WASHINGTON – The US Coast Guard’s plan to establish 10 new
designated anchorages along the Hudson River should not be implemented
until the public is given an opportunity to provide input. That call came
Monday from US Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand.
The plan calls for the ports from Kingston to Yonkers to allow commercial
vessels and barges to anchor along the Hudson River at designated anchorage
sites. Currently there is only one designated area and vessels are making
emergency stops at other locations.
The two lawmakers said that while the Coast Guard has cited the need
to create those new anchorages for safety reasons, many residents and
local public officials are concerned that formalization of areas for vessels
and barges to anchor along the river could impact waterfront development
projects as well as the environment.
Schumer and Gillibrand said that while the comment period for this first
stage of the proposal process runs until September 7, the deadline for
the Coast Guard to call for a public hearing was June 30. That gave communities
just three weeks from its post date of June 9, and 10 days from when it
was first reported on June 20, to call for a public hearing.
They said the Coast Guard should work in conjunction with local, state
and federal agencies and experts to ensure any proposed plan is examined
in a way that accounts for the impacts it could have on safety, existing
economic development projects and the integrity of the Hudson River.