Stefanik measure to protect seaway passes House


WASHINGTON, D.C. — Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-21, Schuylerville, has authored and co-led a bipartisan bill to protect the St. Lawrence River and surrounding communities from oil spills, which was included as a provision in the Don Young U.S. Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2022 that passed the House today.

Specifically, this key provision will ensure that the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) includes studying the impact of oil spills in the St. Lawrence River and other Great Lakes waterways as well as best practices for responding to any spill that may occur in freshwater environments, an announcement from Stefanik’s office said Wednesday. Currently, the St. Lawrence River is not included in the scope of the U.S. Coast Guard’s National Center of Expertise for Great Lakes Oil Spill Preparedness and Response.

“I am proud to protect the ecosystem of the St. Lawrence River and preserve its role as an integral access point to the Great Lakes,” Stefanik said. “I will always bring the concerns of New York’s 21st District to the highest levels, and when I saw the St. Lawrence River was left out of the scope of the U.S. Coast Guard’s critical work, I took bipartisan action to preserve and protect our river communities against oil spills by supporting the research and response. Today, following my advocacy, we are one step closer to this critical provision becoming law.”

In January, Stefanik introduced the St. Lawrence River and Great Lakes Waterways Protection Act, bipartisan legislation with Rep. Joe Morelle, D-25, Rochester.


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