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Healey pledges to block Pilgrim from releasing radioactive water

Healey greeting the staff at Dennis Village Mercantile.
Jennette Barnes
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey greeting the staff at Dennis Village Mercantile.

In Dennis yesterday for a meeting with local business owners, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey pledged to block the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station from releasing radioactive water into Cape Cod Bay.

Healey said the company that owns Pilgrim, Holtec, won’t be allowed to discharge a million gallons of nuclear wastewater on her watch, either as attorney general or if she’s elected governor.

“We’ve come a long way on this issue, and I’ll be damn sure, in whatever capacity I serve, that we’re not going to have radioactive waste dumped down here,” she told CAI in an interview.

She believes the state has the authority to stop the discharge based on a settlement agreement with Holtec, combined with state and federal law, she said.

“I've been really clear about that, and I will continue to be clear about that, and will continue to hold Holtec accountable and make them live up to the conditions of the agreement,” she said.

The U.S Nuclear Regulatory Commission has previously said Holtec needs no further permits from the agency to discharge the water, provided the water meets federal exposure standards for radiation.

On the machine gun range proposed for Joint Base Cape Cod, Healey said she needs to do more research before she takes a position.

“We haven't been too involved in that issue, so I have to look at that more,” she said. “But look, you know, I am all about ensuring that our environment is protected, that our soil, our air, our water — that's really, really important to me.”

Healey is running for governor and will face state Senator Sonia Chang-Díaz in the Democratic primary in September.

People from the local business community meeting with Healey.
Jennette Barnes
Business owners and advocates who met with Healey included, from left: Meagan Lambton, owner of Dennis Village Mercantile; Tara Vargas Wallace, founder and executive director of Amplify POC Cape Cod; and Jeanne Morrison, board chair of Amplify POC Cape Cod.

She visited Dennis Village Mercantile yesterday to talk with local business owners and advocates about the labor shortage and related issues, including housing, transportation, and child care.

She also toured Cape Abilities Farm and the offshore wind training facilities at Massachusetts Maritime Academy.

Jennette Barnes is a reporter and producer. Named a Master Reporter by the New England Society of News Editors, she brings more than 20 years of news experience to CAI.