Our 2014 Efforts
Our mission is to protect and restore Cape Cod Bay and all its resources.
1. STOP pollution and destruction of marine life caused by Entergy’s Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station
Surface Water Pollution and Destruction of Marine Life
Pilgrim uses an outdated, once-through cooling water system that uses up to 510 million gallons of water per day from Cape Cod Bay. The cooling system discharges large quantities of heated waste water back to the source, negatively impacting marine species and habitats. Pilgrim’s thermal pollution covers nearly 5 miles of the Bay. Pilgrim’s once-through cooling system also has direct impacts on marine life, killing billions of fish, shellfish and plankton every year. Pilgrim’s licence to operate this destructive cooling system has been expired for 18 years.
Pilgrim has been leaking radioactive tritium and other contaminants into the Plymouth-Carver Sole Source Aquifer, which supplies drinking water to many towns in the region. The source(s) of the tritium leaks have yet to be definitively identified. Entergy also discharges industrial pollutants into the ground from its on-site wastewater treatment plant. Groundwater reportedly flows toward Cape Cod Bay, meaning radioactive tritium and industrial waste are likely polluting the Bay as well.
Nuclear Waste Storage
Entergy is building a nuclear waste storage facility (called dry casks) at Pilgrim, within approximately 300 feet from the shore of the Bay. These dry casks could remain there indefinitely, making the town of Plymouth a de facto nuclear waste dump. As it currently stands, the nuclear waste storage facility is not being designed and built in the safest way possible – in terms of the environment, public health, and the economic well-being of the town. Entergy should be required to obtain special permit under Plymouth zoning laws, so that the Town can impose certain conditions on the project. Plymouth officials need to use their authority to ensure Pilgrim’s nuclear waste facility is designed, built and operated under the highest of standards.
2. STOP pollution caused by Plymouth’s wastewater treatment plant
There have been chronic Clean Water Act permit violations by Plymouth’s wastewater treatment facility. CCBW has been closely monitoring this issue, and working to ensure the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is doing its job and that Veolia (operator of the treatment plant) and the Town of Plymouth are held accountable. The problems need to be fixed so that public safety, the ecological health of Plymouth and Cape Cod Bays, and the economic well-being of the Town are better safeguarded in the future.