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Clearwater’s Response to the Save The Hudson Bill
Save the Hudson Bill passes Senate, Assembly, Heads to Gov Hochul’s Desk
Clearwater joins the community of advocates celebrating the passage of the “Save the Hudson” bill (S.6893/A.7208), and urgently calls on Governor Hochul to sign this bill into law, protecting the waters of New York from radioactive releases before Holtec’s planned release this summer.
In February 2023, Holtec informed the Indian Point Decommissioning Oversight Board of plans to release up to one million gallons of treated, but still radioactive water into the Hudson River as soon as August of this year. In April, they moved the release date up to May 4th. Clearwater and our allies raised the alarm up and down the river, resulting in municipal and county resolutions in opposition to the releases, rallies, and petitions to elected officials; as a result Holtec returned to their original proposed time frame intending to release the contaminated water in August. Passing this bill is consistent with the intent of the Clean Water Act of 1972, the original goals of which have still not been fully achieved. New York has an opportunity to set the standard for decommissioning nuclear plants that others should follow.
Any release of radioactive water into the Hudson would contain toxic contaminants, which could be linked to adverse health effects through long term exposure. 60 years ago the Hudson was near death from industrial pollution and raw sewage. Today, through unanimous support in the New York Senate and bipartisan support in the Assembly, New Yorkers everywhere have shown that we will not backtrack and put the river, its tributaries, and the communities nearby at risk. If signed into law, this legislation marks a critical turning point in the fight to protect the habitats, climate resiliency, and economic opportunity for the millions of Americans living near New York waterways.
“Holtec needs to pursue safer alternatives and not ignore the well-being of the surrounding communities and the natural ecology of the Hudson River. They should solve this challenge without putting the Hudson at risk,” said Executive Director, David Toman. In the wake of the Supreme Court’s rulings on West Virginia v. EPA (2022) and Sackett v. EPA (2023) — which weakened the federal protections of the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act — state level legislation has proved to be increasingly important to preserve natural resources and protect people in every community. Clearwater is calling for urgent action from Gov. Hochul to sign S.6893/A.7208 and encourages Holtec and the Indian Point Decommissioning Board to engage in meaningful discussion with priority communities surrounding the site and take into primary account the natural ecology and economic vitality of the Hudson River.
When the Hudson River was in a state of terrible decline due to human-caused pollution, our founders’ approach to stewardship was simple: unite ordinary people to protect it because together we have the power to make positive change. This win happened because state and local officials, advocacy organizations, and individual community members used their collective voice to protect all of New York’s treasured natural aquatic resources. Thank you to Senator Harckham, Assemblymember Levenberg, and Speaker Heastie for your leadership and commitment to the protection of the Hudson River watershed and beyond. Clearwater will stand arm in arm with Hudson River communities and continue to hold accountable those whose actions may harm the Hudson.