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.