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Lowey Details Support For Mothballing Indian Point Nuclear Power Plants

U.S. Rep. Nita Lowey has introduced three pieces of federal legislation to ease the economic and environmental impact of permanently closing the Indian Point nuclear power plants in Buchanan by 2021.
U.S. Rep. Nita Lowey has introduced three pieces of federal legislation to ease the economic and environmental impact of permanently closing the Indian Point nuclear power plants in Buchanan by 2021. Photo Credit: File

U.S. Rep. Nita Lowey on Monday detailed what she will do to make sure the Indian Point nuclear power plants in Buchanan can be shut down permanently while keeping the public safe and economically secure.

Lowey, a Harrison Democrat who represents Rockland and Westchester counties,  held a news conference in Buchanan  to announce three bills that she introduced last week related to shuttering the nuclear energy complex by 2021, as previously announced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Entergy, the utility company that operates the power plants.

Lowey said she supports Cuomo's plan, reached with Entergy and Riverkeeper in January, to phase out operation of Indian Point.

“Since 2002, I have advocated for shutting down Indian Point because of its security and safety risks for all of us in the New York metro area," Lowey said.

Lowey was joined at Monday's news conference by state Assemblywoman Sandra Galef, a Democrat from Ossining; Cortlandt Supervisor Linda Puglisi, Buchanan Mayor Theresa Knickerbocker and Hendrick Hudson Schools Superintendent Joseph Hochreiter.

Lowey said her proposed legislation is aimed at providing a new source of revenue to offset the $32 million in annual taxes that Buchanan, Cortlandt and Hendrick Hudson schools are projected to lose when Entergy shuts off power.

Another Lowey bill would speed up removal of the highly-radioactive control rods from the plant site by granting authority to the  U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to license interim storage facilities in the country and prioritize the removal of nuclear waste from sites in densely populated areas, like the Lower Hudson Valley. A few temporary storage locations for the rods have been identified in Texas and New Mexico.

Entergy employs more than 1,100 local workers and provides about one-third of the annual tax revenue to the Hendrick Hudson School District, nearly two-thirds of the Verplanck Fire Department budget, 28 percent of the Hendrick Hudson Free Library annual budget, about 2 percent of Cortlandt's annal revenues and 1 percent of Westchester County revenues.

As part of its settlement agreement with Cuomo and Riverkeeper, Entergy has agreed to pay $15 million, starting in 2020, to local communities to offset the lost revenue.

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