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Hudson Valley Officials Propose Legislation Against Barge Anchorage Sites

Congressman Eliot Engel co-sponsored the legislation that would make it illegal to create barge anchorage sites in the Hudson River. Photo Credit: Contributed
Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney was among the officials to speak at the Yonkers Waterfront on Monday. Photo Credit: Contributed

The U.S. Coast Guard proposal that would create anchorage sites for barges along the Hudson River continues to be much-maligned by both local homeowners and elected officials in New York.

Hudson Valley officials came together at the Yonkers waterfront on Monday to announce additional legislation that would stop the 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.”

On Monday, Congressmen Sean Patrick Maloney and Eliot Engel announced the new legislation to ban the barges. The legislation would make it illegal to create such anchorage sites within five miles of superfund sites, a nuclear power station, a site on the National Register of Historic Places, near endangered species or other “critical areas.”

“When it comes to anchorages, my message is simple,” Maloney said on Monday. “We don’t want them, we don’t need them and working together, we’re going to kill this proposal. This has not been a partisan issue in the Hudson Valley. You’ve seen Republicans and Democrats working together on this.

“My legislation would make it illegal for the Department of Homeland Security and the Coast Guard to site these types of anchorage sites within five miles of certain critical areas. In other words, the exact types of locations we have in the Hudson River and the reasons why you wouldn’t want to have additional anchorage sites.”

Since the proposal was announced, Maloney said that residents in the Hudson Valley have issued 10,000 comments to the Coast Guard, all negative.

“The Hudson River offers a unique natural beauty, and these communities tout the proximity to it as an enormous economic asset,” Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins said. “These towns have invested millions of dollars to spur economic development along the river under the assumption this beauty would not be infringed upon.

“These anchorages threaten the aesthetic value of the wonderful views the river affords and will obstruct free use of the river for boaters, kayakers, swimmers and others.”

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