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Good News Cortlandt: New York State will prohibit Holtec from releasing 1.5 million gallons of radioactive water into the Hudson River!
Today, Governor Hochul announced that she signed legislation, unanimously passed in a bipartisan show of unity, by the State Senate as well as State Assembly, prohibiting the discharge of any radioactive water into rivers and streams. The elected officials of the Town of Cortlandt attended every meeting of the Decommissioning Oversight Board, and from the outset, argued against Holtec releasing toxic water into our beautiful river. On May 6, the Town of Cortlandt held a large rally at the waterfront Park in Verplanck. This event included the participation of four United States Congressman, representing New York City to Albany. In addition, several State Senators (including Peter Harckham), Assembly members (including Dana Levenberg), our County Executive George Latimer, and other officials from Ossining, Peekskill, and other involved communities. We were joined by multiple environmental groups, and the river was crowded with a flotilla of citizens, demanding that the river remain clean.
On behalf of the Town Board, representing the entire Town of Cortlandt, I want to thank Governor Hochul, State Sen. Peter Harckham, and Assemblywoman Dana Levenberg for this legislation which prohibits the discharge of radioactive water into the Hudson River. A significant majority of residents in the Hudson Valley, including the seven communities that receive their drinking water from the Hudson River, expressed concerns over the discharge of radioactive water containing 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.
-Richard H. Becker, M.D.