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Tell the USCG to “Deep Six” Hudson River Oil Barge Proposal

August 19, 2016
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Is the Hudson River going to become a floating oil storage facility and floating fuel pipeline?

Recently, and unexpectedly, Hudson River municipalities became aware that the United States Coast Guard is considering a proposal to add 10 commercial/industrial barge anchorage locations in the Hudson River between Yonkers and Kingston. These would accommodate 43 barges.

Closest to us are proposed anchorages in the Hudson off Montrose and by Tompkins Cove Others are off Yonkers and Dobbs Ferry.

The Village Board passed a resolution of objection to the proposal at its last meeting. To the extent that our Local Waterfront Revitalization Program (LWRP) can help influence the outcome we should do what we can to influence the NYS Dept. of State which administers the Coastal Zone Act and its policies.

The purpose of the industry-proposed anchorages is to provide “waiting space” for barges along the river as they move to deliver and pickup cargos. Much of this cargo is the volatile Bakken oil from North Dakota being exported to overseas customers.
Beyond the obvious scenic and aesthetic impacts, other impacts could be severe. The anchorages would be adjacent to the main shipping channel increasing the potential for collisions and fuel spills. Recreational boaters in the Hudson River would be forced around these sites into the busy main channels or into the shallower water closer to shore creating safety issues for them. Unmanned and unlit fuel-loaded barges could be navigational and security hazards. This is not an exhaustive list of potential problems but it highlights the problems which need to be studied.

For everyone and every “River town” that has worked hard to restore the Hudson and reclaim our riverfront, this is a slap in the face.

As my colleague Trustee Brian Pugh wrote last week, the Coast Guard is only accepting comments until Sept. 7. Submit your comments at http://www.regulations.gov using the USCG-2016-0132 docket number at the site.

Ann Gallelli

 Ann Gallelli 8-18-2016 FB LTE Image
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