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June 16, 2023 | Area Standards, Political Action

Building Trades Unions to Hold Rally Against Job-Killing Legislation

Organized Labor rally against legislation that will stop Indian Point decommissioning

Albany, NY – Members of the North Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters (NASRCC) will join with members of multiple building trades unions – including the Operating Engineers, Electricians and Iron Workers – to rally against a bill that would lead directly to substantial long-term jobs losses in the Hudson Valley. The legislation (A7208/S6893), sponsored by Senator Pete Harckham and Assemblymember Dana Levenberg, would effectively stop the decommissioning of Indian Point.

“This bill may be well intentioned, but it would stop the decommissioning of Indian Point and lead to substantial long-term job losses in the Hudson Valley. The concerns raised by the bill’s sponsors have been addressed, and the EPA has developed environmentally conscious procedures that our members are following closely. A handful of misguided activists from outside our community shouldn’t be allowed to stop a worthy project that is providing critical blue collar jobs,” said Bill Banfield, Assistant to the Executive Secretary-Treasurer, North Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) maintain federal jurisdiction over the activity this legislation seeks to ban. Both bodies have developed environmentally conscious procedures for the discharge of substances from decommissioned power plants and have found Holtec Decommissioning International to be fully compliant with these procedures. If this legislation were to pass as currently written, it would be an abrupt reversal of the terms of the agreement New York entered with Holtec Decommissioning International to oversee decommissioning activity in the state and would likely result in a lengthy legal dispute. In the meantime, all decommissioning activity at the site would shut down, resulting in large-scale layoffs to union carpenters.

Many of the concerns raised in the sponsor’s memo, including economic impacts to historically disadvantaged communities caused by discharge into the Hudson River, have been addressed or mitigated to the greatest extent possible by the EPA’s guidelines. The NASRCC urges members of the Legislature to follow the agency’s guidance, protect union jobs, and oppose A7208/S6893.