Harckham and Levenberg Rebuke Holtec for Plan to Release Radioactive Wastewater into the Hudson

New York State Senator Pete Harckham and State Assemblywoman Dana Levenberg have released statements regarding Holtec informing the Indian Point Energy Center Decommissioning Oversight Board (DOB) that it intends to begin releasing radioactive wastewater from the shutdown nuclear power plant into the Hudson River next month. This is three months earlier than when Holtec first announced the releasing of this wastewater would take place.

“While we have been in the middle of communications with Holtec centered on finding alternatives to dumping millions of gallons of radioactive wastewater into the Hudson River, its decision to expedite this action from August to May is simply an act of bad faith and corporate arrogance,” said Harckham. “It is no wonder that the communities along the river and even beyond continue to be outraged by Holtec’s handling of Indian Point’s decommissioning. Holtec’s agreeing to allow the state to test the radioactive wastewater as it travels to the Hudson is a small concession gained by our state agencies but not a solution to the problem. The point is that the DOB, residents and business owners should not be put into a ‘last to know’ position when it comes to dumping radioactive wastewater into the Hudson River. Holtec continues to pursue a course of action with scant acknowledgment of our communities’ concerns about this critical issue.”

“Yesterday, Holtec informed the Indian Point Decommissioning Oversight board that they intend to speed up their plan to begin discharging radioactive wastewater into the Hudson River as early as May,” noted Levenberg. “I am grateful to the Decommissioning Oversight Board and Riverkeeper for insisting that Holtec give us 30 days notice before any planned discharge into the river. Holtec’s timing shows profound disrespect for our community, particularly as we are approaching the season when so many are turning to the river for fishing, swimming, boating, and so much more. This is the number one issue constituents write to me about – I have heard from hundreds of community members who are opposed to Holtec’s plan. Many municipalities, including Westchester & Rockland counties, have passed resolutions opposing this plan and supporting the efforts of Senator Pete Harckham, myself, and a bipartisan coalition of state legislators to increase the state’s power over its own waterways. It is clear that the decision to move faster than planned is an attempt to sidestep the efforts of state representatives to explore alternatives.

My constituents are already overburdened with the negative environmental externalities left behind by industrial infrastructure, and we should not be treated like pawns in this process. What we need is a partner who will work with us to facilitate a safe and just decommissioning of this plant, in a way that respects the surrounding communities. The people of my district have made it clear that this conversation should not be one-sided; Holtec should not be the only participant driving the schedule. What is efficient for Holtec may not be what is in the best interest of our communities and our natural resources. There are other paths forward, as we have seen play out in other states. We deserve a robust conversation about how to proceed, centered on respect for the river itself and the people who live, work, and play here.”

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