Statement on the passage of Assembly Bill 7208

ALBANY, NY: State Assemblywoman Dana Levenberg has released the following statement after the passage of Assembly bill 7208, a bill that would prohibit radiological discharges into the Hudson River in connection with the decommissioning of a nuclear power plant: 

“I am grateful to my colleagues for standing with our Hudson Valley communities today by voting for A7208. More than 30 municipalities, represented by elected officials on both sides of the aisle, have passed resolutions or spoken out in support of this legislation, urging New York State to take more control over the decommissioning process. Our constituents want the state to have more say over what can and cannot go into our rivers, and when. 

Public perception of a polluted, hazardous river will undermine our local economy in various ways, harming property values, business interests, and much more. The Hudson River has come a long way in the past few decades. So many people have worked incredibly hard to make the Hudson Valley a premier destination to live, work, and play. People are concerned about returning to the bad old days of treating our rivers like industrial dumping grounds. We cannot ignore these concerns. 

I, along with my colleagues, care deeply about all of our constituents, including our local and state workforce. I hear the concerns, predominantly from one labor union, fearful of layoffs if this bill passes. At the most recent meeting of the Indian Point Decommissioning Oversight Board (DOB), I specifically asked about the labor implications of different waste management options. Based on what we were told, layoffs are not an inevitable result of this legislation. If anything, considering and pursuing alternatives should increase the need for skilled workers.

In the absence of this legislation, elected officials on the DOB have had difficulty standing up for those who are fearful of the impact that the proposed wastewater releases will have on our region’s economic development, which ultimately impacts all of New York. This bill gives us the power to protect our interests. I thank my colleagues for their support.”