lohud.com: The U.S. Coast Guard is considering a proposal to establish 10 new anchorage areas in the Hudson River between Yonkers and Kingston, where a total of 43 massive oil barges could be parked for an indefinite period of time. This proposal comes in response to the dramatic increase in barge traffic over the past few years, largely due to the influx of fracked oil arriving by rail at the Port of Albany as well as the recent lifting of the ban on exporting crude oil to other countries.
The anchorages are of concern to all of us. They will turn the river into a parking lot for huge barges, cause sound and light pollution from noisy generators and “stadium” lighting, threaten wildlife habitats in and around the river, and damage the economic viability of villages with revitalized waterfronts. Most worrisome of all is that more oil barges on the Hudson would increase the risk of a catastrophic spill that could affect our entire area.
Bipartisan legislation has been introduced at the state level to make it more difficult to establish large-vessel anchorage grounds on the Hudson. I urge you to call your state senator and Assembly member now (their session ends in mid-June) and ask them to support this legislation (S5197 in the senate and A6825 in the Assembly). To find out who represents you, type your address into openstates.org. Additionally, please write you concerns about this issue to the Coast Guard:
- Craig Lapiejko, Waterways Management Specialist, First Coast Guard District, 408 Atlantic Ave., Boston, MA 02110.
You can learn more about this issue at many excellent websites such as hudsonriveranchorages.org and Riverkeeper.org. This is not simply about our beautiful river becoming an eyesore and a parking lot for huge barges carrying toxic substances. The proposed anchorages reflect the wider threat fossil fuels pose to the environment and health of the planet.
Iris Hiskey Arno