State Tentatively Denies Holtec Wastewater Discharge Permit Request


PLYMOUTH – Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection officials have tentatively denied Holtec International’s application to modify a permit that would allow them to discharge wastewater from Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station into Cape Cod Bay, though the company says it is still evaluating all options.

The public will be able to comment on the tentative denial through August 28. 

The state and the Association to Preserve Cape Cod’s Executive Director Andrew Gottlieb contend it would be a violation of the Ocean Sanctuaries Act prohibiting new discharge of industrial waste into protected waters, including the bay.

“It says ‘no’ new industrial wastewater discharges in Cape Cod Bay. It doesn’t matter what’s in it, it doesn’t matter what level it’s in, it doesn’t matter how it would interact with the receiving waters. It simply says you can’t do it. And so they can test until they’re blue in the face,” said Gottlieb.

The Cape Cod Bay Ocean Sanctuary was established in 1971.

Holtec representatives said that they are disappointed by the state’s denial, and that the treated water is “well within safe limits.”

The following is the full statement from Holtec International Director of Government Affairs and Communications Patrick O’Brien:

“We are disappointed by the state’s denial of our permit modification for discharge of treated water from Pilgrim Station well within safe limits. We will continue with the EPA modification process and will look to evaluate all options related to ultimate disposition of the water used in plant operations for the last 50 years.  This process has already delayed the completion of the project for an additional four years, impacted the workforce on site and further changes when the site can be returned to be an economic driver for the Plymouth Community.

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native from Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the News Center in 2019.
737 West Main Street
Hyannis, MA 02601
Contact Us | Advertise Terms of Use 
Employment and EEO | Privacy