August 18, 2023
Albany, NY

Governor Hochul Signs Bill to Protect the Hudson River From Indian Point Decommissioning Wastewater

Governor Hochul Signs Bill to Protect the Hudson River From Indian Point Decommissioning Wastewater

Legislation (S.6893/A.7208) Will Protect the Hudson River by Restricting Discharges in Connection with Nuclear Power Plant Decommissioning

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Governor Kathy Hochul today signed legislation (S.6893/A.7208) into law, which 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 a nuclear power plant.

“The Hudson River is one of New York’s landmark natural treasures, and it’s critical we stand together to protect it for generations to come,” Governor Hochul said. “My administration remains committed to protecting the economic vitality of the region and working closely with local communities who have advocated so passionately for this cause.”

The law aims to safeguard communities in New York’s Hudson Valley region. The Administration will continue to work closely with federal regulators, Holtec, 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.

State Senator Pete Harckham said, “Thank you, Governor Hochul, for signing the Save the Hudson bill and protecting one of our country’s most important natural resources. This historic, landmark law prevents the release of radioactive wastewater into the river and protects the robust economic vitality of the region. 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, Governor Hochul’s signing of the Save the Hudson bill is one of the great environmental victories in state history. We stand ready to work with all stakeholders to find alternative solutions to this challenge and to continue the timely and safe decommissioning of the Indian Point power plants.”

Assemblymember Dana Levenberg said, “The signing of this bill comes as such welcome news to so many people in my district and far beyond. Today I say thank you to Governor Hochul and her office for carefully considering this legislation, and to my colleagues at the federal, state and local levels for their support. I am also incredibly grateful to the advocates who dedicated countless hours alongside us legislators working to get this legislation passed. 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.”

Representative Jamaal Bowman said, “Dumping 1 million gallons of radioactive water into a river with a basin home to more than 8 million people is never an option. Polluting facilities shouldn’t be allowed to run roughshod over the voices of our communities and push through waste disposal plans without their consent. I’m pleased that Governor Hochul is taking the action needed to protect New Yorkers by signing A7208/S6893 to ban decommissioned nuclear plants from dumping waste into the Hudson River. We must take every precaution when it comes to protecting the health of our communities and we must always put democracy over convenience.”

Representative Pat Ryan said, “For too long, big corporations have dumped their toxic waste into the Hudson River with blatant disregard for our communities’ safety - Holtec’s plan to dump radioactive waste was no different -that ends now. This legislation is a huge win for Hudson Valley families and for everyone who raised their voice and said with me: enough is enough. I’m going to keep holding big corporations accountable so that Hudson Valley communities have the clean water we deserve.”

Representative Mike Lawler said, “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. We have worked closely with them to raise awareness and seek alternative solutions. As such, I am glad to hear that Governor Hochul is signing legislation into law that will prevent the discharge of radioactive wastewater from Indian Point into the Hudson River. I look forward to the Governor working with federal, state, and local officials, as well as organized labor, local environmental activists, and Holtec, to determine an environmentally safe and fiscally sound solution to eliminating the wastewater on-site. 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.”

Representative Marc Molinaro said, “I appreciate the Governor’s partnership on this effort to prevent radioactive waste from being dumped into the Hudson River. I’ve spent decades fighting to clean up the Hudson. We cannot take a step backward. This is a commonsense step to preserve this natural treasure.”

County Executive George Latimer said, “Today marks a monumental stride forward in safeguarding our majestic Hudson River and the Hudson Valley region. I commend Governor Kathy Hochul for her leadership in signing this legislation, and I also thank Senator Pete Harckham and Assemblymember Dana Levenberg for introducing this vital measure. Today, we take a stand and shield the Hudson River from potential harm during Indian Point’s decommissioning – prioritizing the environment and human well-being above all other considerations.”

Cortlandt Town Supervisor Supervisor Richard H. Becker, M.D. said, "On behalf of the Town Board, representing the entire Town of Cortlandt, which is the host community for Indian point, I want to thank Governor Hochul, State Sen. Peter Harckham, and Assemblywoman Dana Levenberg for passing legislation which prohibits the discharge of radioactive water into the Hudson River. Most residents in the Hudson Valley, including the seven communities that receive their drinking water from the Hudson River, expressed concerns about the discharge of radioactive tritium into the river. Although arguments have been made that the tritium would be very dilute and that tritium is a low-level radioactive substance, the majority of residents strongly believe that any radioactive exposure is too much. From the beginning, we believed that a safer alternative exists, and that it would be a shame to contaminate the river with water containing not only tritium but strontium and other toxic chemicals. We look forward to working with the Decommissioning Oversight Board, as well as Holtec, scientific authorities, and our environmental partners in finding a safer alternative. We are grateful that this legislation will allow this to happen.”

Diana Delaney, 1199SEIU Member said,“Nuclear waste being dumped in the Hudson River is a huge concern as a Westchester resident for over 30 years. Governor Hochul signing this legislation and keeping our water clean and protected is a win for our community, the environment and for our future.”

Scenic Hudson President Ned Sullivan said, “This critically important legislation will prevent Holtec International, the company responsible for decommissioning Indian Point, from dumping over 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. The people of the Hudson Valley offer their deepest thanks to Governor 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. We also recognize and applaud bill sponsors Assemblywoman Levenberg, Senator Harckham, and their colleagues, as well as Riverkeeper for its dedicated and highly effective advocacy.”

Executive Director Environmental Advocates NY Vanessa Fajans-Turner said, “On behalf of Environmental Advocates NY and the myriad of communities that treasure and rely on the Hudson River, I extend our gratitude to Governor Hochul. In heeding the collective voice of New Yorkers, she has championed the health and enduring legacy of this river and the vibrant lifestyles and economies it supports across the Hudson Valley. Signing the 'Save the Hudson' legislation serves not just as a resistance to detrimental radioactive discharges but also as a signpost, pointing towards a brighter, cleaner, and more sustainable future for New York’s residents and crucial waterways, one river at a time.”

Riverkeeper President Tracy Brown said, “Riverkeeper thanks Governor Hochul for her leadership and for taking action on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who called on her to sign bipartisan legislation stopping the radioactive wastewater discharges from Indian Point. This 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. We also thank Assemblymember Dana Levenberg and Senate Environmental Conservation Chairman Pete Harckham for their tireless efforts to secure this victory; our coalition partners who have been influential in the development and passage of the bill; and the concerned community members who made their voices heard.”

Northeast Region Director at Food & Water Watch Alex Beauchamp said,“ Governor Hochul is sending a strong signal to corporate polluters — industrial waste has no place in our water. The Save the Hudson bill will ensure that the Hudson River is no longer treated as a toxic dumping ground, prioritizing public health and the environment over corporate expediency. Holtec’s plan to dump radioactive water in the Hudson River was dangerous from the start, and New Yorkers from all over the state quickly organized robust opposition. Today, we celebrate the power of our communities over corporations, and thank Governor Hochul for keeping our river safe.”

Chief Dwaine Perry of the Ramapo Munsee Nation said, “Anushiik is the Munsee language word for gratitude. Thank you in the original language of the Tri-state region. Ramapo Munsee Nation actually thanked the Governor in advance at the Decommissioning Oversight Board hearing on July 31st for signing the most important law of this time: protecting the Hudson River and all the life including human life that depends on a healthy river from the dangers of the dumping of radioactive waste. Home to Waapalaneewak (the almost extinct Eagles), Kapaaxeewak (the endangered Atlantic Sturgeon) and many others, our Munsee name for the Hudson River is Mahicannituk which means the river that flows both ways. Ramapo are looking forward to joining the dialogue with officials in New York, New Jersey, and the Federal Government to make sure our lands, rivers and air are safe and healthy for everyone.”

Contact the Governor’s Press Office

Contact us by phone:

Albany: (518) 474-8418
New York City: (212) 681-4640


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