Astorino Puts Environmental Concerns, Taxpayers on Front Burner of Indian Point Closure

Whether you’re for or against the closure of Indian Point, County Executive Rob Astorino wants to ensure the health, safety and pocketbooks of nine million New Yorkers are protected.

Astorino took the step this week of filing a lawsuit to ensure that any actions to close Indian Point fully comply with the state’s environmental laws, citing numerous breaches resulting from what he described as a “three men in a room” deal to close the plant. The closure was arranged in secret by Governor Cuomo, Riverkeeper and Entergy and failed to meet its obligations to New York State’s Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA).

Indian Point provides 25 percent of New York City and Westchester’s electricity supply. Astorino cited the detrimental economic impact the closure would have on Westchester ratepayers and taxpayers. “The poor and senior citizens on fixed incomes will be hit the hardest by higher electricity costs once the plant is closed,” said County Executive Astorino.

Astorino also warned that the plant site, located in the Village of Buchanan, would become a nuclear waste cemetery, with spent radioactive fuel rods stored there for generations.

The state was required by law to file an environmental impact statement prior to its Jan. 9 agreement to close Indian Point. An EIS is meant to provide the public with detailed information about the environmental consequences of the proposal, including social and economic impacts to local communities and the region, and contains both a cost analysis and a range of alternatives.

“If our environmental laws are to mean anything, then surely they must apply to the closing of a nuclear power plant that affects the lives and livelihoods of nine million New Yorkers. If ever there was a case for the State Environmental Quality Review Act to be enforced, this is it.”

Astorino posed these questions that demand answers from the state:

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