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Audio Feature: Hudson River stories

Dec 01, 2017 10:55 am
Here are some stories from the Hudson River this week. Click here to hear an audio version of this report. (5:43)

The Stevens Institute reports temperatures this week in the Hudson River at Schodack Island have been between 38 and 41 degrees, two degrees cooler than last week's high.

William J. Kemble is reporting in the Daily Freeman the U.S. Coast Guard is being praised by all involved for its method of updating rules for use of the Hudson River; however, shipping industry officials and environmental advocates remain far apart on what those amended regulations should be. There is little agreement on whether 10 new anchorages for large commercial vessels should be established along the river from Yonkers to Kingston and Rhinebeck. Edward Kelly, executive director of the Maritime Association of the Port of New York/New Jersey, said, “We are still distressed that there has been no significant action taken to proceed to designate federal anchorages on the Hudson River.” Riverkeeper and Scenic Hudson, in a joint press release, proposed alternatives the environmental groups said would enhance navigation and environmental safety without new anchorages. The workshops were scheduled after U.S. Coast Guard officials reported receiving 10,200 comments on the anchorage plan. The agency said 94 percent of the comments were opposed to the proposal, 3 percent were in support, and 3 percent were neutral. Both sides agree the sites would not be used for long-term parking for barges and tankers. The locations of those proposed anchorages remain at issue. Read the full story in the Daily Freeman.

The Mid-Hudson News Network reports in the Daily Freeman that three Hudson Valley-based Democratic House members called for a long-term ban on Hudson River anchorages on Nov. 27. Currently, the U.S. Coast Guard, which proposed the anchorages last year, is completing its Ports and Waterways Safety Assessment. “The safety process they are running is a good process, but I am concerned that it could result in a revised proposal that might still be problematic,” U.S. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, Democrat of Cold Spring, said. “We are watching it very closely. We are keeping the coalition together and we are going to hold their feet to the fire to make sure that whatever they do in this area is properly focused on what is good for our communities and the real safety issues we have on the river.” In May, U.S. Rep. John Faso, Republican of Kinderhook, added an amendment to the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2017, to delay any new barge anchorage sites on the Hudson River for at least a year. The Coast Guard, facing opposition, eventually withdrew its anchorage proposal, but then started a new study last month. Read the full story in the Daily Freeman.

The Albany Times Union reports that the deadline for public comments, or in this case, nonbinding "expressions of interest" for a transmission line under the Hudson is Dec. 22. Now, though, the Empire State Connector Corp. of Albany, has permission from the Federal Energy Regulatory Agency to start selling rights of the proposed $1.5 billion underground transmission line from Utica to New York City. The Empire State Connector would be buried under the Erie Canal and the Hudson River on its way to New York City, perhaps carrying electricity from hydro power or nuclear energy to Manhattan residents. The newspaper does not quote anyone opposing the transmission line under the Hudson River, but John Douglas, CEO of the Empire State Connector said in a statement. "It creates significant upstate economic growth, spurs the development and use of clean, renewable energy, helps better tie together New York's massive electric grid with highly-controllable transmission technology and delivers low carbon energy into New York City." Read the full story in The Albany Times Union.

The Daily Freeman reports that the Hudson River Watershed Alliance announced its 2017 Watershed WaveMaker Awards for an individual, community group, small business and institution who are working to protect, conserve, and restore the Hudson River. Winners included Bard College, the Quassaick Creek Watershed Alliance, New Paltz Kayaking Tours, and Michael Hickey of the upstate village of Hoosick Falls. The environmental group works to protect water resources locally, working with watershed groups, municipalities and community watershed stewards in activities related to watershed planning, water quality monitoring, and community outreach. Read the full story in the Daily Freeman.