Dear Governor Hochul:
I urge you to sign S.6893/A.7208, sponsored by Senator Harckham and Assemblymember Levenberg, which I cosponsored in the Senate. This bill prohibits discharge of radiological substances into the Hudson River in connection with the decommissioning of a nuclear power plant. As the senator for the west side of Manhattan, my constituents all live within one mile of the Hudson. I am deeply concerned at the prospect of the discharge of radioactive wastewater into the river and the impact that would have on our local economy and environment.
After years of dedicated effort by many New Yorkers, including public investment in remediation and increased regulation of discharge into the river, the Hudson is finally returning to its glory as a natural resource and economic engine for our region. The state has invested millions of dollars to restore the health of the river and to support and revitalize local waterfronts and the communities along its shores. For example, the Department of Environmental Conservation’s Hudson River Estuary Program works closely “with local communities, government agencies, and other stakeholders on important initiatives to improve the estuary’s water quality, restore critical habitats like wetlands and shorelines, and develop new public access points along the river to connect more New Yorkers to this incredible resource.”
Communities along the Hudson rely on visitors coming to enjoy the river and the scenic views and patronizing the businesses and restaurants. A thriving Hudson River is key to New York’s economy and the health of local businesses. As we rebound from the pandemic, we must do everything possible to ensure that travel and tourism continue to thrive here.
We cannot backtrack on the progress we have made in cleaning up the Hudson and in reinvigorating our economy. S.6893 /A.7208 will ensure protection of the financial, environmental, and health and safety interests of the communities directly affected and of the broader New York Community.
Alternative options under consideration to dispose of the radioactive wastewater, including storing it on site or transporting it elsewhere, would have much less severe economic impacts. I join environmental advocates and my colleagues in government in urging you to sign this bill to end the practice of dumping radioactive wastewater into the Hudson once and for all. Thank you in advance for your consideration of this bill.