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Gillibrand, Higgins press to prevent nuclear shipments over Peace Bridge

WASHINGTON – Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand and Rep. Brian Higgins are keeping up their pressure on the federal government to prevent the shipment of nuclear waste over the Peace Bridge.

The two lawmakers joined forces this week in a letter to Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, asking that the agency complete a new Environmental Impact Statement on the shipment of any nuclear waste shipped from Canada through New York to a disposal facility in Savannah River, S.C.

“The current route was approved using an old Environmental Impact Statement that relied on studies that evaluated the risks of transporting a solid material,” the lawmakers said. “The current shipments would be transported in liquid form, which brings a different set of risks than solid material and could place our communities at greater risk.”

Higgins has pressured the Energy Department for a further review for many months, but in the letter, he and Gillibrand strengthened their case for a stronger look at the possible shipments, which could begin shortly.

“Furthermore, we request that DOE work with the appropriate federal agencies, such as the Department of Transportation for the safety of roads, the Department of Housing and Urban Development to gauge vulnerable and at risk neighborhoods, as well as the U.S. Census Bureau to look at population density and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to look at whether patterns when the decision is being made on approving each route and shipment,” they wrote.

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