Don't turn Hudson River into 'parking lot,' congressional candidate Teachout urges


Don't turn Hudson River into 'parking lot,' congressional candidate Teachout urges

KINGSTON >> The proposal to establish commercial ship anchorages at 10 locations on the Hudson River is essentially a request to turn the waterway into a parking lot, Democratic congressional candidate Zephyr Teachout said Wednesday.

“This is explicitly a request for this to become a parking lot,” Teachout said during a campaign stop on the Maurice D. Hinchey Promenade along the Rondout Creek in Kingston.

She said she is against the anchoring proposal because it poses nothing but risks to the communities along the river, including possible oil spills, terrorist attacks against oil barges and harm to the area’s tourism industry.

“And essential to the tourist industry is protecting the absolutely breathtaking beauty of the Hudson River,” Teachout said. “I don’t want people on the Walkway Over the Hudson to be looking down over oil barges. That isn’t good for our local economy.”

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The U.S. Coast Guard’s plan for the anchoring sites along the Hudson River between Kingston and Yonkers has prompted growing criticism in communities along the river. Among the critics is Ulster County Executive Michael Hein, who joined Teachout in Kingston.

VIDEO: Teachout and Hein talk about anchorage proposal

Like Teachout, Hein said the anchorings would do nothing but harm the county’s economy and put the environment at risk. He also said the proposal is a deliberate overreach, seeking 10 anchorage locations with 43 mooring spots. If the proposal is scaled back to three or four anchorage locations, it will seem reasonable, Hein said.

“The correct number is zero,” he said.

Hein also said it’s “disgraceful” for the group that made the proposal, the Maritime Association of the Port of NY/NJ Tug and Barge Committee, to attempt to solve its parking problems on the backs of local communities.

In addition to criticizing the proposal, Teachout said the Coast Guard’s review of the matter needs to be addressed. She said a real review process needs to be put in place, not a “sham process.”

Teachout, like several other local officials, asked the Coast Guard to extend the public comment period on the proposal by 90 days so the Guard can hear the community’s concerns.

The public comment period is set to end Sept. 7.

Republican John Faso, who is running against Teachout for New York’s 19th Congressional District seat, also has asked the Coast Guard to extend the public comment period. He would like it to run through the end of the year.

“In addition, the Coast Guard must explain to riverfront residents, recreational users and riverside businesses how it intends to assure public and environmental safety on these new anchorage grounds and what the average length of rest would be for these commercial vessels, some of which will reach 65 feet long,” Faso said in an Aug. 25 letter to Coast Guard Adm. Paul Zukunft.

Hein and Teachout said there is a lack of clarity about what the anchorages’ primary use would be.

“The truth is we don’t have all the details,” Teachout said.

The congressional seat being sought by Teachout and Faso is being vacated by U.S. Rep. Chris Gibson, R-Kinderhook. The 19th District comprises all of Ulster, Greene and Columbia counties, most of Dutchess County and all or some of seven other counties.

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“Statewide environmental group joins fight against Hudson River anchoring sites,” Aug. 29, 2016

“Hudson River anchorage plan draws more criticism,” Aug. 19, 2016

“Hudson River anchorages proposal concerns Kingston Sailing Club,” Aug. 13, 2016

“N.Y. senators call on Coast Guard to hold public hearings on proposed Hudson anchorages,” Aug. 8, 2016

“LETTER: Hudson River anchorage plan mostly would benefit Big Oil,” Aug. 7, 2016

“Hudson River anchorage plan review draws objections from Dutchess County executive,” Aug. 6, 2016

“Hudson River anchorage proponent downplays visual impacts,” Aug. 4, 2015

“LETTER: Hudson River anchorage plan is contrary to plan for Marlborough’s future,” Aug. 3, 2016

“LETTER: Opposing Hudson River anchorage plan for the right reasons,” July 27, 2016

“Coast Guard might hold hearings in Ulster County regarding Hudson River anchoring plan,” July 27, 2016

“Local opposition mounts to Coast Guard’s planned anchoring sites along Hudson River,” July 21, 2016

“Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro concerned about Hudson River anchorage locations,” July 19, 2016

“Rhinebeck leader decries Coast Guard plan for to use local sites along Hudson River as rest stop for tankers, tugs,” June 30, 2016

“Coast Guard proposes adding commercial anchorage sites on Hudson River, including in Kingston area,” June 20, 2016

Source: Daily Freeman
Don't turn Hudson River into 'parking lot,' congressional candidate Teachout urges

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