Nita Lowey

02/13/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 02/13/2020 15:06

Schumer, Gillibrand, Lowey Successful in Extending Public Comment Period on the License Transfer of Indian Point

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to Lawmakers: 'NRC staff has agreed with your request to extend the comment period for an additional 30 days'

Washington, DC - U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and U.S. House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-NY-17) today secured a commitment from NRC to extend the public comment period from 30 to 60 days for the proposed license transfer of Indian Point Energy Center (Indian Point) from Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc. (Entergy) to Holtec Decommissioning International (Holtec). The NRC agreed to extend the public comment period to March 25, 2020, a request the lawmakers made in a January 21st letter.

Entergy and Holtec submitted a license transfer application to the NRC on November 21, 2019. This would facilitate a change in ownership of the plant from Entergy to Holtec, once Indian Point is completely shut down in 2021. Holtec would then carry out all of the activities to decommission the plant, store the spent nuclear fuel, and restore the site to its original condition.

These decommissioning activities will potentially impact the local workforce, environment, public services, state and municipal budgets, the school district, safety, and emergency planning in Buchanan, NY, and the surrounding region. With the additional 30 days, stakeholders and residents affected by Indian Point's closure will have additional time to share their concerns.

'We made it clear to the NRC that thirty days is simply not enough time for the thousands of Lower Hudson Valley residents, plant employees, union workers, local businesses, elected officials and all other key local stakeholders to carefully review the dense, technical, three hundred-page license transfer documentation that will prove to be a crucial step in determining how the decommissioning of Indian Point will be executed. These stakeholders have had Indian Point in their community for over 50 years and they will be both directly and indirectly impacted by the NRC's decision on the decommissioning of Indian Point,' said Senator Schumer. 'I'm pleased that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission heeded our call and extended the comment period for Indian Point's license transfer by a month, ensuring that all parties impacted by its closure will have more time to provide meaningful feedback. I'll continue to do everything in my power to ensure that each step of the Indian Point decommissioning happens transparently.'

'I'm pleased that the NRC has agreed to provide more time for the thousands of residents and stakeholders surrounding Indian Point to make their voices heard through the public comment process,' said Senator Gillibrand. 'The closure and decommissioning of Indian Point will have a significant impact on the communities, local workforce, and environment in the Hudson Valley. Those communities and all relevant stakeholder groups deserve to have a say in the process. It's critical that each step of the decommissioning process is public and I'll continue working with those in the Lower Hudson Valley to ensure transparency.'

'This license transfer will dramatically impact the entire Lower Hudson Valley and change the lives of those living near Indian Point,' said Congresswoman Lowey. 'It's vital the NRC take their opinions into consideration, and I'm pleased it heeded our call to increase the time for all local officials, residents, and stakeholders to voice their concerns. This decision is simply far too important to be rushed, and I will continue to make sure local fears and concerns are heard and addressed.'

In addition to their January 22, 2020, letter on extending the comment period, on January 31, 2020, Representatives Engel and Maloney joined Senators Schumer and Gillibrand and Chairwoman Lowey in calling on the NRC to hold a public hearing before moving forward on the Indian Point license transfer. Lawmakers are eagerly awaiting a response to this letter and will continue to provide strong Congressional oversight over the shutdown and decommissioning of Indian Point to protect the health, safety, and well-being of all New Yorkers.

Here is the response from the NRC extending the public comment period.