Ann Gallelli: The Latest on Banning the Barges

To the Editor,ann2016
It has been some time since we have received any news on the proposal for add 10 anchorages in the Hudson River to accommodate 43 barges between Yonkers and Kingston. While we are awaiting the Coast Guard’s review and response to the over 10,000 comments it received, hopefully soon, several actions have been undertaken to prevent the proposal from implementation.
Hudson Valley Congressman Sean Maloney introduced a bill in Congress, the Hudson River Protection Act, which would ban anchorages for barges near sensitive areas on the Hudson River including environmentally sensitive and critical habitat areas, historic sites, superfund sites and nuclear power plants. Rep. Elliott Engel is a co-sponsor of the bill.
The Village, as a member of the Historic Hudson River Towns, has supported calls for more controls over the proposal. In April, our Village Board approved a resolution urging support for two bipartisan bills in the NYS Legislature (S-5197 and A-6825) which would pre-empt the Coast Guard decision and make it possible to set conditions for petroleum-bearing vessels on the Hudson and to establish avoidance zones. Since then, multiple municipalities along the river have adopted similar resolutions of support.
Finally, in a sign that NYS is beginning to treat the anchorage/barge as a serious threat to the river, renewal applications by Port of Albany terminal operators are being treated as new applications, thus requiring more comprehensive environmental review.
While we await the Coast Guard’s report, these are important efforts that, if implemented, could stop, or at least mitigate, the proposed anchorages in the Hudson River.

Ann Gallelli

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