U.S. Senator Charles Schumer is Concerned About Indian Point Safety

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Senator Schumer warned that “The Coast Guard plays a vital role protecting Indian Point against potential terror attack so any cuts – especially the large and unwarranted ones now being proposed by this administration – undermine our safety and should be rejected.” He was speaking on March 15th against a plan to cut 14% from the Coast Guard’s budget.
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Terrorists have considered Indian Point as a target in the past and the planes that destroyed the World Trade Center on 9/11 flew up the Hudson River, passing close to the plant. Since those attacks, the Coast Guard has been assigned a round-the-clock duty to keep any vessels from coming within 500 yards of the nuclear facility that’s only 25 miles north of New York City. Schumer went on to state, “We know from experience, from recent attacks that Homeland Security needs more support to keep us safe, not less, especially when the plan is to divert money to make the American taxpayer build a border wall that is absurdly expensive and that the experts tell us will do nothing to keep us safe from would be terrorists,”
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In the meantime . . .
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Rob Astorino wants to sue New York state over Indian Point shutdown

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Thomas C. Zambito
 
Published 2:45 p.m. ET April 5, 2017
For the full article click here
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Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino said Wednesday that he wants to sue the state of New York over the planned shutdown of the Indian Point nuclear power plant, accusing his longtime rival Gov. Andrew Cuomo of sidestepping public input . . .

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“The law requires that a full environmental review needs to be done before an agreement is reached, not after,” Astorino said. “Whether you are for nuclear power or against it, there is no debate that the public had a right to know about the impact of closing Indian Point before the deal was reached by three men in a room. If our laws are to have any meaning at all, then the process has to be fair, open and reviewable.”

Astorino will need the backing of county legislators before moving ahead with litigation. Plans are to file a lawsuit in state Supreme Court in Westchester County by the first week of May.
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The lawsuit will look at whether the state bypassed the state Environmental Quality Review Act, which affords the public a full airing of a broad array of impacts before a proposal is approved, county officials say.

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[SEnRG VP Courtney Williams notes: Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino welcomed Spectra Energy with open arms, with their plan to put their massive AIM Pipeline underneath Indian Point. Now that Entergy has decided to close the plant, he’s demanding an environment impact statement and an examination of the economic costs.
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Why so concerned now? Because you want tax dollars? What will Westchester be worth if the pipeline ruptures and Indian Point goes up in flames County Executive?
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You could have fought Spectra to ensure safer conditions at the plant, demanded a risk assessment, but you didn’t. You welcomed them. Now that Entergy wants to close the plant, you want to force them to remain in operation? You can’t have it both ways!]

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Astorino, with County Legislator John Testa, a Republican who represents Peekskill, Buchanan, and parts of Cortlandt nearby, made the announcement during an afternoon press conference with the reactors of Indian Point behind him

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It’s unclear whether any of the towns and villages will join as plaintiffs in the lawsuit. Marsha Gordon, the president of the Business Council of Westchester, expressed support for the lawsuit.
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Astorino said that in addition to economic impact, an environmental review would address just how much money will be needed to decommission Indian Point. The plant’s spent nuclear fuel rods are expected to be stored in dry casks at the plant for decades to come.

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But . . .
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Michael Kaplowitz, the Westchester Legislative Chairman, Says the Indian Point Suit Is ‘Dead in the Water’

“While I appreciate his focus on Indian Point and understand there’s work to be done, a majority of my colleagues agree that a lawsuit as suggested is not appropriate and will not be supported,” Kaplowitz told reporters at a press conference Thursday morning. “It’s dead on arrival. There is no path to nine votes.”
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Indian Point is closing by 2021 under a deal brokered by the plant’s owner, Entergy, with New York State and Riverkeeper, who had multiple lawsuits and other legal proceedings fighting the plant’s operation and Entergy’s application for renewal of its licenses. As a result, the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board closed the Indian Point relicensing hearing in March, after 10 years of fighting.
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Kaplowitz said he had talked to Astorino today, before the press conference, to tell him he had spoken to more than nine county legislators who did not support the idea of a lawsuit under SEQRA. Nine votes would be necessary to authorize the suit. There are three basic reasons lawmakers don’t agree with Astorino, Kaplowitz said: the cost/benefit ratio; the worthiness of the purpose; and the timing.
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As for suing, the state, [Kaplowitz] said, “it’s an attack on the very entity, the state through its agencies, that would be there for transitional help, and would be putting dollars and a plan behind assistance to the communities. To ask for help with the left hand and sue with the right creates a mixed message.” While he said he thought Astorino had acted in good faith, the legislative leader repeatedly called for an “adult” approach to the problem, which he warned is massive. “We’re trying not to get in the middle of a cat fight between the governor and Mr. Astorino,” he said.

And it looks like Astorino hasn’t been reading the polls – he’d never do anything that might lose him a vote . . .

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Open or closed? NYers take stance on Indian Point: poll

A majority of New Yorkers support a state agreement to close Indian Point by 2021, a poll Monday found. By a margin of 54 percent to 30 percent, voters across the state backed a Jan. 9 deal among the nuclear power plant’s owner, environmental groups and the state to shutter the controversial Buchanan facility within the next four years, a Siena College poll said..Support of the decision was similar across the state: It was 56 percent to 32 percent in the New York City suburbs and 50 percent to 34 percent upstate.

 

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