Thursday, July 31, 2008

Indian Point Independent Safety Evaluation (ISE)

The Indian Point Independent Safety Evaluation (ISE) Panel is a body of 12 experts in nuclear safety, security, emergency preparedness and public policy. At the request of Entergy Corporation, the owner of the Indian Point Energy Center (IPEC), the Panel conducted a comprehensive, independent evaluation of the Indian Point nuclear power station in Buchanan, New York. The Panel operated openly and transparently, as required in its Charter. They evaluated Indian Point performance in comparison with their own experience and expectations for high-performing nuclear plants both in the United States and internationally.The Panel concluded that the IPEC is a safe plant and that Entergy is attentive to nuclear safety.

Operations are conducted competently and professionally, meeting the high standards of the U.S. nuclear industry. Plant safety systems are well maintained and reliable. IPEC’s performance compares favorably to high performing plants in most aspects of nuclear safety.

However, the Panel found that IPEC’s relationship with the public and stakeholders, particularly on matters of emergency preparedness, is not healthy. Overall, the Panel found that security at the plant is strong. The Panel operated with complete independence and had full access to the plant and its employees. Its written report, prepared independently from Entergy, is being made available to the public without editing by any party. (ISE Report)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Green Taxis Required By October 1st

New York is the only city in the United States that has mandated the use of hybrid gas-electric vehicles for its taxi fleet. The old taxis that get less than 25 miles per gallon must be replaced by Oct 1, 2008. The following models have been approved: Lexus RX 400h, Toyota Camry, Toyota Pius, Toyota Highlander, Mercury Mariner, Ford Escape, Saturn Vue Green Line, Chevrolet Malibu and Nissan Altima. It is estimated that 500,000 tons of greenouse gas emissions will be cut each year by this change over. There are approximately 13,000 taxis in New York City. Normally, about 3,000 are replaced each year. (USA Today, 7/18/08)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

RGGI CO2 Allowance Tracking System Now Available

The RGGI CO2 Allowance Tracking System (RGGI COATS) is now available and can also be accessed through the track system. Parties that wish to participate in the first RGGI CO2 Allowance Auction on September 25, 2008 must open a general account in RGGI COATS.

The auction process for the first RGGI CO2 Allowance Auction begins with the release of the Auction Notice and application materials at 8:00 AM EDT on Thursday, July 24, 2008. To learn more about how to participate in the first auction, you can log onto a conference call webinar on Thursday, July 24, 2008 from 2:00 - 4:00 PM EDT. Important details about how to participate in the auction will be covered. No questions will be taken during the webinar; however, an online question window opens the same day. The slide presentation for the webinar is available online: [Enter participant code 555661 and name, company, email address, and title]. To hear the audio presentation, participants must dial in to the following teleconference number: 1.888.875.4624 and participant code 555661#.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

AAEA-NY Defends FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant

Statement Before Administrative Law Judge Helene Goldberger:

In connection with the Entergy Nuclear Fitzpatrick LLC (Fitzpatrick) Application for a New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Water Quality Certification (“WQC”), the African American Environmentalist Association-New York (“AAEA-NY”) submitted comments in support of granting a WQC based on environmental justice considerations.

The draft denial of the WQC may lead to the closure of the facility if the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) denies a license renewal based on the denial of a WQC. Any substantial reduction in the amount of electricity generated by Fitzpatrick will spark demand for replacement electricity from power plants in other parts of the state. Unfortunately, these plants are, for the most part, pollution-emitting fossil-fuel plants.

In New York City these plants are largely located in low-income and minority communities. As production at these fossil-fuel plants increases, the air quality in and around these plants will further deteriorate, causing a spike in the incidences of respiratory and cardiovascular diseases in these vulnerable communities. The denial of the WQC, to the extent that it leads to fossil fuel replacement of Fitzpatrick, effectively places the interests of Lake Ontario fish eggs and larva over the health of New York’s low-income and minority communities.

Photo: Norris McDonald at FitzPatrick nuclear power plant in Scriba, New York.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Pedicab: Asian Rickshaw Technology Environmentally Friendly

Pedicabs are a combination of entertainment, transportation, environmental statement and fill a unique cultural niche. There are about 500 pedicabs in NYC charging from $15 to $40 for a 10-30 minute ride. In Central Park, pedicabs now compete with horse-drawn carriages for romantic rides.

Manhattan Rickshaw Company (212) 604-4729 offers tours led by licensed guides. Southern Loop of Central Park ($75; 30-45 minutes), Greenwich Village ($75; 60-75 minutes) and Lower East Side/Chinatown/Little Italy ($140; up to two hours). Prices are per vehicle, which fit up to three passengers. The company will also design a tour designed to meet your interests.