Opposition Builds To Plan To Dock Barges Along Hudson River In Westchester

VERPLANCK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A water fight has bubbled to the surface along the Hudson River.

As CBS2’s Lou Young reported, a plan would allow commercial barges to tie to a dock and sit along developing waterfronts north of the city – a practice known as mooring.

Up above the George Washington Bridge, the U.S. Coast Guard is proposing new places to park shipping – places with breathtaking views and expanding recreational and tourist use.

It is a conflict of competing interests, and opposition is building.

“Up to 16 tankers could be right out here on the Hudson River, full of oil – 1,500 feet long,” said state Sen. Terrence Murphy (R-Shrub Oak).

The group gathered on the river in upper Westchester County in opposition to the barge plan included a state senator, two county executives, officials from six municipalities, and several top environmental activists.

At issue are plans to permit the use of mooring sites from Yonkers up to Newburgh.

“These would be new sites where they could come in off the Atlantic and other areas and physically park and dock along here, and then unload or continue to go on,” said Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino.

Proponents of the plan said barges already park in the Hudson, and this would give them permanent places to do it. An official at the Maritime Association told CBS2’s Young it would be mostly barges filled with crushed rock.

The opponents, though, are sure it’s about oil — and they’re worried.

“There’s too much oil traveling right now to keep it on trains that are moving, so they have to store it somewhere,” said John Cronin of Pace University Law School. “They’re going to store it on the Hudson River in barges.”

“Really, what this proposal will do will lead to the re-industrialization of the Yonkers waterfront, and we’ve spent too much time, money and effort to make Yonkers that place that it is today,” said Christina Gilmartin, a spokeswoman for Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano.

The Coast Guard is accepting public comments online for the remainder of the summer. Public hearings are expected next spring.

Yonkers would be impacted with 16 proposed mooring sites. Newburgh is next with five.

Other sites include Roseton, Tompkins Cove, Milton, Marlboro, and Montrose near the Indian Point power plant.


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