With plans to dump waste water, firm’s eye is on bottom line, not the community
Re “EPA warns firm not to dump nuclear plant’s water into bay” (Page A1, July 7): We protest the irreparable damage that would result from Holtec’s plans to dump waste water from the decommissioned Pilgrim nuclear plant into Cape Cod Bay. The company is looking out for its bottom line while we in the community are trying to protect the health of our families, the livelihoods of our coastal communities, the viability of fishing industries, and the habitat of marine life.
There is wide opposition to dumping, from elected officials, Cape Cod and South Shore communities, and environmental, fishing, real estate, and Indigenous groups. In addition, the state has authority to enforce regulations that Holtec agreed to abide by. Fishermen say they can’t even throw a gum wrapper off their boats without violating a regulation. Yet Holtec still plans to dump dangerous garbage into the bay.
The waste water will never be safe. We can expect radionuclides to bioaccumulate in sediment, grasses, oysters, and the fish we eat and to be released through the sea spray that covers our beaches.
Holtec’s plan highlights the fact that our government and nuclear industry still have no solution on how to manage nuclear waste and how to protect us from it.
The writer is a founding member of the group of Save Our Bay MA.
Realtors on South Shore, Cape can feel plan’s impact on the area
As a realtor, part of my job is to protect homeowners’ rights to use their properties as they wish. As posted on the National Association of Realtors website, “The freedom to buy, sell, and utilize property, as protected in the Fifth Amendment, underlies all real estate transactions and markets. Any restrictions placed on a property owner from realizing the highest and best use of that property hinders economic growth and development and reduces freedoms inherent in our society.”
Holtec must recognize the incredible gift that the Massachusetts environment offers to our state’s residents. Furthermore, as a realtor, I understand the importance of the environment to our quality of life and the marketability of surrounding property. As a result, I have deep concerns about Holtec Decommissioning International’s proposal to dump radioactive waste from the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station into Cape Cod Bay.
Many of my fellow realtors on the South Shore and on Cape Cod are experiencing the impact of the proposed plans within their markets. Clients are losing interest in the area due to concerns about pollution, negative health impacts, and long-term loss of value.
There are alternatives to dumping, even if those options are expensive for Holtec. The only acceptable solution is moving the material off-site for storage or disposal at a specialized facility. Protecting our state’s residents, industry, and real estate market is imperative. Holtec must accept the responsibility to dispose of the waste water safely and assure our citizens that not one drop is dumped into our precious ecosystem.
Just what are these pollutants? Good question
Holtec Decommissioning International views an existing permit as its green light to dump about 1 million gallons of radioactive waste water into Cape Cod Bay. In a letter dated June 17, Ken Moraff, a director in the Environmental Protection Agency’s water division, sent Holtec the direct response it needs to hear. He wrote, “Your reading of the permit is, in fact, plainly inconsistent with the unambiguous provisions of the permit.” He also warned, “Holtec Pilgrim is not authorized under the current [permit] to discharge pollutants [contained] in spent fuel pool water.”
Just what are these pollutants? I do not know, although I live within a mile of the bay. The general public does not know. Holtec has not been transparent. The article cites Heather Govern of the Conservation Law Foundation who casts doubt that even Holtec knows what pollutants it may release, although lead, zinc, or carcinogenic chemicals known as PCBs are expected to be in this type of waste water. Holtec’s own 2020 permit lists these pollutants as substances of concern.
Holtec’s threat to our environment and the blue economy must be stopped now.