Congressman Shawn Patrick Maloney Thursday hailed the recent congressional passage of his bill banning oil carrying barges from anchoring at environmental sensitive areas on the Hudson River.
“What I did,” Maloney said “is I wrote a permanent ban on new river anchorages, really any anchorages between Kingston and Yonkers.”
Speaking to a gathering of local officials Thursday at New Windsor’s Kowawese Unique Area on the the Hudson river Maloney explained, “We said we wanted to stop the Hudson River from becoming a parking lot for oil barges.”
“There’s a barge anchorage proposal by barge companies that would have created an archipelago of oil storage sites up and down this beautiful part of the river,” said Maloney.
“Three years ago we stood here on this site and said we’re going to stop it.”
His new law does just that, he said.
It rejects a proposal by the Maritime Association of the Port of New York’s for 10 barge anchorages between Kingston and Yonkers.
“As custom and practice the tug and barge industry has been anchoring outside of federally designated anchorages on the Hudson for decades,” the Maritime Association the association said.
No more, said Maloney.
The tug boat organization complained that the refusal is a restraint of trade at a time when river commerce is booming.
Meanwhile, the Coast Guard has surveyed 10, 212 people living near the river and found 9,636 respondents mentioned overall concern for transport of crude oil on the river.
Newburgh Mayor Torrence Harvey said after listening to Maloney that an oil spill in the Hudson River off Newburgh’s waterfront could “be terrible,” and basically could damage “all the progress being made in the city’s waterfront.”
Maloney is a long-time advocate for banning anchorage sites on the Hudson River where warranted.