NY legislators vote overwhelmingly for bill to protect Hudson from oil barges


Riverkeeper: Last night, a bill to give the state additional say over Hudson River anchorage locations overwhelmingly passed the New York State Senate and will be heading to the Governor Andrew Cuomo’s desk for approval.

The Senate joined the Assembly and passed legislation that better enables the state to protect the Hudson and waterfront communities from dangerous new oil tanker and barge anchorages. The bill, passed by a vote of 93-2 in the Assembly and 62-1 in the Senate, comes in the wake of an industry request to the U.S. Coast Guard for 10 new anchorage grounds – 2,400-acres with space for 43 vessels – an unnecessary and drastic proposal intended to support the global oil trade.

This legislation allows the state to develop specific conditions and rulesunder which petroleum bearing vessels may enter or move upon the navigable waters of the Hudson River.

“This legislation gives the Hudson River, and all who care about it, new momentum in the fight against current attempts to expand the industrial use of the river, particularly for crude oil transport,” Riverkeeper President Paul Gallay said. “The public has spoken loudly, clearly and repeatedly: we don’t need these anchorages and they pose unacceptable risks. And our elected officials are listening and taking action.

“This is how it’s supposed to work. Our legislators saw the will of the people and voted overwhelmingly for this bill. The bipartisan vote in both houses sends a clear message, and we trust that Governor Cuomo will follow through.”

Riverkeeper urges Governor Cuomo to sign the legislation expeditiously and direct the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to begin implementation of the law, before the industry’s proposal moves forward.

The legislation does not put an end to the industry’s request for new anchorages. The Coast Guard is reviewing more than 10,000 public comments – an unprecedented response that was overwhelmingly opposed to the plan – that were filed last year. Riverkeeper, its partners, and communities up and down the river must remain vigilant to prevent this plan from moving forward.  Read more.

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