BEACON, NY– This week the US Coast Guard announced that it would extend the period of public comment from September 7th until December 6th on its Advanced Notice of Public Rule Making (ANPRM) proposed regulations that would create 43 new anchorage sites to host large tankers and crude oil barges in 10 Hudson River locations from Yonkers to Kingston.
The decision comes days after a letter dated August 29 from U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand and U.S. Representatives Nita Lowey, Eliot Engel and Sean Patrick Maloney asked that the deadline for submitting comments online be extended 90 days from the original deadline of September 7.
“We believe a reasonable extension of the comment period would better enable the U.S. Coast Guard to work in conjunction with local, state and federal agencies and experts to find the optimal plan to ensure the safety and integrity of the Hudson Valley region and the Hudson River, its environment and its economic vitality,” they said.
In response, a Coast Guard news release stated:
“The Coast Guard will extend the opportunity for public comment on the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) titled “Anchorage Grounds, Hudson River; Yonkers, N.Y., to Kingston, N.Y., (81 FR 37168).”
The Coast Guard’s ANPRM solicitation has been extremely successful and the Coast Guard has received more than 2,400 comments on the subject from a diverse range of stakeholders.
“It is a wise decision on the part of the US Coast Guard to allow a longer period for public comment on a proposal that can have such a potentially devastating impact on the Hudson River’s ecology, economy, viewshed and tourism,” said Manna Jo Greene, Clearwater’s Environmental Director. “Using the Hudson as a staging area for large volumes of fossil fuels is unacceptable and dangerous.”
Clearwater’s position is that there should be no additional anchorages on the Hudson River, which has been designated as a National Heritage Area. “This is an ill-conceived proposal that hearkens back to the days when rivers like the Hudson were seen only as industrial canals. Creating more anchorages diminishes the river and the communities along its shores,” said Clearwater’s Interim Executive Director, Dave Conover. ”
Resident, business, organizations and municipalities wishing to comment may go to https://www.regulations.gov/comment?D=USCG-2016-0132-0001. For more information visit https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=USCG-2016-0132-0001.