Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2019 is Passed in House

NEW WINDSOR – Recently, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) joined leaders from across the Hudson Valley in celebrating the passage of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2019 through the House of Representatives, which includes Rep. Maloney’s provision permanently banning the establishment of new anchorages for oil barges on the lower Hudson River, from Yonkers to Kingston. The bill was passed last week and now moves to the Senate.

Rep. Maloney serves as the Chair of the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

“Three years ago, we stood along the Hudson and promised to work together to stop oil barges from anchoring on our river. Today, I’m proud to stand with my friends and fellow leaders from the Hudson Valley and announce my bill permanently banning oil barge anchorages from Yonkers to Kingston has passed the House, and will soon be taken up in the Senate.

“This is a big deal for the Hudson Valley and the future health of the Hudson River. Our river shouldn’t be used as a parking lot for oil barges, which is why I made it a priority to get this done in my capacity as the Chair of Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee for the people of the Hudson Valley,” said Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney.

“This bill and its permanent banning of new anchorage sites on the Hudson River would be an enormous win for this region. Our environment and our families deserve this strong protective measure to ensure our region’s quality of life. I thank Congressman Maloney for his leadership since day one on this issue and always prioritizing the Hudson Valley down in Washington,” said New York State Senator James Skoufis.

“As the state representative for the Hudson Valley and Catskills regions, I applaud the leadership of Congressman Maloney on legislation that will prevent the construction of commercial crude oil anchorages along the Hudson River between Kingston and Yonkers. We’ve been working for years to restore the health of the Hudson River, which has already suffered environmental degradation from industrial polluters. This legislation will protect the Hudson from a potentially disastrous oil spill and other risks to this vital waterway that these commercial anchorages could bring,” said New York State Senator Jen Metzger.

“The Hudson River is the lifeblood of New York State, both for commerce and leisure activities. It is incredible that oil tankers would even think of docking along the Hudson and risking the river’s future. Thanks to Representative Maloney for steering this bill through the House and working to safeguard one of the State’s most precious natural resources,” said New York Assemblyman Jonathan Jacobson.

“Scenic Hudson applauds Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney for passage of bi-partisan Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2019 through the House of Representatives. In 2016 the Hudson Valley was challenged by a proposal that would have transformed the Hudson riverfront into a virtual parking lot for maritime vessels transporting highly volatile and toxic Bakken crude oil. Yet, with the Congressman’s leadership – backed by dozens of state and local officials and the Hudson Valley’s citizenry – we have moved through that era and can now set our sights on a vision for the Hudson River based on environmental quality, access for all peoples, and a carbon-neutral economy that creates jobs,” said Andy Bicking, Director of Public Policy, Scenic Hudson, Inc.

“Outlawing new commercial anchorages in the Hudson River is a great way to celebrate Clearwater’s 50th birthday, and the 100th anniversary of the birth of our founder, Pete Seeger. The collaboration among Rep. Maloney, thousands of individual citizens, the Coast Guard and other federal, state and local officials is exactly the kind of participatory government we advocate,” said Greg Williams, Executive Director of Hudson River Sloop Clearwater.

Rep. Maloney has been a longtime advocate for banning anchorage sites on the Hudson River. He worked alongside local groups in the Hudson Valley to kill an initial proposal made in 2016 to install ten new anchorage sites on the Hudson River from Yonkers to Kingston, including 42 long-term berths which could be used for oil storage. Last Congress, he championed an amendment defunding future attempts to establish new anchorage sites through 2018 and introduced the Hudson River Protection Act, which would prohibit new anchorage sites within five miles of an existing superfund site, a nuclear power plant, a site on the national register of historic places, or a critical habitat of an endangered species. These requirements would completely block plans to build anchorages in the lower Hudson Valley.

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