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Option to dump wastewater is not an option

The Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant in Plymouth, October 2015.Keith Bedford/Globe Staff

In 1958, Olga Owens Huckins wrote her friend Rachel Carson describing songbirds falling from the trees following aerial DDT spraying over Duxbury, prompting Carson to write The New Yorker serial that became the environmental classic “Silent Spring.” As a reader wrote to Carson: “Can anyone imagine anything so cheerless and dreary as a springtime without a robin’s song?”

Sixty-four years later, the same ecosystem faces another threat, as Holtec International announced that its decommissioning plan for the Pilgrim Nuclear Plant includes the option of dumping 1 million gallons of radioactive wastewater into Cape Cod Bay.

Our state and national delegations have joined local activists in opposition to this unthinkable prospect. Where is Governor Baker’s voice on this? We urge him and President Biden to ensure that there are no loopholes between state and federal regulations that would allow dumping wastewater rather than safely relocating it to a regulated facility. To paraphrase that 1962 letter, can anyone imagine anything so cheerless and dreary as a bay without mussels, bluefish, and our granddaughters’ favorite, hermit crabs?


Sukie and David Amory