NY Court Says Entergy Nuke Plant Exempt From State Program

ALBANY, NY (AP) — The Indian Point nuclear power plant on the lower Hudson River is exempt from New York state's coastal management program, a midlevel state court has ruled.

         The Appellate Division panel said Entergy's two nuclear generators and their environmental reviews predated the 1982 statute authorizing the New York Department of State to examine consistency with coastal protections. The five justices, ruling unanimously, said Thursday the two generating plants are "grandfathered" by law and exempt.

         The power plant is in Buchanan, 35 miles north of Manhattan. It sits in an estuary of the river where saltwater tides from the Atlantic Ocean flow in and out.

         "There is no dispute that Indian Point 2 and Indian Point 3, which lie on the banks of the Hudson River, have an impact upon a coastal area that is subject to the Coastal Management Program," Justice Christine Clark wrote. "The projects at issue here are exempt from review under the CMP because final environmental impact statements were filed for both prior to 1982."

         Entergy's application for a new 20-year license to keep operating the generators has been pending with the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission since 2007. The New Orleans-based company said the coastal certification, or exemption as approved by the court, satisfies one of its major relicensing requirements.

         Entergy spokesman Jerry Nappi said Friday the company is pleased with the ruling.

         The Department of State intends to appeal the decision, spokesman Edison Alban said. He declined further comment.

         Other remaining issues for relicensing are the state Department of Environmental Conservation certification of its water quality measures and the NRC's federal finding that it meets safety and environmental standards.

         Meanwhile, the nuclear plants continue to generate power under their old license, having filed their renewal application on time.

         – by AP Reporter Michael Virtanen


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