Environmental activists won big when Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a new regulation into law, prohibiting the release of nuclear wastewater into the Hudson River. But it could have some unintended consequences.

Village of Buchanan Mayor Theresa Knickerbocker says closing the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant is going to have a huge impact. She says the village lost half of its revenue following the closure.

But since the initial announcement, the village has prepared for life after Indian Point. The only problem now is that life may start later, leaving the village in limbo as Holtec, the company decommissioning the site, says the law passed this summer could halt its efforts for eight years.

What You Need To Know

  • Gov. Kathy Hochul in August signed a bill restricting the dumping of nuclear wastewater into the Hudson River

  • Holtec, which is overseeing the decommissioning of Indian Point, says the new law will delay the process by eight years

  • The village of Buchanan, where Indian Point is located, is concerned the delay will impact economic viability

“We were talking about rezoning those 60 acres, which was potentially the easiest parcel to release," Knickerbocker said. "And now, there's a lot of uncertainty.”

The bill signed into law in August restricts the discharging of wastewater in connection with decommissioning nuclear power plants.

Pat O’Brien, director of communications and government affairs for Holtec, said the halt is to evaluate other options.

“Based on kind of how we foresee this playing out, both from a permitting perspective but also potentially from a legal perspective, and what timeline that may have," he said.

Proponents of the law say the standards for nuclear wastewater discharge should be re-evaluated to ensure the releases are safe for communities in and around them.

O’Brien said they’re meeting the guidelines set by the federal government.

“What we have always proposed when it comes to liquid discharge is based on science and fact, and it's based on what's the lowest impact, what's based on evaluations from experts," he said.

Knickerbocker said she hopes to talk to state lawmakers to discuss what’s at stake for a village that may have to wait nearly a decade to redevelopment the land.

“That was the most logical option," she said. "The waters treated, it's discharged. The other options that are on the table of placing the containers, large containers on the property, that's not an option.”

Spectrum News 1 reached out to the state Department of Public Service for comment. It pointed us to the upcoming decommissioning board meeting on Dec. 6, when the schedule changes will be discussed, among other subjects with Indian Point.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation released a statement saying it continues to work closely with federal regulators, Holtec, local officials and the state’s Decommissioning Oversight Board "to ensure the site is cleaned up in a safe, thorough and prompt manner."