During his long political career, one of Congressman Maurice Hinchey's signature causes has been protecting the environment. Hinchey spent 14 of his 18 years in the State Assembly as the Chairman of the Environmental Conservation Committee and continued to push for environmental protections in Congress. On the heels of his retirement announcement, our Beth Croughan met with environmental leaders in the Hudson Valley about Hinchey's impact.
POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. -- While announcing his plan to retire from Congress, Representative Maurice Hinchey outlined some of his accomplishments. Thursday, he reminds the crowd of his efforts to rid the Hudson River of PCBs. Now, the second phase of the cleanup process is underway.
"That's a very, very positive thing that is being done, after a very strong hard fight to get it done," said the Congressman.
Staff at Sloop Clearwater applaud that fight and Hinchey's help in the Hudson Valley.
"And I think Maurice deserves a lot of the credit for the cleanup and development of this Hudson Valley to being one of the most spectacular places," said Sloop Clearwater Executive Director Jeff Rumpf.
To the environmental group, he's an environmental leader.
The President of Scenic Hudson says he'll be a tough act to follow, calling Hinchey 'a hero of the Hudson.'
“A Congressman in Washington who understands that jobs and the environment go hand in hand. And then fights to bring back resources that can support our great economy here, can support protection of open spaces," explained Ned Sullivan of Scenic Hudson about what the region needs and what Hinchey has done.
In 2007, Hinchey helped establish The Solar Energy Consortium. The non-profit focuses on bringing green jobs to the region. And most recently, Hinchey's focused on fighting fracking.