How public can stay involved in fight against Holtec

Two chances to offer public comment this week 


The view of Indian Point from Blue Mountain                                                     Photo by Jim Striebich

By Regina Clarkin

It’s a number that’s almost as staggering as the million gallons of radioactive water Holtec International says it will dump in the Hudson River as part of its decommissioning of the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant. Some 442,000 people have signed a petition at in the past two months to urge the company to consider another way to dispose of the water from spent fuel rod pools at the site in Buchanan.  

The petition is one way residents who are outraged that such an option is even being considered can take action. There are other ways to join the protest to keep tritium tainted water out of the Hudson River. 

There is a rally at Cortlandt Town Hall, 1 Heady Street, on April 25th from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. – and on May 6th, thousands are expected to meet up at the Hudson River in Verplanck, at Cortlandt’s waterfront park, 77 Riverview Avenue, at 2 p.m. to protest the plan.  

The view from Steamboat Dock in Verplanck, down river from Indian Point. The Cortlandt Waterfront Park in Verplanck will be the site of a massive rally against the plan to dump radioactive water into the river  on Saturday, May 6 at 2 p.m. Performers include Dar Williams, Tom Paxton and Brian McGrath.

The public is invited to share comments into the record at the Decommissioning Oversight Board’s public hearings on April 25th (virtual only) and April 27th, in person and virtually. 

Opponents of the plan can alsocall or write to New York State Assembly members and Senators and urge them to support S. 5181 and A. 5338 – a proposed law which would prohibit the discharge of any radiological agent into the waters of the state.  Residents can also sign up to phone bank with Food and Water Watch.  

“The Decommissioning Board needs to recenter its priorities to human health and safety and the responsibility of New York State for oversight, and not rely on health regulatory standards that are 50 years old. That’s why we had our forums,” said Peekskill resident Tina Bongar of United for Clean Energy. A coalition of environmental and public health groups organized public forums in January and February spelling out the risks around the discharge of tritium treated water into the Hudson River. 

People who have been galvanized by the recent events have two opportunities next week to comment at the Decommissioning Oversight Board (DOB) meetings. A special webinar has been scheduled by the Decommissioning Oversight Board on Tuesday, April 25 at 6 p.m.  This special public statement opportunity has been established to accommodate tha anticipated large number of public statements in a separate virtual hearing. 

The regularly scheduled meeting of the DOB will take place on Thursday, April 27th at 6 p.m. at the Cortlandt Town Hall.  For more information on both events click here

To comment at the April 25th webinar, residents can visit the WebEx page (Event Number: 2334 792 8804) with password: Apr25-6pm or call the phone-only access at 518-549-0500 and use access code: 2334 792 8804. 

Any person wishing to provide a public statement on the record must pre-register to do so by 12:00 p.m. on Monday, April 24, 2023 at, where they should click “Join” at the top right-hand corner of the screen, enter the appropriate event number listed above, and provide all requested information.


Time limits may be set for each speaker as necessary to afford all participants an opportunity to be heard.  A verbatim transcript of the public statement hearing will be submitted to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission for inclusion in the record.

Participants will be asked to “select audio system.” It is recommended that participants opt to have the system “call me” or “call using computer.” The “call me” option will require participants to enter their phone numbers.

To pre-register and provide a statement by phone: any participant who is not able to log in to a hearing electronically may participate by phone. Call-in participants wishing to make a statement at a hearing must register to do so by noon on Monday, April 24 by calling 1-800-342-3330, following the prompts to the appropriate hearing and then providing the following information: first name and last name, address, and phone number.

On April 25 at 6 p.m., dial 518-549-0500 and enter the relevant access code, (2334 792 8804) to join the hearing. All participants will be muted upon entry into the hearing. The public statement hearing will be held open until everyone who has registered to speak has been heard or other reasonable arrangements to submit comments into the record have been made. 

Reasonable time limits may be set for each speaker as necessary to afford all registered speakers an opportunity to be heard. It is recommended that lengthy comments be submitted in writing and summarized for oral presentation. A verbatim transcript of the public statement hearing will be submitted to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission for inclusion in the record of this matter.

To listen to the hearing: Any person who would like to listen to the hearing without making a statement may access the hearing without pre-registering. The hearing will be livestreamed on the internet and available for viewing on the Department’s YouTube channel on the dates and times listed above. To access the YouTube channel, visit the Department’s website,, and click on the YouTube icon at the bottom of the homepage. In addition, any person without internet access may listen to the hearing by phone by calling (518) 549-0500 and entering the applicable access code.