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Hudson Valley Officials Celebrate Coast Guard Decision On Anchorage Berths

The Hudson River is safe for now. Photo Credit: Scenic Hudson
Congressman Eliot Engel co-sponsored the legislation that would make it illegal to create barge anchorage sites in the Hudson River. Photo Credit: Contributed
Peekskill Legislator John Testa was one of several members of a bi-partisan alliance speaking out against Hudson River barge anchorage points. Photo Credit: Contributed

With the U.S. Coast Guard suspending plans to create anchor berths for barges throughout the Hudson Valley, local officials are celebrating their victory after more than a year of deliberating.

The Coast Guard agreed to take the deal off the table and “suspend future rulemaking decisions,” regarding the plan to install 16 barge anchor berths across 715 acres on the water between Yonkers and Dobbs Ferry earlier this week.

Riverkeeper President Paul Gallay rejoiced at the news, praising all that came together to help kill the Coast Guard’s proposal.

“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,” he stated. “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.”

Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino called it a “clear win for the people of Westchester County and all those who enjoy the Hudson River.”

“The federal government’s plan to deindustrialize the Hudson River and create a giant parking lot along its banks for tankers was a terrible idea from the start,” he said. “Although it never should have been proposed, we’re grateful the Coast Guard listening to the public and made the right decision.”

Westchester County Board of Legislator Minority Leader John Testa, who proposed a resolution opposing the Coast Guard’s plan more than a year ago, called it “the right decision,” and stated that “it shows how a strong bi-partisan effort on all levels of government can accomplish important goals for our citizens and the environment.”

“I was proud to spearhead a unanimously supported Westchester Board of Legislators resolution opposing this ill-conceived plan. We were the first county to do so with our neighboring counties soon joining us with similar measures.”

In a statement, Sen. George Latimer said that "the people of the Hudson Valley spoke loudly and strongly on the impact these anchorages would have had on the environment and the economy of our communities. From the smallest village to the largest city, all of our voices were as one in calling for the retraction of these plans.”

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