Ports of Albany, Coeymans get environmental criticism as they expand
Marie J. French reports at Politico how efforts to build offshore wind turbines at the Port of Coeymans and Port of Albany are being opposed by environmentalists. The Port of Coeymans recently has been a maritime hub for construction debris from New York City, so it would seem environmentalists would support a shift to building offshore wind turbines. But environmentalists see the expansion of the ports as risky to the health of the Hudson River. “We’ve had 20 years of this creeping expansion,” Barbara Heinzen, a Coeymans resident, said. The 125-acre Port of Coeymans is about 15 miles south of Albany and is owned by Carver Companies, recently added an industrial park to the dismay of some neighbors. The Carver Companies businesses have been fined several times by the DEC for environmental violations, including a 2018 fine for illegally stored road salt at the port. The current expansion plans there would require dredging to increase the depth of the Hudson River and allow bigger ships to load and unload. That dredging will eliminate the potential habitat for the endangered sturgeon in the Hudson River. Carver wants to mitigate that loss by funding 1.8 acres of habitat restoration at the Schodack Island State Park across the river. On Aug. 8, the Department of Environmental Conservation concluded that all negative environmental impacts had been minimized and mitigated “to the maximum extent practicable.” At the Port of Albany, the complaints are about the number of trees cut down for the port's expansion. John Lipscomb, Riverkeeper’s boat captain, said, “We seem to compromise our values. It’s not about wind. It’s about politically popular projects." Read more about this story at Politico.