Westchester lawmakers oppose IP radioactive wastewater discharge into Hudson

Nuclear waste. MHNN stock photo.

WHITE PLAINS – The Westchester County Board of Legislators “vehemently opposes plans to dump an estimated one million gallons of radioactive wastewater containing carcinogenic contaminants into the Hudson River,” Chairwoman Catherine Borgia said Tuesday.

The discharge would be conducted by Holtec International, the company that owns and is dismantling the former Indian Point nuclear power plants in Buchanan.

Borgia said the discharge “would undermine decades of successful environmental conservation and cleanup efforts on the Hudson River (and) this disposal method poses disastrous health risks to plant, marine, and human life.”

Lawmakers in Westchester and Rockland counties both adopted resolutions opposed to the discharge.

Borgia said Holtec explained that “the waste would be filtered to reduce the content of carcinogenic contaminants to a level that is as low as reasonably achievable. However, the National Academy of Science states that there is no verifiably safe level of these isotopes when ingested or inhaled.”
She said since the pre-release treatment does not filter out tritium a carcinogen, “the public fears it will threaten those who rely on the river for their drinking water.

Seven municipalities upstream on the Hudson in Ulster and Dutchess counties draw drinking water from the Hudson River.

The Westchester legislators also support state legislation proposed by Senator Pete Harckham and Assemblywoman Dana Levenberg that would ban the release of any radioactive agent into the waters of the state.

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