New York, NY — This afternoon, advocates testified at a City Council public hearing to urge the passage of Res 0605-2023, to oppose radioactive waste dumping in the Hudson River and call on the state legislature to ban the practice. Advocates called for a vote to pass the resolution at the City Council’s scheduled meeting on June 22, for the Legislature to pass and Governor Hochul to sign the “Save the Hudson” bill.
The push comes as Holtec International plans to dump one million gallons of radioactive wastewater from the decommissioning Indian Point nuclear plant into the Hudson River this summer. The waste contains toxic contaminants, including tritium. Exposure to this radioactive isotope is linked to cancer, miscarriages, genetic defects and other adverse health effects. There is no safe dose of radiation and its harmful impacts are cumulative.
“The Hudson River is one of New York City’s greatest landmarks — Holtec’s plan to foul it with toxic, radioactive waste should be dead-on-arrival,” said Food & Water Watch Senior New York Organizer Eric Weltman. “We call on the NYC City Council to pass Res 0605-2023 and join the groundswell of New Yorkers and local governments demanding an end to Holtec’s dangerous dump; and we call on Speaker Heastie to pass the ‘Save the Hudson’ bill in a special session, and on Governor Hochul to sign it before it’s too late.”
The “Save the Hudson” bill unanimously passed the State Senate last week, days after dozens of activists traveled to Albany to demand Governor Hochul champion the bill, delivering 30 local government resolutions and over 400,000 petitions opposed to Holtec’s dump. In April, 138 groups sent a letter to Governor Hochul, urging her to stop the dump. Advocates are calling on Speaker Heastie’s Assembly to pass the bill in a special session early this summer, and for Governor Hochul to sign the bill into law.
NYC Council Member Alexa Avilés, co-prime sponsor of the resolution said, “Our city must take immediate action to condemn even the suggestion of allowing Holtec to dump radiological waste into a River that connects a broad expanse of our state, and which supports an abundance of life, including our own. Allowing radioactive wastewater into our state’s most precious natural resource would leave pregnant women and children susceptible to the deleterious effects of tritium as well as put entire communities at an elevated risk for cancer. Let’s not forget the short and long-term impacts tritium would have on our local ecosystems at a time when we ought to be focused on restoration. The New York City Council must send a clear message and pass this resolution with urgency. Radioactive dumping in our waterways must not be allowed under any circumstances.”
“Radioactive waste from the decommissioning Indian Point nuclear plant contains toxic chemicals like tritium, which is known to cause negative health effects in people and animals alike. There is no safe dose of this radiation, and the harmful impacts are cumulative, posing particular risks for women and children. Holtec International’s plan to dump this dangerous waste into our beloved Hudson River flies in the face of decades of environmental activism to ensure safe, clean water in New York. I am proud to co-prime sponsor this Resolution 0605 with Council Member Avilés, and call on the state Legislature and Governor Hochul to pass the ‘Save the Hudson’ bill and block Holtec’s toxic dump,” said NYC Council Member Jim Gennaro, chair of the Environment Committee and co-prime sponsor of the resolution.