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‘Protect the Hudson’ Bill Signed into Law

The Hudson River Sloop Clearwater displays a sign of protest in front of the Indian Point nuclear power facility in Buchanan, before it was decommissioned. Photo provided.

Gov. Kathy Hochul last week signed legislation into law that is intended to protect the economic vitality of the Hudson River region by restricting discharges of any radiological substance into the Hudson River in connection with the decommissioning of the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant.

The administration said it will continue to work closely with federal regulators, Holtec International, local officials and the state’s Decommissioning Oversight Board to identify feasible and acceptable alternatives of wastewater disposal so that decommissioning Indian Point can continue, jobs can be preserved, and the site can be cleaned up in a safe, thorough and prompt manner.

“This historic, landmark law prevents the release of radioactive wastewater into the river and protects the robust economic vitality of the region,” said State Sen. Pete Harckham, D-Peekskill. “Also, thank you to the many residents, environmental advocates and colleagues who fought with us so passionately to arrive at this outcome. The culmination of a tremendous amount of hard work and collaboration, Gov. Hochul’s signing of the Save the Hudson bill is one of the great environmental victories in state history.”

Assemblymember Dana Levenberg, D-Ossining, said signing of this bill comes as welcome news to many people.

“I am also incredibly grateful to the advocates who dedicated countless hours alongside us legislators working to get this legislation passed,” she said. “So many people in the Hudson Valley showed up to this fight determined to protect the river that defines our region, and we will continue working together in the coming years to ensure a safe and successful decommissioning of Indian Point.”

“Over the past eight months, I have heard from numerous constituents, environmental organizations and local officials concerned about the plan to discharge radioactive wastewater into the Hudson River as part of the Indian Point decommissioning,” added U.S. Rep. Mike Lawler, R-Rockland. “Protecting the Hudson River and our communities that utilize it is of paramount importance — we must work together to find a workable solution for all involved.”

Scenic Hudson President Ned Sullivan said the legislation will prevent Holtec International, the company responsible for decommissioning Indian Point, from dumping more than 1 million gallons of radioactive wastewater into the Hudson River.

“The bill sends an important message to New Yorkers: The Hudson River is the source of our collective prosperity, not a dumping ground for industrial waste,” he said. “The people of the Hudson Valley offer their deepest thanks to Gov. Hochul for her continued, steadfast leadership in protecting the Hudson River and the many communities that rely on it for their health, recreation and economic prosperity.”

Riverkeeper President Tracy Brown said the signing of the bill sends a clear signal that New York State is dedicated to preventing Holtec from using the Hudson River as a dumping ground for radioactive waste.

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