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Legislature Approves Bill to Stop Radioactive Wastewater Dumping

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July 13, 2023

By Rick Pezzullo—

A bill prohibiting the dumping of radioactive waste from decommissioning nuclear power plants into the Hudson River passed in the State Legislature late last month.

The legislation, sponsored by Senator Pete Harckham (D/South Salem) and Assemblywoman Dana Levenberg (D/Ossining), was spearheaded by concerns raised over Holtec International’s plans to release 45,000 gallons of radioactive wastewater from Indian Point’s spent fuel rods as early as September.

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A broad coalition of bipartisan legislators supported the bill, as did New York’s federal delegation members, more than 30 municipalities and top environmental groups.

“Protecting the economic vitality of the communities alongside the Hudson River, which is the backbone of the region, is a must, and we will continue to do so every which way we can,” Harckham said. “We cannot allow any actions that will cause home and business owners to suffer serious economic distress to their investments. And the best way to protect the economic interests along the river is to keep this important natural resource as free from possible contaminants as possible.”

Holtec officials have maintained all nuclear power plants discharge treated effluent containing low levels of radiological effluent, which is regulated by the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Environmental Protection Agency.

The company has also stressed the practice of dumping the wastewater into the river from Indian Point has been occurring for the last 60 years and is the best alternative for handling the discharge at the 240-acre site in Buchanan.

The Indian Point Closure Task Force and Indian Point Decommissioning Oversight Board will be holding a public forum Monday, July 31 at 6 p.m. at Cortlandt Town Hall.

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