Saturday, January 7, 2017

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Indian Point may shut down, says Clearwater

BUCHANAN – The Indian Point nuclear power plants at Buchanan may be shutting down in 2020 and 2021, environmental group Hudson River Sloop Clearwater reported on Friday.

The organization said an agreement is being negotiated by the State of New York and the plants’ owners, Entergy.

Entergy spokesman Jerry Nappi had no comment about the report.

Word of a shutdown agreement, first reported by the New York Times, “is definitely a step in the right direction,” said Manna Jo Greene, environmental action director for Clearwater.

Westchester County Executive Robert Astorino was critical of the way a potential closure deal was worked out. “Westchester County has not been a part of any talks to close Indian Point – and that’s a big problem. Any discussion to close Indian Point must have the one million people of Westchester represented at the table,” he said.

Astorino said any closure of the plant would have an “enormous” effect on Westchester and the rest of the state. He cited the loss of over 1,000 jobs, the shrinking of the local tax base and “skyrocketing energy costs.”

Cortlandt Town Supervisor Linda Puglisi called on Governor Andrew Cuomo to immediately form a blue ribbon commission to address related issues.

“You have to plan for the near and far future of a community. We need to be officially notified; we were not. We read about it in a newspaper article. That was not appropriate,” she said. “I am contacting the governor to establish a blue ribbon panel immediately to address these issues.”

Puglisi said the Village of Buchanan would lose 46 percent of its tax base with an Indian Point shutdown. The Hendrick Hudson School District would see one-third of its tax base cut and the Town of Cortlandt would see a two percent loss in its tax base, she said. Astorino said Entergy pays Westchester County $4.5 million annually.

Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney he has been supporting “responsibly phasing out operations at Indian Point – that means preserving jobs for workers and providing a reliable energy source that keeps prices low for Hudson Valley families.”

He said a closure agreement “must include concrete plans to protect the jobs of hundreds of New Yorkers and keep energy prices low” for area residents.

State Assemblyman Kevin Cahill (D-Kingston) said while safety upgrades would be part of a proposal to allow Indian Point to continue operating under a new six-year license without state opposition, “we must be vigilant to assure that the facility does not transition from an operating power plant to a dormant nuclear waste dump.”

Entergy had been seeking new 20-year operating permits for the two reactors from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

 


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