Wednesday, July 21, 2010

AAEA Testifies at Nuclear Power Plant Water Quality Hearing

AAEA President Norris McDonald, right, presented testimony before two administrative law judges at a hearing near the Indian Point nuclear power plant. The hearing was held in Cortlandt, New York at Colonial Terrace. The hearing was to address the New York Department of Environmental Conservation's denial of Entergy's Water Quality Certificate Application.

Excerpts of McDonald's written statement:

"AAEA disagrees with DEC's denial of Entergy's Water Quality Certificate and will provide information that the agency overlooked in its evaluation of the certificate application. Entergy's application, including the addition of a cylindrical wedge-wire (CWW) screen system (as proposed in Entergy’s February 12, 2010, submission), not only complies with existing New York State water quality standards, it also enhances those standards.

But nowhere in its discussion of these “other impacts” is there any acknowledgement by the DEC of the air impacts its decision will have on minority communities. This omission is egregious, particularly in light of the DEC’s numerous policy pronouncements, including DEC Policy Statement CP-29: Environmental Justice and Permitting, issued on March 19, 2003, where DEC expressed its commitment to environmental justice. In Policy Statement CP-29, DEC stated:

'It is the general policy of DEC to promote environmental justice and incorporate measures for achieving environmental justice into its programs, policies, regulations, legislative proposals and activities. This policy is specifically intended to ensure that DEC’s environmental permit process promotes environmental justice.'
CP-29 applies to permit applications received after its effective date (March 19, 2003) and the WQC application was submitted to the DEC on April 6, 2009. Thus, CP-29 clearly applies to this certification process.

To date, DEC’s permitting procedure for the Indian Point 2 and 3 facilities, and in particular, DEC’s Notice of Denial, and other considerations and investigations for these facilities, wholly ignores the issue of environmental justice and turns a blind eye to the significant harm to human health. These substantive and significant deficiencies render the Notice of Denial null and void, and preclude the DEC denying the WQC."

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