APCC Retains Legal Team for Potential Holtec Discharge


PLYMOUTH – A legal firm has been retained by the Association to Preserve Cape Cod to provide advice as well as potential action if Holtec International moves ahead with discharging wastewater from the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station decommissioning process into Cape Cod Bay. 

The firm is Boston-based Sugarman, Rogers, Barshak & Cohen, P.C.

Executive Director for the Association and member of the Nuclear Decommissioning Citizens Advisory Panel Andrew Gottlieb said the move is designed to increase potential consequences for Holtec were they to pursue discharge. 

“Since this is a one-time only need to discharge this finite quantity of water, they may just decide that they’re going to take their chances and pay the fine. To us at APCC, that represents an immediate and irreparable harm to the resources of which we are concerned,” said Gottlieb.

”We’re developing a case that would allow us the opportunity to potentially seek a federal court injunction—sort of raise the stakes. Not just monetary penalties, but potential contempt of court.”

Gottlieb added that a potential discharge would impact the economy as well as the environment, diminishing real estate value and the visitor economy of the region. 

“People who are deciding which beach to go to, where to swim, what shellfish to eat, what fish to eat, where to make their reservations for overnight stays, will always pick the place that has not been exposed to radiation over the place that has.”

The move comes after Holtec International announced it is moving ahead with a permit modification that will potentially allow them to discharge wastewater from the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station decommissioning into Cape Cod Bay, though a timeline has not yet been set. 

When asked by members of the Nuclear Decommissioning Citizens Advisory Panel, Holtec representatives said the company could not commit to waiting until the permit modification process was complete to discharge the water. 

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native from Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the CapeCod.com News Center in 2019.

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