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Closing Indian Point Good for the Hudson River, Public Safety and Economy

Hayley Carlock
Director of Environmental Advocacy, Scenic Hudson, Inc.
845 891 3148 (mobile)

HUDSON VALLEY—Following the filing of two lawsuits yesterday by Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino over the planned shutdown of the Indian Point nuclear power plant, Scenic Hudson signaled its continued support for closing the Indian Point Energy Center pursuant to a landmark settlement between New York State and Entergy. Riverkeeper was a party to the settlement on behalf of its partners, including Scenic Hudson.

The aging nuclear plant undermines the health of the Hudson River and surrounding areas. Billions of aquatic organisms are killed each year through the plant’s once-through cooling technology, which leads to the significant decline of numerous important fish species in the river. The plant also has a long history of safety and environmental violations and has the highest population density surrounding a nuclear plant in the United States, with 20 million people living within a 50-mile radius. Based on these devastating impacts and additional concerns related to safety and security, Scenic Hudson has long called for the plant’s shutdown.

The agreement to close the plant is not just a victory for the Hudson River, but also for the communities surrounding the plant. An existing 10-mile evacuation plan is practically unworkable and insufficient to protect the public in case of a nuclear accident. The settlement also requires that spent nuclear fuel will be moved from dangerous storage pools to much safer dry-case storage. Indian Point’s storage pools have leaked radioactive water into the ground and the Hudson River.

A report by Synapse Energy Economics, commissioned by Riverkeeper and the Natural Resources Defense Council, found that clean energy resources can fully replace Indian Point’s power after it closes in 2021, and with very little impact on electricity costs. Replacing Indian Point’s power with sustainable energy sources will also provide well-paying jobs. Both New York State and Entergy are committed to help plant workers find new jobs.

“Closing Indian Point is a win for the Hudson River, residents of Westchester County and indeed all New Yorkers. It will put us on the path to reversing decades of serious damage to the Hudson River and its wildlife—with sustainable, safe and economical energy resources replacing the facility’s power. Additionally, Governor Cuomo and Entergy have agreed to assist plant employees in finding new jobs, while local school districts and governments will receive multi-year financial assistance from the state to help recover lost revenue from the plant’s closure,” said Scenic Hudson Director of Environmental Advocacy Hayley Carlock.

About Scenic Hudson

Scenic Hudson preserves land and farms and creates parks that connect people with the inspirational power of the Hudson River, while fighting threats to the river and natural resources that are the foundation of the valley’s prosperity. A crusader for the valley since 1963, we are credited with saving fabled Storm King Mountain from a destructive industrial project and launching the modern grass-roots environmental movement. Today with more than 25,000 ardent supporters, we are the largest environmental group focused on the Hudson River Valley. Our team of experts combines land acquisition, support for agriculture, citizen-based advocacy and sophisticated planning tools to create environmentally healthy communities, champion smart economic growth, open up riverfronts to the public and preserve the valley’s inspiring beauty and natural resources. To date Scenic Hudson has created or enhanced more than 65 parks, preserves and historic sites up and down the Hudson River and conserved more than 40,000 acres.