Blogs > Docket > Protecting our Waterways From Power Plants: Why it matters to the future of America’s majestic rivers

Protecting our Waterways From Power Plants: Why it matters to the future of America’s majestic rivers

Originally published at Ecocentric

Paul Gallay, Executive Director & Hudson Riverkeeper and environmental attorney Reed Super talk about how power plants using once-through cooling technology to cool their turbines and produce electricity are destroying the Hudson River’s fish and aquatic life in this important new video.

Each year, power plants using once-through cooling suck in nearly 100 trillion gallons of water from many majestic waterways throughout the nation, including the Hudson River.  The Hudson River has a rich and long history of commercial fishing, which has been compromised by this outdated technology. As a result of pollution and power plant intakes, Shad and blue crab are the only commercial species remaining in the Hudson and there is currently a ban on commercial and recreational fishing for Shad in order to allow this historically important species to recover.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently proposed a regulation that was supposed to address the power plant fish kill problem, and which has been delayed for decades by fierce industry resistance. But EPA’s proposed rule fails to require plants to install closed-cycle cooling, a widely used and proven technology that has been available for decades and can reduce the number of fish killed by 95% or more.

Requiring cooling system upgrades would not only protect fish and aquatic life; it would create jobs, improve the economy, and potentially improve air quality. Some of these marginal plants will choose to repower their facilities, which will transform them into a state-of-the-art modern facility, allowing them to produce clean electricity more efficiently and at a lower cost, an all-around win for the environment, consumers, and the economy.

Learn more about the damage caused by the nation’s older power plants, and take action today to urge the EPA to adopt a strong standard for modernizing power plant cooling systems in its final rule by requiring closed-cycle cooling.

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