White Plains, NY — This afternoon, elected officials and activists rallied in advance of the Hochul Administration’s Environmental Bond Act Educational Listening Tour, calling on Governor Hochul to sign legislation passed in June (A7208/S6893) that prohibits dumping radioactive waste from decommissioning nuclear plants into the Hudson River.
“Governor Hochul is running out of time to save the Hudson,” said Food & Water Watch Hudson Valley Organizer Emily Skydel. “With less than a month until Holtec’s planned toxic dump, Governor Hochul must waste no more time protecting our river. Governor Hochul must sign the ‘Save the Hudson’ bill now — before it’s too late.”
The push comes as Holtec International plans to dump more than one million gallons of toxic radioactive wastewater from the Indian Point site into the Hudson River next month. That waste contains toxic contaminants, including radioactive tritium, exposure to which is linked to cancer, miscarriages, genetic defects and other adverse health effects.
Last week, Westchester Assemblymembers wrote to Governor Hochul, urging her to sign the “Save the Hudson” bill, A7208/S6893. Governor Hochul remains silent on the issue, even as over 400,000 people, 35 localities and 138 groups call on her to stop the dump.
Assemblymember Dana Levenberg said, “Public trust in the decommissioning process is declining, particularly after new revelations about how the testing of the wastewater is being handled by the NRC. If people do not feel that the Hudson River is safe, it will not continue to be the economic engine that it is today. I urge Governor Hochul to sign this legislation to tell residents and business interests in the Hudson Valley, ‘We have your back’.”
Senator Pete Harckham said, “We have spent decades cleaning up the Hudson, and now the river is, once again, a major economic driver for the region and the state as a whole. Let’s keep protecting the Hudson! I urge Governor Hochul to sign our ‘Save the Hudson’ legislation, and truly thank all of the environmental advocates and supporters who are helping to stop radioactive wastewater from being dumped into this magnificent river, one of our country’s natural treasures.”
Assemblymember Chris Burdick said, “The release of radioactive wastewater into the Hudson River is unconscionable and must be stopped. Such an action would be detrimental to our health, our water quality, and our environment. We simply cannot allow this dangerous dumping to occur. I implore Governor Hochul to sign my colleagues’ “Save the Hudson” bill.”
Assemblymember Steve Otis said, “We have a long history of depending upon assurances that practices are safe, only to later have them determined to be unacceptable. New York should set the example that the issue of releasing radioactive material into waterbodies as part of the decommissioning process needs more intense scrutiny, review, analysis, and caution. It would be wise and prudent for New York to prohibit these discharges now and require storage until better options are presented or developed as the science of what to do with these materials improves.”
Senator Shelley Mayer said, “I am proud to stand with my colleagues and advocates to urge Governor Hochul to promptly sign Sen. Harkham and Assy. Levenberg’s bill to protect the Hudson River from Holtec’s plan to discharge radioactive waste into the Hudson River. New Yorkers have spent years restoring the Hudson River, and we have seen the tremendous social and economic impact the Hudson River’s rebirth has had on every community in the Hudson Valley, including my hometown of Yonkers. We are hopeful Governor Hochul will sign this bill immediately, so Holtec is stopped before years of progress on the River and adjacent communities are undermined.”
Westchester County Legislator Erika L. Pierce said, “Residents and advocates here have spoken loudly and we have a responsibility to listen to their concerns. The radioactive waste water needs to be tested thoroughly before it is released into the Hudson River, and we need those results back so that they can be evaluated before this process can move forward. We don’t get a redo on this.”
Westchester County Legislator Ben Boykin said, “The Board of Legislators has taken a firm stance against Holtec dumping radioactive wastewater into the Hudson River which will contaminate the environment, threaten the health of our constituents and undermine decades of cleanup efforts. NY State must provide studies to determine the full impact of the radioactive waste and then evaluate the best options to dispose of this waste.”