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Hudson River Protection Act Introduced by Reps. Lawler, Ryan, and Molinaro Passes U.S. House

Tonight, the “Hudson River Protection Act” which Congressman Mike Lawler joined his Hudson Valley colleagues Pat Ryan (D-NY-18) and Marc Molinaro (R-NY-19) to introduce, passed the House of Representatives as part of the Coast Guard Reauthorization Act by a vote of 376 to 16, bringing it one step closer to becoming law. 

The bill now heads to the Senate, where it is expected to get a vote in the coming months. This legislation would amend the 2020 Elijah E. Cummings Coast Guard Authorization Act, removing any uncertainty related to geographic definitions (such as the Port of New York) and banning additional anchorages once and for all. 

"Preserving the health of the Hudson River is a priority we all share and is something that I have been vocal about since taking office," said Congressman Mike Lawler.  "That's why I joined colleagues from both parties in introducing the NY-NJ Watershed Protection Act, and why I joined with my Hudson Valley neighbors Pat Ryan and Marc Molinaro to introduce the Hudson River Protection Act. This legislation will ban additional anchorages and protect our constituents from the safety issues that would arise. I was pleased to see this legislation pass the House by a broad, bipartisan vote and I look forward to it becoming law."

"This is a victory for everyone across the Hudson Valley who came together to demand that big corporations are never again allowed to turn our cherished Hudson River into a parking lot for dangerous barges," said Congressman Pat Ryan. "I fought tooth and nail to get this bill on the House floor – I’m proud to have led an overwhelming majority of both parties in passing this legislation to protect Hudson Valley families and ecosystems from polluting barges. And I won’t stop pushing until it is signed into law."

"The Hudson River is a treasure that brings tourism, facilitates commerce, and delivers drinking water to families across the Hudson Valley. Pat Ryan and I have consistently held the line against those who damage the river and the ecosystems it supports,” said Congressman Marc Molinaro.  “I’m proud to see such crucial legislation that protects the Hudson River pass the House with immense bipartisan support."

"The passage of the Hudson River Protection Act by the House of Representatives, included within the U.S. Coast Guard Reauthorization Act, is a crucial step to permanently protect the Hudson River from the risks posed by increased anchoring of large commercial vessels in critical habitat areas," said Drew Gamils, Riverkeeper Staff Attorney. "We extend our gratitude to the bipartisan cohort of Congressional Members, including Representatives Ryan, Molinaro, and Lawler, for prioritizing the Hudson River and working on behalf of their constituents to preserve this beautiful and important resource. "

"We are thrilled that the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2024 passed the House this week," said Ned Sullivan, President of Scenic Hudson. "Thanks to the bipartisan efforts of Congressmen Pat Ryan, Marc Molinaro, and Mike Lawler, the Act includes language that will help stop barges bearing dangerous cargo from anchoring outside of designated areas in the Hudson River and threatening the health, safety and beauty of communities throughout the region. We thank the Coast Guard for responding to our concerns and for its collaboration in protecting this vital waterway. Barges carrying hazardous cargo do not belong parked all over this American Heritage River. We'll continue to work diligently with other environmental groups, concerned citizens, government officials, and the business community to safeguard the river for generations to come."

The legislation amends the 2020 Elijah E. Cummings Coast Guard Authorization Act, effectively banning additional anchorages on the Hudson once and for all.  On March 30, the bill passed through the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. The bill will now head to the Senate for a vote. If passed by the Senate, it will go to President Biden’s desk to be signed into law.

Congressman Lawler is one of the most bipartisan members of the 118th Congress and represents New York's 17th Congressional District, which is just north of New York City and contains all or parts of Rockland, Putnam, Dutchess, and Westchester Counties.