Jaffee Comments to Coastguard on Industry Proposal to Establish Anchorage Grounds for Commercial Vessels along the Hudson River from Yonkers to Kingston

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PRESS RELEASE FROM ASSEMBLYWOMAN ELLEN JAFFE

(Pearl River, NY) Assemblymember Ellen Jaffee (D-Suffern) on Wednesday sent a letter and submitted her comments to the Coast Guard on the Proposed Rulemaking: Anchorage Grounds, Hudson River; Yonkers, NY to Kingston, NY. Docket Number USCG–2016–0132.

In her letter and comments Jaffee said, “I am writing on behalf of the residents of Rockland County, NY, my constituents in the 97th Assembly District and the communities I represent, including the Hudson River Villages of Nyack, South Nyack, Piermont, Grandview-on-Hudson, Upper Grandview, and the Hamlet of Palisades, to express my serious concerns regarding industry’s proposal to establish anchorage grounds for commercial vessels along the Hudson River at 10 locations from Yonkers to Kingston.

I am also requesting that the United States Coast Guard hold numerous, accessible public meetings that will allow for robust, substantive public input on a proposal that, if made official, will present public safety hazards, and negatively affect our environment, the ecology of the river, and our very quality of life.

My concerns about the environmental impacts include light and noise pollution, scarring of the river bottom by anchors and chains that would disturb river bottom habitat, and increasing industrialization of the river, particularly the increased risk of barge accidents and oil spills – a serious concern since the surge in shipments of Bakken crude oil in 2012. While I appreciate the best efforts by the Coast Guard and the state Department of Environmental Conservation to better prepare in the event of an oil spill, the undisputed fact remains that any oil recovered from the river bottom would be negligible.

At a time when many of our communities have long-term waterfront revitalization goals that will increase tourism, create jobs, and boost our local economies, turning the Hudson River into a crowded highway carrying oil to foreign countries, putting oil and profits ahead of everything else in this scenic Hudson Valley, is unacceptable.The Hudson River is vital to the quality of life in our communities as it has been for generations and must be for this generation and for generations to come.”

Jaffee urges concerned residents to submit their comments to the Coast Guard by the September 7 deadline.

“This is a critical stage in the review process,” Jaffee said. “We must all work make our voices heard.”

Jaffee is a Member of the New York State Assembly Committee on Economic Development, Job Creation, Commerce and Industry and the Committee on Environmental Conservation.

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