The White Plains Examiner

House Overwhelmingly Passes “Anchorages Away Act”

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Representative Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-District 18) announced last week that federal legislation he wrote to halt the United States Coast Guard’s Proposed Rulemaking to expand mooring infrastructure on the Hudson River between Kingston and Yonkers was passed by the House of Representatives by a vote of 386-41.

Rep. Maloney’s Anchorages Away Act, which was included in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Authorization Act of 2017, would require the Coast Guard, within 180 days of passage, to submit a report to the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on the impacts of these proposed anchorages on existing superfund sites and habitats of endangered species, as well as the Coast Guard’s response to these concerns. In addition, the Coast Guard will be prohibited from establishing any anchorages on the Hudson River between Yonkers and Kingston until at least 180 days after the submission of this report.

“The original proposal is effectively dead, but I want to make sure it stays dead and buried,” said Rep. Maloney. “Getting my bill passed is just another way we can stop this thing and learn the effects that this – or any future – proposal will have on our river and our communities. I said I would do everything I can to kill this dumb idea once and for all – and you can be sure I’ll continue leading that fight.”

In May, Rep. Maloney announced that the Anchorages Away Act was included as part of the Coast Guard Authorization Act. This bill was then included as part of the DHS Authorization Act of 2017.

In addition to the Anchorages Away Act, Rep. Maloney also introduced legislation called the Hudson River Protection Act, which would prohibit the Secretary of Homeland Security, and by extension the United States Coast Guard, from establishing new anchorage sites for vessels carrying hazardous or flammable material within five miles of an existing superfund site, a nuclear power plant, a site on the national register of historic places, or a critical habitat of an endangered species. While there are a wide range of sites in the Hudson Valley on the national register of historic places and critical habitats of endangered species, the superfund requirement alone covers the entire section of the Hudson River that the Coast Guard proposal was looking at for potential anchorages.

Earlier this month, Rep. Maloney and local stakeholders announced the next steps regarding the U.S. Coast Guard anchorage proposal, which was suspended on June 28, 2017. Instead, the Coast Guard announced that it will conduct a “Ports and Waterways Safety Assessment” or PAWSA to determine next steps and inform future rulemakings. The PAWSA is still being planned, but will include working groups of stakeholders appointed by the Coast Guard. In response, Rep. Maloney demanded the Coast Guard establish certain standards for the creation of the upcoming PAWSA.

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