WASHINGTON, DC – June 28, 2017 — Rep. Eliot L. Engel issued the following statement: “Today’s announcement by the Coast Guard is a win for our community and every community that is fortunate enough to border the beautiful Hudson River. This decision was made because elected officials, advocates, community leaders, and thousands of citizens spoke out and made their collective voices heard. Our concerns about the viability of this proposal are legitimate and require careful analysis before any further action is taken. We will continue to monitor this situation closely, but I want to thank all my Federal colleagues and partners in Yonkers, Hastings, Riverdale, and across Westchester for their hard work.” ~~ Congressman Eliot Engel
SOURCE: Bryant Daniels, Director of Public Affairs, Congressman Eliot L. Engel
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NYS Attorney General Eric Schneiderman wrote the following: “The Hudson River is one of our greatest resources and we have a fundamental responsibility to protect it. As I’ve long argued, the anchorage proposal simply didn’t pass the test. I’m glad the Coast Guard now agrees — proving that when a community speaks out, our voices can make a difference.”
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Riverkeeper statements regarding Coast Guard announcement that it will suspend future rule-making decisions on the Hudson River anchorages proposal
OSSINING — Late Wednesday, the U.S. Coast Guard said it will “suspend future rulemaking decisions” regarding the proposed rule to put new long-term anchorages designated for commercial shipping anchorages on the Hudson River between Yonkers and Kingston. The maritime industry says the anchorages will help facilitate the increased shipment of Bakken crude oil on the Hudson River.
Riverkeeper President Paul Gallay responded to the news with this statement: “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. 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.”
Riverkeeper Vice President of Advocacy John Lipscomb said: “We’re encouraged by the Coast Guard’s announcement to suspend its rulemaking on the proposed anchorages and we look forward to learning the details of their plan. It will be essential for the public to have a seat at the table during the Ports and Waterways Safety Assessment, which the Coast Guard now plans to undertake. This decision by the Coast Guard does not necessarily mean that the anchorages will not one day be authorized. We at Riverkeeper will not relax our vigilance in the least in the coming year and we hope that the public, the environmental community and the elected officials representing the valley and the river will do the same.”
Last week, the State Senate joined the Assembly in passing legislation that better enables the state to protect the Hudson and waterfront communities from a re-industrialization of the river and the dangerous oil barges which the proposed anchorages would support. 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, which has yet to be signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo, allows the state to develop specific conditions and rules under which petroleum bearing vessels may enter or move upon the navigable waters of the Hudson in order to protect the river.
Riverkeeper is a member-supported watchdog organization dedicated to defending the Hudson River and its tributaries and protecting the drinking water supply of nine million New York City and Hudson Valley residents. For more than 50 years, Riverkeeper has helped to establish globally recognized standards for waterway and watershed protection and serves as the model for the growing Waterkeeper movement that includes more than 300 Keeper programs around the globe.