River groups offer navigation safety measures for Hudson, cite risks from barge anchorages proposed by industry

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Scenic Hudson & Riverkeeper: After taking part in the U.S. Coast Guard’s Hudson River Ports and Waterway Safety Assessment (PAWSA) workshops, Scenic Hudson and Riverkeeper praised the Coast Guard for holding the meetings and reiterated their continued opposition to any official designation of new anchorages—a request by industry that remains under consideration. The anchorages would be for industrial barges that could carry oil and other hazardous chemicals. During a series of November workshops in Poughkeepsie and Albany, Scenic Hudson and Riverkeeper presented data showing that new anchorages are not needed and highlighted alternative strategies that could make the Hudson River safer for navigation and environmental protection without requiring additional anchorages.

Among the actions Scenic Hudson and Riverkeeper proposed during the workshops were improving vessel traffic management and control, increasing oil spill response capability, enhancing Captains’ and Pilots’ access to tide, current and fog conditions and creating a Harbor Safety Committee for the Hudson River. These recommendations would enhance navigational safety without compromising environmental and community interests, and were generally well-received by the workshop participants. Professional mariners, industry representatives, environmental groups, municipalities and recreational boaters broadly acknowledged that there is no need for “long-term” anchoring on the Hudson, thus narrowing the issue to the question of whether the Coast Guard should propose designation of areas where only shorter-term anchoring would be permitted. Scenic Hudson and Riverkeeper are committed to measures that will ensure and increase navigational safety and environmental protection without requiring new anchorages.  Read more.

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