Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Meanwhile, in the State of New York

Sam Pratt just shared the news, first reported by Riverkeeper, that a decision by the New York State Court of Appeals effectively stops the Nuclear Regulatory Commission from re-licensing Indian Point. A statement from Riverkeeper President Paul Gallay reads in part: "The Coastal Zone Management Act gives the New York Secretary of State the authority to refuse certification of any project that significantly impacts river resources. In late 2015, the Secretary of State ruled that Indian Point was inconsistent with over a dozen policies designed to protect the Hudson River and its surrounding communities." Pratt notes that these Coastal Policies are the same regulations that ended the St. Lawrence Cement project.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. We've got serious environmental issues right in Hudson, in the present, to which no one is paying any attention.

    This summer the Coastal Zone Management Act failed us big time, but no one even heard about it. (Ask yourselves why not.)

    Riverkeeper assisted us with one of these issues, then left the rest for us to solve. Ditto Scenic Hudson. So what went wrong?

    These groups can't accomplish everything on their own, but outsiders who'd otherwise be more helpful see Hudsonians as forever basking in the glory of the St. Lawrence fight, and doing little else. Doing nothing else is closer to the truth.

    Okay, that was a great and successful effort, but it was 17 years ago. In terms of present threats, re-telling that story ad infinitum is no more than a sop to our vanity. It is actually becoming harmful.

    If you really do care about the environment, then I invite you to take a part. Otherwise, talking like you're doing something today, now, in the present, begins to be counter-productive. It gives others the false impression that someone else, somewhere, is fixing problems they themselves can't attend to.

    Well guess what, it ain't happening.

    Do you know that our greatest local environmental challenges involve white collar crime? Do you know that the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation facilitates these crimes? The DEC is only too happy to let local agencies circumvent policies as long as no one else is looking. For all we know, they're getting kickbacks.

    And who do you suppose investigates these things, the HPD? The D.A? Please.

    Yes, local government should be held accountable, but that doesn't describe Hudson, not even when you change the faces in City Hall.

    The council and mayor would be more accountable to its constituents if its constituents showed they cared, but we don't care, or don't let them know that we care (in part because people showed they cared 17 years ago; get it?). Pathetic.

    Of course the environment is at the bottom of everyone's list nationwide, and Hudson is no exception. I say that if it's not your issue, then it doesn't have to be. That's entirely your business.

    But it's no help to anyone who's willing to lift a finger if you merely pretend to contribute. Frankly, it would be more helpful if people said nothing, so that everyone will plainly see that the environment is losing in a big way here: in the North Bay, the South, and Underhill Pond especially.

    In fairness, though, Hudson residents have few ways, if any, to find out about local conservation threats. You actually have to go out of your way to find out, on your own, and I don't even know who you'd ask.

    So what's up with that? (A: the bubble.)