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Barge mooring proposal in Hudson River near Germantown is back

Sep 21, 2021 2:33 pm

Roger Hannigan Gilson reports in the Times Union that the environmental group Riverkeeper opposes the latest proposal to moor up to three barges off of Germantown in the Hudson River, but not for environmental reasons. The New York State Marine Transportation Company wants to use the mooring as a stop for barges on the way to and from Peckham Industry's docks in Catskill, where the barges are loaded with crushed rock. MTC wants the barges to spend less time at the Peckham dock, where the wakes from boats in the nearby shipping channel have broken barges off in the past. "For 55 years, we’ve been working with communities and with Hudson Valley stakeholders as partners on behalf of the river," Riverkeeper Vice President John Lipscomb said. "It is very clear that for us to protect the river, shoreline residents and communities as partners are essential. We cannot serve the river without the relationships that have taken all these years to build, and so...we cannot support the mooring in the face of apparent virtually universal local opposition." There have been several attempts recently to add mooring barges at several points along the Hudson River, including in Germantown. Each time, widespread public opposition has torpedoed the proposals. “In this case, since the mooring itself is benign environmentally, the only thing I can look at is the community response,” Lipscomb said. The Hudson River Safety, Navigation and Operations Committee has come out in favor of the proposal. "The HRSNOC decided that they think that the safety of the area is more important than the aesthetics," said the committee's community outreach representative, Randy Alstaldt. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will decide whether to issue permits for the proposal, or not. The Army Corps has a public comment period for the moorings until October 8. Comments should be emailed to Brad Sherwood at Brad.Sherwood@usace.army.mil. Read more about this story in the Times Union.