the stage for implementation of selected measures to reduce risks.
The Coast Guard was proposing to use more than 2,000 acres of the Hudson for barges.
There is currently only one anchorage ground for vessels along a 100-mile stretch in the Hudson River from New York City to Albany. The Coast Guard, which has noted the plan is only in an exploratory phase, has publicly stated the proposal was initiated by the Maritime Association of the Port of NY/NJ Tug and Barge Committee, the Hudson River Port Pilot’s Association, and the American Waterways Operators.
Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney, during a teleconference call, called the change in course a “major victory.” He said the decision effectively ends the coast guard’s proposal.
Maloney said he couldn’t think of anything he’s tried harder to kill than the anchorage plan. He noted the hundreds of residents’ comments were critical to stopping the Coast Guard from going forward. About 95 percent of comments submitted were against the coast guard’s plan, Maloney said.
“This proposal was a bad idea from the start,” he said. “This was a bad idea, we didn’t want it, we were going to work tirelessly to kill it and we won that fight.”
When pressed on whether the proposal is actually dead, Maloney stood by his assertion. He said the Coast Guard is pursuing another process that will look at the issue in a different way. Maloney stressed he doesn’t believe any additional sites on the Hudson River are necessary, pointing out there are already two sites on the river and that is sufficient enough.
Maloney vowed continue to watch developments “like a hawk.” Read more.
Poughkeepsie Journal: The U.S. Coast Guard’s decision to back off a potentially dangerous plan to designate as many as 10 commercial shipping anchorages on the Hudson River is a clear victory for the public — even more so considering what the federal agency says it will do next.
The Coast Guard is suspending a determination about the proposal but will rightly push forward with a safety assessment of the river. That will involve a wide segment of interested groups, from the shipping and commercial industry, to environmental and recreational organizations, as well as community representatives.
This comprehensive, more cautious strategy is completely justified. In this day and age, it’s easy to be cynical about government policies and to question exactly how much the public can truly influence a debate. But, in this case, it’s telling the Coast Guard made this announcement after receiving more than 10,000 comments, 94 percent of which opposed the designation of the anchorage grounds. (Three percent supported the idea, and the other 3 percent offered a neutral opinion.)
Rear Admiral Steven D. Poulin, commander of the First Coast Guard District, said, “This robust public participation gave us excellent insights that are helping shape the way forward. The comments convinced me of the necessity to do the (risk assessment).”
The federal agency had been considering an industry-backed idea to designate anchorages along the Hudson, including places in Kingston, Milton, Newburgh and Port Ewen. This would enable dozens of huge vessels to drop anchor in these areas. While the shipping industry argues the anchorages are necessary to safely transport cargo, opponents spoke out in strong, compelling terms, saying the anchorages will encourage more shipping of volatile materials, in particular crude oil. That, in turn, increases the chances of spills and contamination of municipal water sources, among other detrimental impacts.
Poulin pointed out the river “historically has been and will remain a vital corridor for maritime commerce.” But he also called the river “a beautiful national treasure. It also serves as a source of drinking water, recreation, tourism and economic prosperity. The Coast Guard’s role on the river includes protecting the environment and promoting navigational safety.”
Indeed, it does. Risks to the great river abound. It needs all the guardians it can get. It’s refreshing to see the Coast Guard affirming its role. Read more.
Yonkers Daily Voice: With the U.S. Coast Guard suspending plans to create anchor berths for barges throughout the Hudson Valley, local officials are celebrating their victory after more than a year of deliberating.
The Coast Guard agreed to t ake the deal off the table and “suspend future rulemaking decisions,” regarding the plan to install 16 barge anchor berths across 715 acres on the water between Yonkers and Dobbs Ferry earlier this week.
Riverkeeper President Paul Gallay rejoiced at the news, praising all that came together to help kill the Coast Guard’s proposal.
“With one voice, more than 10,000 Hudson Valley residents and their elected officials set the Coast Guard straight on the many flaws in the industry’s request to site ten new long-term anchorages to facilitate additional crude oil transport down the Hudson,” he stated. “Now, the Coast Guard is suspending its review of that plan, admitting ‘there’s a lot we didn’t know about the river.’
“The main lesson learned by the feds is this: Those of us who live on and love the Hudson River will not let it come to harm. We will never, ever let a misbegotten plan like this one jeopardize a half-century of progress in restoring America’s First River.”
Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino called it a “clear win for the people of Westchester County and all those who enjoy the Hudson River.” Read more.
MidHudsonNews.com: The key word is “suspension,” not “termination” of the proposal, said Riverkeeper Vice President of Advocacy John Lipscomb.
But, on Wednesday, Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney (D, NY-18) interpreted the announcement differently.
“What I am telling you is they would not have suspended future rulemaking unless they intended to move in a different direction and this proposal is effectively dead and you can judge me by that prediction,” Maloney said.
Lipscomb said they are encouraged by the Coast Guard’s decision, but it is unclear what the agency’s next move will be.
“After this information gathering, they may in fact, reinitiate the rulemaking and support the industry’s request for anchorages. It’s not clear,” Lipscomb said. “From our perspective at Riverkeeper, we hope the public will not relax its vigilance one tiny bit.”
Instead of moving forward with the rulemaking process, the Coast Guard is going to conduct a formal risk identification and evaluation of the Hudson. Read more.
Tarrytown, NY Patch: Reaction to the announcement Wednesday that the U.S. Coast Guard has scrapped plans to create anchorage sites in the Hudson River between Yonkers and Kingston has poured in. Riverkeeper President Paul Gallay said that 10,000 Hudson Valley residents and elected officials came together with one voice to let the Coast Guard know about the flaws in the industry’s request to establish 10 anchorage sites to facilitate crude oil being transported on the river.
“Now, the Coast Guard is suspending its review of that plan, admitting ‘there’s a lot we didn’t know about the river.’ The main lesson learned by the feds is this: Those of us who live on and love the Hudson River will not let it come to harm,” Gallay said.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who sent a letter to the federal Department of Homeland Security opposing the proposal, said he was glad the Coast Guard now agrees with so many New Yorkers.
“The Hudson River is one of our greatest resources and we have a fundamental responsibility to protect it,” he said.
Rep. John Faso, R-Kinderhook, said the decision was welcome news. [Get Patch’s Daily Newsletter and Real Time News Alerts here.]
“I am pleased to see that in addition to suspending its anchorages plan, the Coast Guard decided to commission a formal study to better understand the risks associated with these anchorage grounds,” he said. Read more.
Hudson Valley News Network: After more than a year of tireless efforts to defeat a plan for additional anchorages, Representative Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) released the following statement after Admiral Steven D. Poulin of the U.S. Coast Guard announced that they would “suspend future rulemaking decisions” regarding the designation of additional anchorage sites in the Hudson River, effectively killing the proposal.
“I am glad the Coast Guard has come around to our way of thinking,” said Representative Maloney. “This is a victory that the Hudson Valley won together – from the ten thousand residents who submitted comments to the bipartisan coalition of elected officials across all levels of government who came together with one voice to protest this terrible idea. Our river is a national treasure that should be preserved and protected for generations – not turned into a parking lot for commercial oil ships.” Read more.
Westfair Communications: The U.S. Coast Guard has suspended a controversial proposal that would create additional anchorages for commercial shipping along the Hudson River.
In a bulletin on Wednesday, Rear Admiral Steven Poulin, commander of the First Coast Guard District, announced that future rule-making decisions on the anchorage plan have been put on hold. Instead, he has directed a risk identification and evaluation study of the Hudson River, known as a Ports and Waterways Safety Assessment.
Poulin wrote in an editorial posted on the Regulations.gov review page that the new safety assessment was not a replacement for the rule-making process. Rather, the new review “will help us determine what the next steps might be, after a more comprehensive assessment of risks.”
Still, that was enough for the opposition to the plan to declare victory. U.S. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, D-Cold Spring, said the suspension effectively killed the proposal. In a press release he called the Hudson a “national treasure that should be preserved and protected for generations – not turned into a parking lot for commercial oil ships.”
Maritime interests asked the U.S. Coast Guard in 2016 to establish 10 anchorages that could accommodate up to 43 vessels, from Yonkers to Kingston.
The Maritime Association of the Port of New York and New Jersey backs the plan to add anchorages. The association wrote in a letter to the Coast Guard in January 2016 that the current anchorage system on the Hudson River is “dated and requires immediate attention to meet modem needs to safely support larger size and higher volumes of vessels moving up and down the river.”
But the plan did not go over well in communities along the Hudson River, who feared large barges carrying oil would camp out at the anchorages. Throughout the review process, the Coast Guard received 10,212 comments online regarding the anchorages. Of those, 9,636 were opposed to the proposal, according to a review by the Coast Guard. Read more.
WAMC: The U.S. Coast Guard has shelved future rulemaking decisions regarding additional anchorages on the Hudson River. Hudson Valley Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney, who first announced the news Wednesday, calls it a major victory. Others view the move more cautiously.
Chief Warrant Officer Allyson Conroy is U.S. Coast Guard spokeswoman.
“The suspension is in place until we more fully understand the safety and environmental risks associated with the numerous waterway uses of the Hudson River,” Conroy says.
Here’s how the Coast Guard plans to reach that understanding.
“The Coast Guard is directing a formal study through a longstanding Coast Guard process called a ports and waterways safety assessment, or a PAWSA,” Conroy says. “The PAWSA includes structured meetings of select workgroups comprised of waterway users, which are appointed by the Coast Guard, including but not limited to the industry and commercial interests, environmental organizations, academia, recreational groups and community representatives.”
She says the workgroups are scheduled for the fall and could not put a timeline on an expected outcome. Democratic Congressman Maloney commended the Coast Guard for, what he called, seeing the error of its way.
“I don’t know of anything over the last 12 months that I have worked harder to kill,” Maloney says. “This proposal was a bad idea from the start.”
Source: Read more (and listen).
Westchester Magazine: For nearly a year, public and local governments throughout lower New York have voiced strong bipartisan opposition to a proposal by the U.S. Coast Guard that would create ten locations for up to 43 oil barges to weigh anchor along the Hudson.
Following the solicitation of more than 10,000 public comments and vocal objection by environmental groups, riverfront developers, and city and county executives, the Coast Guard has released a statement that Rear Adm. Steven D. Poulin “Has suspended future rulemaking decisions and directed a formal risk identification and evaluation of the Hudson River.”
That assessment, a Ports and Waterways Safety Assessment, or “PAWSA,” will be conducted by the Coast Guard this fall to determine what impact such parking births and potentially increased traffic would have along the river.
Coast Guard spokeswoman Chief Warrant Officer Allyson Conroy, says a PAWSA is “a formal study and a long-standing Coast Guard process,” typically including an invite-only two-day workshop for waterway users and stakeholders. Due to the larger number of communities affected by the study’s findings, however, Conroy says two separate workshops have been planned, with dates and times to be announced.
Conroy stresses the project is merely suspended pending the PAWSA findings. “If they determine they need a federal space in that area, they can bring in all that new information so we can fully understand the needs of the river and the waterway users.”
U.S. Rep. Sean Patrick Malloney (D) of Cold Spring, however, declared, “The proposal is effectively dead,” in a conference call Wednesday, according to Daily Freeman. “They would not have suspended the future rulemaking unless they intended to move in a different direction.” Read more.
Kingston Daily Freeman: The U.S. Coast Guard has shelved, but not outright killed, its controversial plan to create 10 anchorage grounds for large vessels on the Hudson River between Kingston and Yonkers.
“The anchorages proposal has been suspended because, after analyzing and reviewing the more than 10,000 comments that were received, it was brought to our attention that there’s a lot that we really don’t know about the Hudson River that we have to study before we make any sort of permanent decision,” Coast Guard spokeswoman Allyson Conroy said Wednesday.
Conroy, a chief warrant officer, said safety assessments and invitation-only workshops relative to the river will be conducted by the Coast Guard this fall.
“That will bring people to the table, [including] the industry people who use the Hudson River, people who use it recreationally and environmental stakeholders,” she said. “That way, we can have a better idea what is needed and maybe what is not needed.”
U.S. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, D-Cold Spring, issued a statement Wednesday afternoon that said Coast Guard Adm. Steven D. Poulin was “effectively killing the proposal” by announcing he would “‘suspend future rulemaking decisions’ regarding the designation of additional anchorage sites in the Hudson River.” Conroy, though, said the Coast Guard rather was taking more time to assess the plan, especially in light of the volume of comments it received from opponents.
A statement issued by the Coast Guard late Wednesday said Poulin “has suspended future rulemaking decisions and directed a formal risk identification and evaluation of the Hudson River, known as a Ports and Waterways Safety Assessment (PAWSA)… a disciplined approach to identify major waterway safety hazards, estimate risk levels, evaluate potential mitigation measures and set the stage for implementation of selected measures to reduce risk.”
Poulin, in a separate statement, said: “… The PAWSA is not a substitute for the rulemaking process. The results of the PAWSA will help us determine what the next steps might be, after a more comprehensive assessment of risks. Any subsequent rulemaking regarding maritime commerce on the Hudson River will continue to be conducted through a transparent process of public notice and comment.”
Maloney, in a conference call later Wednesday, stood by his characterization of the anchorage proposal being dead despite the Coast Guard not going that far in its statements.
“What I’m telling you is that they would not have suspended the future rulemaking unless they intended to move in a different direction,” the congressman said. “This proposal is effectively dead.” Read more.
Yonkers Daily Voice: After more than a year, the Coast Guard has agreed to kill a proposal that would have seen barge anchor berths placed along the Hudson River.
According to Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney, on Tuesday, “after more than a year of tireless efforts to defeat a plan for additional anchorages,” the Coast Guard agreed to pull the deal off the table, announcing they would “suspend future rulemaking decisions.”
Maloney called the decision a victory for the Hudson Valley.
“I am glad the Coast Guard has come around to our way of thinking,” he said. “This is a victory that the Hudson Valley won together – from the 10,000 residents who submitted comments to the bipartisan coalition of elected officials across all levels of government who came together with one voice to protest this terrible idea. Our river is a national treasure that should be preserved and protected for generations – not turned into a parking lot for commercial oil ships.”
Earlier this year, bi-partisan Hudson Valley officials came together at the Yonkers waterfront to announce additional legislation that would stop the U.S. Coast Guard’s proposal that includes the installation of 16 anchor berths across 715 acres on the water between Yonkers and Dobbs Ferry.
Last year, the Westchester County Board of Legislators unanimously passed a resolution opposing the Coast Guard’s plan. The resolution was proposed by Minority Leader John Testa and reviewed by the Board of Legislation’s Infrastructure Committee.
“Westchester is the first county to pass a resolution against the plan, and I hope other counties along the Hudson River follow our lead,” Testa said in a statement. “The resolution should send a strong message to the Coast Guard and federal government that both Republicans and Democrats on the Westchester County Board of Legislators stand in opposition to the proposal to park barges laden with oil up and down the Hudson River just off the waterfronts of our communities.” Read more.
Record online: The U.S. Coast Guard has “suspended” a controversial proposal to build 10 Hudson River sites where dozens of ships, barges and tugboats could anchor, a decision being hailed as a victory by U.S. Rep. Sean Maloney and local officials alarmed by the idea.
Admiral Steven Poulin, commander of the USCG’s first district, said the plan’s development is being halted so the branch can assess the safety of the river’s ports and waterways, including a two-day fall workshop with river users and other stakeholders.
The announcement Wednesday marked a retreat from a plan to create 43 berths between Kingston and Yonkers that would allow vessels to anchor in the waters off of Marlboro, Milton, Port Ewen, the City of Newburgh and other municipalities, Maloney said.
Along with Maloney and environmental groups, the plan faced a vigorous fight from officials and residents in those municipalities along the river.
“This is a victory that the Hudson Valley won together,” said Maloney, who authored federal legislation aimed at stopping the proposal. “Our river is a national treasure that should be preserved and protected for generations – not turned into a parking lot for commercial oil ships.”
Associations representing the tugboat and barge industry, and vessel pilots working on the Hudson argued that berthing sites would give barges and tugs a place to anchor while waiting out bad weather and low tides.
Some opponents of the anchorages feared an increase in barges carrying crude oil and the risk to a river regaining its health after being contaminated by industries that made their home along the Hudson.
Others worried about heightened risks for recreational boaters and spoiled river views as vessels sat anchored. More than 10,000 individuals and groups, most of them opposed to the idea, submitted comments.
“The main lesson learned by the feds is this: Those of us who live on and love the Hudson River will not let it come to harm,” said Paul Gallay, president for the environmental group Riverkeeper. Read more.
Maritime Executive: The U.S. Coast Guard has suspended its plans to designate 10 anchorages for petroleum barges on the Hudson River, bowing to pressure from environmental groups and local citizens.
“The anchorages proposal has been suspended because, after analyzing and reviewing the more than 10,000 comments that were received, it was brought to our attention that there’s a lot that we really don’t know about the Hudson River that we have to study before we make any sort of permanent decision,” said Coast Guard spokeswoman Chief Warrant Officer Allyson Conroy, speaking to local media.
While the rulemaking process for the anchorages has ended for now, a new Ports and Waterways Safety Assessment will begin – “a disciplined approach to identify major waterway safety hazards, estimate risk levels . . . and set the stage for implementation of selected measures to reduce risk,” according to a Coast Guard statement.
Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), the Senate minority leader, called the decision to halt rulemaking a “wise choice,” though he acknowledged that the proposal is not yet “completely dead.” Read more.
Lohud.com: The Coast Guard is backing off a contentious proposal to put 10 commercial shipping anchorages on the Hudson River stretching from Yonkers north to Kingston.
The agency said it would “suspend future rulemaking decisions” on the proposal, floated by the commercial shipping industry and opposed vehemently by environmental groups and elected officials from all levels of government.
After more than 10,000 comments left online regarding the proposal — nearly all of them negative — Coast Guard Rear Admiral Steven Poulin said a “Ports and Waterways Safety Assessment” would be conducted to identify risks on the Hudson and mitigation measures.
“The (assessment) is not a substitute for the rulemaking process. The results of the PAWSA will help us determine what the next steps might be, after a more comprehensive assessment of risks,” wrote Poulin, the Coast Guard First District Commander. “Any subsequent rulemaking regarding maritime commerce on the Hudson River will continue to be conducted through a transparent process of public notice and comment.”
U.S. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, who proposed legislation to curb the anchorages, counted the suspension as a victory.
“I am glad the Coast Guard has come around to our way of thinking,” said Maloney in a statement in which he hailed the move as a “major victory.” Read more.
Food & Water Watch: Over the past few decades, grassroots groups have worked tirelessly to restore New York’s majestic Hudson River. Then they found out about a plan to add something the Hudson certainly doesn’t need: Massive barges carrying fracked oil.
This dangerous idea was proposed by the Coast Guard, at the behest of the New York-New Jersey Maritime Association. The vision is to add ten new anchorage grounds to accommodate 43 vessels from Yonkers to Kingston, which would encourage tankers to increase oil shipments along the river.
The same groups that have fought hard to clean up the Hudson took action. And in the eleventh hour of the legislative session, Albany lawmakers voted overwhelmingly in favor of bills to help block this anti-environmental plan.
Led by Scenic Hudson, a network of environmental organizations including Riverkeeper, Food & Water Watch, Sierra Club Lower Hudson, Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, Natural Resources Defense Council, the Audubon Society, and the New York League of Conservation Voters, spoke out against the proposal. We spearheaded a campaign urging the New York State Legislature to pass bills A.6825A and S.5197B to protect the towns along the river. The legislation expands New York State’s jurisdiction over the siting of oil barges on the Hudson River by enabling the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to create ‘Tanker Avoidance Zones’ based on the presence of significant habitats, and the concerns of waterfront communities. Read more.
Riverkeeper: Last night, a bill to give the state additional say over Hudson River anchorage locations overwhelmingly passed the New York State Senate and will be heading to the Governor Andrew Cuomo’s desk for approval.
The Senate joined the Assembly and passed legislation that better enables the state to protect the Hudson and waterfront communities from dangerous new oil tanker and barge anchorages. The bill, passed by a vote of 93-2 in the Assembly and 62-1 in the Senate, comes in the wake of an industry request to the U.S. Coast Guard for 10 new anchorage grounds – 2,400-acres with space for 43 vessels – an unnecessary and drastic proposal intended to support the global oil trade.
This legislation allows the state to develop specific conditions and rulesunder which petroleum bearing vessels may enter or move upon the navigable waters of the Hudson River.
“This legislation gives the Hudson River, and all who care about it, new momentum in the fight against current attempts to expand the industrial use of the river, particularly for crude oil transport,” Riverkeeper President Paul Gallay said. “The public has spoken loudly, clearly and repeatedly: we don’t need these anchorages and they pose unacceptable risks. And our elected officials are listening and taking action.
“This is how it’s supposed to work. Our legislators saw the will of the people and voted overwhelmingly for this bill. The bipartisan vote in both houses sends a clear message, and we trust that Governor Cuomo will follow through.”
Riverkeeper urges Governor Cuomo to sign the legislation expeditiously and direct the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to begin implementation of the law, before the industry’s proposal moves forward.
The legislation does not put an end to the industry’s request for new anchorages. The Coast Guard is reviewing more than 10,000 public comments – an unprecedented response that was overwhelmingly opposed to the plan – that were filed last year. Riverkeeper, its partners, and communities up and down the river must remain vigilant to prevent this plan from moving forward. Read more.