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Join Our Fight to Protect Hudson River Fish from Indian Point!


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Voice Your Support for State Action to End Slaughter of Herring, Shad, Striped Bass and Other Hudson River Fish Species

On July 22, 2014, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will hold a public comment hearing session to receive public comments on DEC Staff’s proposal to require permanent annual forced fish protection outages as a possible alternative to building a closed–cycle cooling system at the Indian Point Nuclear power plant. Two public comment hearing sessions will be held at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. at the Colonial Terrace, 119 Oregon Road, Cortlandt Manor, New York.

In 2003, DEC issued a draft permit for Indian Point requiring the plant to upgrade its destructive once-through cooling water intakes, and retrofit to the “best technology available,” (BTA) a closed loop system that would reduce its impacts on the Hudson River by about 97% – this would virtually eliminate the killing of over 1 billion fish a year, and the 24/7 thermal discharge of heated water back into the Hudson, which causes severe impacts to the river ecosystem. Entergy, the owner of Indian Point, challenged this permit requirement, and hearings, which began in 2011, to address the cooling system retrofit are now in their final stages. In 2010, DEC took further action and denied Indian Point’s request for a Clean Water Act Section 401 Water Quality Certification [hyperlink to our website on 401], an additional authorization from DEC which Entergy is required to obtain in order to be relicensed for another 20 years by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The denial was based in part on the Hudson River impacts caused by Indian Point’s existing antiquated cooling water system.

DEC Staff is offering “permanent fish protection outages” as an alternative option to closed-cycle cooling, in the unlikely event that the state determines a closed-cycle system cannot be built at one or both of the Indian Point reactors, because of engineering or other technical reasons. If closed-cycle cooling could not be built at one or both of the India Point reactors, permanent forced outages would require Entergy to shut down any Indian Point reactors which is not equipped with closed-cycle cooling on an annual basis during fish spawning and migration seasons, the majority of which typically occur between May to mid-August. This would minimize Indian Point’s fish kills to a level equivalent to the protections provided afforded by a closed-cycle cooling system, as required by law. DEC is considering a range of outage lengths, and scenarios involving one reactor retrofitting to closed-cycle cooling, and one operating with annual permanent outages.

The goal is simple – end Indian Point’s destructive legacy of killing a billion fish a year over the last forty years, by requiring strict measures that will fully protect the Hudson River ecosystem that Riverkeeper has fought to restore for decades.

Riverkeeper supports DEC’s decision to include the “permanent annual outage” option as a BTA alternative, but make no mistake: all the evidence put in this case so far by Riverkeeper and DEC Staff shows that closed-cycle cooling is the gold standard that must be implemented at Indian Point to protect the Hudson. If permanent outages are considered, the seasonal timing and duration of such outages must provide the same level of protection to the river as closed-cycle cooling. Anything less would be contrary to the law and facts so clearly laid out in this case since 2003, and by Riverkeeper since the early 1970s, when we first fought to protect the river from the scourge of Indian Point. Riverkeeper and DEC Staff are both also pushing hard to require Entergy to immediately take fish protection outages while this permit case is wrapping up, and during the time it takes to build closed-cycle cooling at Indian Point.

The facts speak for themselves – every day IP operates with its current outdated cooling system, it does more damage to the Hudson River ecosystem – this legacy of destruction will end, and we need your public support to make sure it ends as soon as possible!

Come to the public meeting on July 22, and tell DEC how much you value the Hudson River, with this simple message:

  • Support Riverkeeper and DEC Staff’s finding that closed-cycle cooling must be built at Indian Point, in order to fully protect striped bass, American Shad, river herring and other key Hudson River fish that have suffered decades of abuse from this outdated, unneeded nuclear plant.
  • As an alternative, support permanent outages, but only if they cover all relevant spawning seasons for Hudson River fish and thus provide the same level of protection to the Hudson as closed-cycle cooling – there is no room for compromise or half measures when it comes to protecting and restoring our River!

You can also file written comments, but they must be postmarked by Friday, July 11.
Send comments to Administrative Law Judge Maria E. Villa, NYSDEC Office of Hearings and Mediation Services, 625 Broadway, 1st Floor, Albany, New York 12233-1550.

Comments you make at the public meeting on July 22 are as good as written comments, and will go into the formal record of this permit case – that’s why it’s critically important for you to come out and support our fight to end the damage inflicted on the Hudson from Indian Point.

Make your voice heard. Send in your comments and turn out to the public hearing. Permanent outages are another powerful arrow in the state’s quiver, along with requiring closed-cycle cooling, that will force Entergy to comply with the law and address Indian Point’s unrelenting impacts to the Hudson.

DEC Fact Sheet on scheduled BTA Outages/Seasonal Protective Outages
DEC Meeting Notice

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