Coast Guard suspends Hudson anchorage plan, calls for river safety review

The following is the text of a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard:

(NEW YORK) — The U.S. Coast Guard has announced it will conduct a Ports and Waterways Safety Assessment of the Hudson River.

In 2016, the Coast Guard promulgated an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) to seek comprehensive public input and examine whether there is a need for a proposed rule on new anchorage grounds on the Hudson River to promote safe navigation. An ANPRM is an optional, pre-rulemaking tool for seeking information from the public.

More than 10,200 comments were received from waterway stakeholders during the ANPRM comment period that ended Dec. 6, 2016. A summary of the comments can be found here in the docket for the ANPRM.

After a review of the comments, Rear Adm. Steven Poulin, commander of the 1st Coast Guard District, has suspended future rulemaking decisions and directed a formal risk identification and evaluation of the Hudson River, known as a Ports and Waterways Safety Assessment (PAWSA). The PAWSA process is a disciplined approach to identify major waterway safety hazards, estimate risk levels, evaluate potential mitigation measures, and set the stage for implementation of selected measures to reduce risk. Additional information about a PAWSA and the entire process can be found here at the Coast Guard Navigation Center website.

In the fall, a group of waterway users and stakeholders will conduct a two-day structured workshop to meet these objectives and ensure the PAWSA process is a joint effort involving waterway users, stakeholders, and agencies to determine the safety of the waterway.

The Coast Guard will announce the workshop dates, times, locations, and participant selection process in a separate notice. Within the workshop capacity, the district commander’s goal is to build a team that helps ensure the diverse concerns conveyed in the ANPRM comments are represented through the PAWSA risk analysis process. The discussions will help promote navigation safety and environmental protection.

If members of the public wish to be considered for participation in the workshops, email by July 21 with name, contact information, connection to the waterway, experience and related skills.

By Professional Mariner Staff