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Ryan wants to know why Coast Guard changed the rules, allowing large barges to park in Hudson River

Oct 26, 2023 12:11 pm

Rick Karlin reports in the Times Union that Rep. Pat Ryan has written to the U.S. Coast Guard asking for more information about why the military branch, which regulates Hudson River navigation, changed its rules, allowing large ships and barges to anchor in spots closed because of local complaints and environmental concerns. Ryan said, “Indefinitely parking dangerous oil barges on the Hudson is a threat to the health and safety of our kids, the more than 100,000 people who rely on the river for their drinking water, and our entire ecosystem. I’m demanding the Coast Guard uphold the anchoring ban on the Hudson." Three years ago, local activists and environmental groups successfully lobbied to block large ships and barges from parking in the Hudson River locally. Over the summer, the Coast Guard changed the boundaries of the Port of New York, allowing large barges and ships to anchor north of the Mario M. Cuomo Bridge. In August Ryan wrote to Capt. Zeita Merchant, sector commander for the Coast Guard, saying, “As a member of Congress representing the Hudson River, I am concerned with the impact that this change would have on my constituents, the natural resources of the region, and the importance of the Hudson River in facilitating commerce.” The Coast Guard, in its reply, said that they were looking to clarify boundaries and regulations regarding the Port of New York, but Ryan said that answer was inadequate. Read more about this story in the Times Union.