NYS DOS Comment Period On Coastal Zone Policies For Indian Point Soon Ends

Oct 22, 2013

Credit Tony Fischer, flickr

The comment period regarding New York State certification of coastal zone policies for the Indian Point nuclear power plant ends next week. An environmental group that wants Indian Point shut down contends the plant violates these policies while an Indian Point spokesman says the plant remains in compliance.

The New York State Department of State is seeking comments from the public regarding the consistency of the license renewal of Buchanan-based Indian Point with the coastal policies of the state’s Coastal Management Program. DOS certification is required for relicensing. Westchester-based environmental group Riverkeeper has been urging the public to write to DOS to object to Indian Point parent Entergy's coastal zone certification. Riverkeeper’s Hudson River Program Director Phillip Musegaas explains that the certification at issue is required under the Federal Coastal Zone Management Act, and involves 44 enforceable policies in the state’s Coastal Management Plan - policies intended to protect the coastal environment; in this case, the Hudson River estuary.

Entergy Spokesman Jerry Nappi sees it differently.

Entergy purchased Indian Point 3 from New York Power Authority in 2000, and Indian Point 2 from Con Edison in 2001.

Riverkeeper’s Musegaas says the coastal zone policies prioritize the protection of habitats, the protection of wildlife from hazardous waste, and the protection and expansion of recreational uses of the river.

Entergy’s Nappi maintains that Indian Point is in compliance.

DOS says the public comments must be received by 4:30 p.m. October 30. Should the Department of State find that the continued operation of Indian Point violates coastal policies, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is prohibited from renewing Entergy’s license. Meanwhile, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation in 2010 denied a water quality permit for Indian Point, a permit that also is necessary for relicensing. Entergy is contesting that denial and the permit case is being reviewed.

Though Indian Point Two’s license expired September 28, the reactor will operate until the Nuclear Regulatory Commission renders a decision. The license for Indian Point Three expires in December 2015.