Democrats Kill Astorino Indian Point Lawsuit that Would Claim the Decision to Close Required an Environmental Review

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WPCNR COUNTY CLARION-LEDGER. From the Westchester County Legislators Democratic Caucus. April 24, 2017:

Westchester County Board of Legislators Democrats moved to squash the County Executive’s (Robert P. Astorino) plans for a lawsuit against the State over the closing of Indian Point; Plans that needed the approval of the Board of Legislators to move forward.

“Instead of engaging in a wasteful lawsuit where both sides are funded with taxpayer money, the best approach is to work with all of the effected communities on how to mitigate the economic, social, and environmental impacts of Indian Point closing,” said Majority Leader Catherine Borgia (D- Ossining, Croton-on-Hudson, Cortlandt Manor, Briarcliff Manor, Peekskill), a member of Governor Cuomo’s Task Force on Indian Point.

“I am looking forward to working with representatives from the Hendrick Hudson School District, the Town of Cortlandt, the Town of Buchanan, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), local elected & school officials, and taxpayers on this collaborative approach,” added Borgia.

“I urge the County Executive and my colleagues at every level of government to focus on a collaborative process to decommission the plants and find the best energy and tax replacement plan possible.  The days of a nuclear Indian Point will soon be past and we must act now to determine what the best future use of the site is,” said Chairman Michael Kaplowitz (D-Somers).

Democrats will hold committee meetings with stakeholders to discuss and take action on certain aspects of the State’s decommissioning plan. Additionally, Majority Leader Catherine Borgia will host meetings in her district to gather input from effected residents.

Legislator Ben Boykin (D-White Plains), Chair of the Committee on Public Safety & Social Services, who will chair one of these hearings, said

“Entergy, the private company who owns and operates Indian Point, has stated their desire to close the plant. Why would we waste taxpayer money on a lawsuit forcing a private company to make business decisions that they clearly have no interest in? Furthermore, a Court is very unlikely to force State Environmental Quality Review (SEQRA) action be taken by a non-governmental entity.  Again, Democrats are keeping the taxpayers’ best interests’ in mind, not political ambition, and will put an end to this long-shot lawsuit.”

SEQRA reviews are required when Government entities engage in new plans, not when private companies look to cease operations.

Legislator Catherine Parker, Chair of the Committee on Energy & Regional Efficiencies, will also chair a hearing on the best way to move forward on a coordinated decommissioning plan that mitigates the risks to residents of the Indian Point region.

“The County Executive seems to forget the real environmental harm that Indian Point has on our region; Let alone the public safety risks,” added Parker (D-Rye). “This is why we will work with the NRC to ensure that the safest plan for spent fuel rods is in place. I am very much looking forward to hosting this important discussion.”

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