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Source: Examiner.com

Desalination plant for Haverstraw Bay moves forward

BY RICHARD TANNENBAUM

Posted: November 12, 2009
Originally Published: November 12, 2009

United Water received approval from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to install 735 feet of six-inch pipe in the Hudson River at Haverstraw Bay. The pipe is being installed to facilitate United Water's pilot program to test the feasibility of building a permanent desalination plant to provide Rockland County, New York residents with drinking water from the Hudson River estuary.

The site would be located across the river from the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant in Buchanan, New York.

Opponents of the desalination plant have been mobilizing. The Citizens Campaign for the Environment, an 80,000 member non-partisan environmental activism organization has taken the campaign to the streets of Rockland County, going door-to-door asking for signatures on petitions and urging residents to write letters of opposition to Rockland County town and county officials.

The Hudson River estuary is highly polluted with heavy metals, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Residents also fear that discharges from the Indian Point Energy Center, a three-unit nuclear power plant station in New York may cause grave risks to public health. United Water has stated that the desalination plant will be monitored 24/7 and in case of any accident the plant will be shut down until the problem is mitigated.

Strontium-90 is a particulate which can be filtered out by the reverse osmosis technology being considered by United Water, but other contaminates like tritium (a radioactive form of hydrogen) and methylmercury (found in Hudson River estuary sediment) cannot be removed through filtering and reverse osmosis.

Exposure to strontium-90 increases the risk of numerous diseases including bone cancer, leukemia, and other soft tissue cancers.

For more information, visit: Sustainable Rockland