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Hudson River Anchorage Proposal Suspended – For Now

The U.S. Coast Guard has suspended a plan that would have allowed for 10 new commercial shipping anchorages in the Hudson River stretching from Yonkers to Kingston.  The sites would have allowed for a total of 43 berths – including 42 long-term berths – for barges travelling to the Port of New York.

In a safety report issued Tuesday, the Coast Guard made several recommendations for the Hudson River but did not include a recommendation that the additional barges be added. It did, however, say that regulations in regards to where barges can anchor are unclear. It did not propose any outcome timelines for such a clarification.

The Business Council of Westchester was among the outspoken opponents of the proposal, along with a bipartisan coalition of elected officials from all levels of government as well as environmental groups and local residents.

The Coast Guard received more than 10,000 comments via an online portal in response to the 2016 proposal. Of these, 9,636 were in opposition, according to the Coast Guard.

The shipping industry originally made the request for the anchorages, arguing the measure would help to ensure safety. Approximately 17.5 million tons of cargo are carried up and down the river each year, including 11.5 million tons of petroleum product in 2014, according to the Army Corps of Engineers, which has the most complete data.

“We are encouraged that the Coast Guard’s latest report did not include the anchorage sites, but this does not mean the idea is completely off the table,” said Marsha Gordon, President and CEO of the Business Council of Westchester. “We will remain vigilant to ensure our Hudson River is protected and the plan for new anchorages – the largest of which would have been in Yonkers – is not revived.”

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