Tanker-Avoidance Zones

Environmental Advocates Support this Bill

Explanation: 

Oil spills have far reaching effects on the natural environment and the health and economies of surrounding communities. The impacts of oil spills that occur on bodies of water are devastating, killing endemic wildlife, halting tourism, and interrupting the use of established navigation routes.

This legislation directs the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), in consultation with the US Coast Guard and other stakeholders, to promulgate guidelines for the conditions in which petroleum-bearing vessels may enter or move upon the navigable waters of the Hudson River, and enter or leave any major facility, port, or harbor on the river. The conditions listed in this bill exceed those currently enumerated in the navigation law, including potential repercussions on existing fish and wildlife habitats, proximate waterfront localities, and environmental justice communities.

This legislation also authorizes the DEC to create tanker-avoidance zones on the Hudson River, outlawing petroleum-bearing vessels from entering, moving upon, or anchoring in these regions unless absolutely necessary in the case of an emergency.

Summary: 

This bill amends the Navigation Law and Environmental Conservation Law to require the establishment of rules for appropriate safety conditions by which petroleum-bearing vessels may use the Hudson River. It also allows for the establishment of tanker-avoidance zones on the river, in consideration of potential impacts on river dwelling species and riverside and economic justice communities.

Memo #: 

58