Westchester County stood in unison Monday when their Board of Legislators (BOL) unanimously voted for a bipartisan resolution opposing the U.S. Coast Guard’s (USCG) 10 proposed Hudson River anchorage sites, which would span Yonkers to Albany for barges traveling the Hudson, potentially holding up to 43 vessels at a time across all sites.
The resolution, proposed by Minority Leader John Testa (R) of Peekskill, comes at a time when residents from Westchester to the capital region have voicing concern over the plan’s potential environmental damage, which, in Testa’s view, “Sends a strong voice for the county about how much we are against the proposal.” Testa adds that the BOL has “received nothing but positive feedback about our decision. Westchester’s residents know this is an ill-conceived, dangerous plan, and have been supportive everywhere.”
After the resolution was reviewed by the BOL’s Environment and Health Committee, Legislator and Committee Chair Francis Corcoran (R-Bedford) stated his concern that while the USCG claims each site will act as short-term storage, they are defined in the National Register as long-term.
In response, USCG Public Affairs Officer Allyson Conroy tells Westchester that, “The resolution will not impede the proposal. It’s only in the public-comment stage.” The next step, Conroy continues, is a USCG review of public comments and related documents, including the BOL’s resolution, after the forum for comment closes on December 6. At that point, they will determine the best way to go forward. Though she does acknowledge that, “What the resolution does do is make a statement that Westchester is against the proposal.”
Testa, meanwhile, hopes that legislators further up the Hudson Valley take a similar stand, noting that his resolution has received various shows of support from lawmakers including Putnam County Legislator Barbara Scuccimarra (R) and Dutchess County Executive Mark Molinaro (R). “I think it’ll take someone from each board to take the bull by the horns,” he says.