Clearwater’s Role in Opposing New Heavy Industry along the
Hudson River in Coeymans, NY
Twelve miles south of Albany is the Hamlet of Coeymans, one of the earliest Dutch settlements on the Hudson River. It faces Schodack Island which held the last Council fire of the Mahican Indians and is now a State Park with nesting bald eagles. The Hamlet is bracketed by two Hudson tributaries, the Coeymans and Hannacroix Creeks, together they are a ‘significant coastal habitat’. Endangered sturgeon breed in this stretch of the Hudson River.
In 2006, Carver Laraway opened the Port of Coeymans just north of the Hamlet. His businesses have expanded with unseemly haste. They include staging for the Tappan Zee Bridge project, the Coeymans Recycling Company, Coeymans Industrial Park, and a number of tenant industries. To achieve this growth, local Town and Village authorities were pressured to rezone residential and agricultural land along the Coeymans Creek for heavy industrial use. Over 500 acres close to the Hudson River, a local primary school, and local houses is now becoming a major industrial complex. The Capital Region’s 2015 Upstate Revitalization Initiative Plan wants to create a trade “Gateway” by expanding the Ports of Albany and Coeymans and their links to rail, road and river. In 2015, $2 million was given to the Port of Coeymans to build a new rail link.
The Port has proven to be a bad neighbor. Local residents complain of extreme noise at night while heavy trucks are cracking the windows of homes along Route 144. The Port has opposed any comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessments, accepting only segmented studies of particular projects. Impacts on the Hudson River, its tributaries or the local community have been ignored.
Since 2014, Clearwater has helped local residents oppose this industrialization. Clearwater was one of the petitioners and the fiscal sponsor of a lawsuit filed to overturn the industrial rezoning. Clearwater also helped with voter registration in 2015. A new Coeymans Town Board less indebted to industry was elected, but the NY Supreme Court has dismissed the lawsuit on flimsy grounds.
Please join Clearwater in backing this call for a comprehensive environmental impact study of current and future industrialization in Coeymans.
The Hudson River has been recovering for fifty years.
New industry without environmental care could destroy that recovery.
Judith Enck, EPA Regional Administrator
Basil Seggos, Commissioner, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation