Group protests plan to stop Indian Point wastewater dumping into Hudson
More than 50 protesters gathered outside Assemblywoman Dana Levenberg's office in Ossining Friday to denounce a plan to stop the discharge of radioactive water into the Hudson River.
Levenberg is sponsoring the bill they are protesting. The bill would stop the dumping of treated nuclear wastewater and passed the state Senate with bipartisan support last week. The practice is part of the decommissioning process at the Indian Point nuclear facility.
The protesters were from the Westchester Putnam Building Trades Unions, which represents workers at Indian Point.
They say hundreds of workers will lose their job if the bill becomes law.
"Chances are I would lose my job. They told us that 65% of the people would get laid off,” said Susan Barker, union carpenter at Indian Point.
William Banfield, of the North Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters, says this dumping is "a process where it's been done for 52 years and if there was a better way to release that water then I think someone of scientific knowledge would have thought about that already."
Levenberg said in response that people need to "make sure that we don’t use the Hudson River as a dumping ground."
Levenberg also argues that the bill will not equal layoffs.
"I am not against labor by any stretch of the imagination. I have always supported labor and will continue to support labor,” she said.
A spokesperson for Holtec tells News 12 that "any impact to the schedule agreed upon by all parties (state, local, interest groups) would lead to potential impact in the workforce..."
"We don't think any additional radioactive wastewater should be dumped into the river. We believe there are alternatives,” said Jeremy Cherson, of Riverkeeper.
It appears the only viable alternative is to store the radioactive wastewater on site until the federal government finds a place for it in the distant future.
Holtec is currently still scheduled to begin dumping the radioactive wastewater into the Hudson River this September.
There is also opposition to storing the radioactive wastewater on site. The mayor of Buchanan, where the nuclear plant is located, has said the village will not approve any permits to allow that to happen.