SLEEPY HOLLOW, NY – New information released by the Pace University Environmental Clinic has revealed the U.S. Coast Guard violated its own protocol by proposing the establishment of 10 new anchorages along the Hudson River.
At a press conference at Kingsland Point Park in Sleepy Hollow on December 5, Senator Terrence Murphy reiterated his long-standing opposition to the proposal, as well as the Coast Guard’s lack of transparency and steadfast refusal to communicate with the public. Senator Murphy has been in the forefront of a contingency of state, county, and local officials that have called for the Coast Guard to scrap its proposal.
“December sixth is the last day for public comment. We have held hearings, made calls and written a letter to the Commandant in Washington, yet we have never gotten a response from the Coast Guard,” Senator Murphy said. “We now know that the Coast Guard violated their own procedures, ignoring their own rules in order to keep the public from voicing their objections to the proposal. The proposal should be scrapped and the process should start over. This is not about politics. It is about doing the right thing for the people who live in the Hudson Valley.”
John Cronin, senior fellow at the Dyson College Institute and Sustainability and the Environment at Pace University, called for the withdrawal of the Coast Guard’s proposal, charging them with circumventing their own internal procedures to push through an agenda that would create 43 special anchorages in 10 locations on the Hudson river between Yonkers and Kingston. The Coast Guard violated its own procedures by publishing the proposal in the Federal register as an “Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking” (ANPR). The ANPR should not have been was published without completing two major studies addressing river hazards and impacts. In addition the Coast Guard should have conducted public sessions with legislators, environmental groups and mariners and given the public the opportunity to suggest changes to the proposal.
“The Coast Guard essentially has been running a covert process in plain sight,” Professor Cronin said. “What they told us by filing this proposal is they were kicking off the process. In fact, by filing this notice they skipped over the process and insulated themselves from public comment. They made it impossible for anyone to respond and they knew it. If you look at Senator Murphy’s website you will see the thousands of comments, that the Coast Guard provided no defense, no facts, and no information that supports the need for these anchorages.”
“Talk about adding insult to injury,” Senator Sue Serino said. “Through its silence and lack of transparency throughout this entire process, the Coast Guard has demonstrated a complete lack of regard for our local communities–the ones that stand to be directly impacted by their current proposal. To find out that they have even gone so far as to violate their own established protocol is incredibly disappointing. It’s time for them to finally scrap the current proposal and begin to work alongside our local communities to improve safety along the Hudson without negatively impacting the economy, the environment and the quality of life along the Hudson.”
Marcus Molinaro, Dutchess County Executive said, “The Coast Guard has denied public dialogue and ignored its own process. The Hudson River, an American Heritage River, and the communities along it deserve a transparent process, response to concerns and a government that stands on the side of the people. We are tired of government that acts first and asks questions later – this is no way to run a democracy.”