Albany, NY - State Senator Terrence Murphy celebrated news today that the Coast Guard had suspended its proposal to place ten new anchorages for oil barges along the Hudson River. The Coast Guard announced that it was withdrawing the advanced proposal for rulemaking following more than 10,000 comments in opposition to the measure spurred on by a petition drive by Senator Murphy.
State Senator Terrence Murphy made the following comments:
"It is long overdue for the Coast Guard to withdraw this inconceived proposal. This is one ship that should have never left port. After having been one of the first elected officials to bring attention to this issue as the former Chairman of New York State's Administrative Regulations Review Commission, we have shown that by holding public hearings, press conferences and launching a petition drive that garnered more than 2,000 signatures, you really can fight City Hall."
Senator Murphy was the first state elected official to bring attention to the matter at a press conference on August 2, 2016. The following day, Senator Murphy launched his call to action petition which generated more than 2,000 signatures of local residents opposing the proposal. On September 1, 2016, amid public pressure generated by Senator Murphy's petition, the Coast Guard extended the comment period to December 6th. On September 5, 2016, Senator Murphy held a second bipartisan press conference in Montrose announcing that New York State would conduct a public hearing at the Croton-on-Hudson Village Hall. On October 19, 2016, Senator Murphy was joined by State Senators Sue Serino and David Carlucci at the Croton-on-Hudson Village Hall for the State's first hearing on the proposed barges which the Coast Guard refused to attend. Finally, on December 6, 2016 Senator Murphy was joined by the Pace University Environmental Clinic to reveal the U.S. Coast Guard violated its own protocol when proposing the establishment of ten new anchorages along the Hudson River without performing the necessary studies.
Last week, the Senator Murphy co-sponsored legislation that passed both houses which set forth additional prohibitions on where petroleum-laden vessels can anchor in non-emergency events.
In the months ahead Senator Murphy has vowed to continue protecting the Hudson River and closely monitor petroleum shipments on and along the river to ensure that Hudson Valley residents are kept safe from dangerous crude oil accidents.