Massachusetts activists have announced plans to sue the owners of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station for what they say is the continuous pollution of Cape Cod Bay over the last 16 years.
According to CNBC, "the three activists, represented by Ecolaw, notified the Environmental Protection Agency on Friday of their intent to sue the plant's owner, New Orleans-based Entergy Corp. They say the Plymouth plant damaged the local ecology by discharging chemical pollution and water heated far above allowed standards.
The activists say Pilgrim has more than 33,000 violations of the Clean Water Act since 1996 and charge that the company could be liable for $831 million in penalties, at $25,000 per violation.
In a separate letter Friday, Ecolaw also told the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection it intends to sue the agency for allegedly allowing Entergy to damage the environment.
Pilgrim was relicensed in June after more than six years and 14,000 hours of review by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The decision has been appealed by Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley and questioned by state and federal legislators.
Ecolaw said it notified state and federal agencies of its intent to sue under laws that allow citizens to act if the government fails to enforce the law.
The group told the EPA it's able to sue Entergy if the agency doesn't act within 60 days of the notification. And it says under Massachusetts law it can sue the Department of Environmental Protection if the state does not act with 21 days of its Friday notification to that agency.
Among the activists is Pine duBois of Kingston, who is the director of the Jones River Watershed Association. The Jones River is the largest watershed on Cape Cod Bay.
Plymouth Patch is waiting for responses to requests for comments from both duBois and Entergy, and will update this story when we receive more information.
Here is Entergy's official response to the pending suit, from Carol Wightman at Pilgrim.
“Entergy takes its environmental responsibilities and any allegation of noncompliance seriously. We will respond to the notice of intent after we have had a chance to thoroughly review the specific allegations. We note that Eco Law unsuccessfully raised a number of these allegations in the NRC license renewal proceeding for Pilgrim Station.”
Pine duBois answered a request for comments by saying "Our ocean is not Entergy’s dump. Cape Cod Bay belongs to all of us. Our regulators should enforcing the laws that prevent this kind of pollution."
Attorney and Plymouth resident Meg Sheehan, one of the attorneys representing the residents said, "Our oceans and fisheries are in terrible shape, and stopping Entergy’s pollution is one way to make things better. The Bay belongs to all of us. It is vital to tourism and is part of our natural and marine heritage. Pilgrim has been polluting Cape Cod Bay for over 40 years. Enough is enough."