I am a resident of Cape Cod. I am born and raised here and have seen many negative environmental changes occur over my lifetime. I am writing this letter because I care about the future of the environment of Southern Massachusetts and the Cape Cod Bay. In 2018, Holtec International purchased the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station from Entergy Corporation to decommission the plant. On Aug. 31, 2023, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) tentatively denied a permit to Holtec to discharge 1.1 million gallons of radioactive wastewater into Cape Cod Bay.

During a most recent federal inspection it was determined that the instillation of several heaters within the wastewater has caused 150,000 gallons of radioactive water to evaporate within nine months, releasing radioactive tritium into the air.

Additionally, in April 2023 a water quality test showed metals, volatile organic compounds, and PFAS chemicals present in the wastewater.

The purpose of this letter is to inform the public of this situation and ensure DEP regulators enforce environmental protection laws to safeguard the public and the surrounding environment. Holtec has extended its decommissioning deadline to 2035, but by the year 2030 all radioactive water will have been evaporated. Air quality is now a cause for concern and residents within Massachusetts are at risk.

Environmental justice demands that public policy is based on mutual respect for all people, with the ecological unity and interdependence of all species. All living things have a right to be free from ecological destruction. Toxic chemicals and hazardous waste need to be disposed of properly and transparently. Radioactive material and other dangerous chemicals must not be discharged into the ocean or the air. Corporations have to take accountability for their actions and the DEP must ensure proper oversight to make sure they do.

I want the public to hold Holtec accountable. It took the job for the cleanup, so it is responsible to do it right. I urge the public to contact their district’s state representative and senator. For your legislator’s specific contact information check online. For the Plymouth district, contact state senator Susan Moran at 617-722-1330 and state representative Kathleen R. LaNatra 617-722-2575.

Casey Costa

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