Letter: Don’t make Hudson a parking lot for oil barges

(Photo by Phyllis McCabe)

(Photo by Phyllis McCabe)

As a member of the Ulster County Legislature’s Energy and Environment Committee, I was recently briefed by the Maritime Association of the Port of NY/NJ regarding its request to the U.S. Coast Guard to establish anchoring sites on the Hudson River for commercial tankers. The requests includes multiple anchorage points for large vessels along the shores of Ulster County.
Although I credit the men and women who operate these vessels for their skill and commitment to safety, I believe that the current proposal being considered by the Coast Guard would risk turning our shoreline into a parking lot in an effort to increase the shipment of petroleum products on the Hudson. Such a plan would pose an unnecessary environmental risk while also jeopardizing the scenic and recreational areas along the river that are important to the local economy. As a result, I will be supporting a resolution later this month to establish Ulster County’s opposition to the anchoring plan.
In addition, I have also signed onto a bipartisan letter with the Chairman of the Legislature urging the Coast Guard to hold local hearings on the proposal as well as offering our Legislative Chambers as a venue. Ulster County residents must have an opportunity to make their voices heard.
The U.S. Coast Guard is accepting public comments on this issue until December 6. I encourage those who share my concerns to join me in opposing this current proposal and to ensure public hearings occur before action is taken. You can submit your comments here: https://www.regulations.gov/comment?D=USCG-2016-0132-0001

In addition, please feel free to reach out with any comments, questions or concerns you may have to LegislatorHeppner@gmail.com.

Jonathan Heppner
Ulster County Legislator

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