Crude oil ships imperil the Hudson

Lohud | April 20, 2014 | Op-ed by Marisol H. Stokes

How many more indignities must our dear Hudson River suffer before sanity takes hold and those in positions of power act decisively?

Riverkeeper boat captain John Lipscomb talks about crude oil shipments on the Hudson River, while sitting along the Hudson in Ossining Jan. 23. (Photo: Frank Becerra Jr./The Journal News)

If the expansion of tanker and barge shipments of crude oil on the river is permitted, a disastrous spill is inevitable. In December, a ship ran aground near Albany and a major spill averted only because the ship had, luckily, a double hull; we were that close to a 12 million gallon spill. Remember the Exxon Valdez? That was a 12 million gallon spill and, despite all the cleanup efforts, today the area remains intensely polluted to the detriment of the fish, birds and fishermen whose livelihood depended on those waters.

An oil barge can carry the equivalent of 45 railroad tanker cars. Those are what you see going by while you wait at the crossing in Valley Cottage ... and how did they get there? By tracks that run for miles along the river into which the oil will likely spill in the next train wreck like the fiery one in Canada. When is enough enough?

I fully support Riverkeeper's efforts to have Gov. Andrew Cuomo enact a moratorium on all shipments of oil, by whatever means, through the Hudson River Valley. And it is essential that the DEC meet its responsibilities and proceed with an in-depth environmental review of all aspects of the oil terminal operations in Albany, including a review of all permits already granted.

This is the greatest threat, by far, our beloved Hudson River has ever faced.

Marisol H. Stokes

Upper Nyack

http://www.lohud.com/story/opinion/readers/2014/04/19/crude-oil-ships-imperil-hudson/7920249/

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PAUSE, People of Albany United for Safe Energy
PAUSE works to promote safe, sustainable energy and environmental justice.  We aim to engage the greater public to stop the fossil fuel industry's assault on the people of Albany and our environment.