Legal clash over dumping ban in NY


An article in The New Lede delineates the legal struggle between the anti-dumping law passed in New York last August, and the lawsuit filed by company Holtec. Holtec payed a 5 million dollar fine to the neighboring state of New Jersey to avoid criminal prosecution, and wants to dump the radioactive isotope tritium into the Hudson River. This state and local battle is “emblematic of challenges facing communities across the country as they wrestle with what to do with the waste from shuttered nuclear power plants,” according to the article. New York has filed a countersuit.

“The battlegrounds extend far beyond New York. Holtec is facing similar community opposition to its plan to discharge radioactive wastewater from the decommissioning Pilgrim nuclear plant in eastern Massachusetts into Cape Cod Bay, for instance.

” ‘It’s very clear no one wants this radioactive waste in the water,’ said Santosh Nandabalan, an organizer with Food & Water Watch who campaigns against the radioactive wastewater dumping. ‘I think Holtec needs to get with the program now that there’s a law, and we’re going to hold them accountable to it by continuing to use this people power to ensure our Hudson River does not become a dumping ground.’ ”

“‘There needs to be a complete generational reframing of how we think about releasing these radioactive substances,’ said Cindy Folkers, a radiation and health hazard specialist with Beyond Nuclear. ‘Radiation’s not in a vacuum, and that’s part of the problem…[w]hat we should be focused on is the longer-term releases, the releases that happened over 40 years, and the intergenerational environmental and health implications, biological implications, of that contamination.”

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