Westchester County Executive To Sue To Keep Indian Point Open

Rob Astorino

Rob Astorino

Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino is suing New York State to stop the planned closure of the Indian Point nuclear power plant.

Astorino maintains the deal reached by Governor Andrew Cuomo, Indian Point owners Entergy and environmental group Riverkeeper earlier this year should be invalidated since a full environmental review was not completed prior to the agreement as required by state law.

In early January, Cuomo, Entergy and Riverkeeper stunned local officials when they announced Indian Point would close in April 2021 since it was no longer profitable enough for Entergy.

The announcement sent immediate financial shockwaves since Entergy is a major funding source, providing 33% of annual revenue to the Hendrick Hudson School District, 46% to the Village of Buchanan, 64% to the Verplanck Fire Department. 28% to the Hendrick Hudson Free Library, 2% to the Town of Cortlandt and 1% to Westchester County.

Buchanan Mayor Theresa Knickerbocker joined Astorino in noting that they received no advance warning from the state. There was no review process whatsoever. She believes the SEQRA process would have given a better outcome or a plan B in the process.

According to Astorino, an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on Indian Point ceasing operation would determine the financial toll stemming from the loss of economic activity and property tax revenues, along with thousands of jobs; an expected increase in utility bills; and the environmental and financial consequences of leaving behind spent fuel rods on the site.

For the lawsuit to be initiated in state Supreme Court, the Board of Legislators must approve it by May 8.  (The Examiner, 4/5/2017)