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Assemblywoman Amy R. Paulin (D-88th A.D.), joined by ten legislators in the New York State Legislature, filed a proposed amicus brief in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in the case of Brodsky v. U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (“NRC”).
The legislators, including New York State Senator Suzi Oppenheimer (D-37th S.D.) and New York State Assembly Members Thomas J. Abinanti (D-92nd A.D.), James F. Brennan (D-44th A.D.), Kevin A. Cahill (D-101st A.D.), Robert J. Castelli (R-89th A.D), Jeffrey Dinowitz (D-81st A.D.), Richard N. Gottfried (D-75th A.D), Ellen C. Jaffee (D-95th A.D.), Micah Z. Kellner (D-65th A.D.), and Linda B. Rosenthal (D-67th A.D.), support an appeal challenging the NRC’s decision to grant an exemption to Indian Point operator Entergy from complying with mandated fire safety requirements.
The amicus brief questions the legality of the NRC’s exemption decision, in part because NRC never held a required hearing to permit members of the public to comment on the amendment.
“The residents of New York State who are in close proximity to Indian Point deserve the opportunity to be heard on this important safety issue,” Paulin said. “Federal law requires meaningful participation from the public when significant changes are enacted, and the NRC’s actions do not comport with open and fair government practices.”
Located in Westchester County, the Indian Point facility poses potential dangers to New York State residents if safety concerns are not heeded. Part of Assemblywoman Jaffee’s district falls into the Emergency Planning Zone, which is the area within the ten-mile radius surrounding Indian Point.
"Indian Point's operator has no legal or moral right to jeopardize the safety of millions on New Yorkers by cutting corners on safety," Assemblywoman Jaffee stated. "This brief makes the sound legal case that the NRC had no grounds to issue a waiver to Indian Point, and we believe it is critical the court rule on the side of public safety in this instance."
Assemblyman Robert Castelli has been a longtime advocate for safety at Indian Point.
“While I have no evidence to indicate that the Indian Point nuclear facility is unsafe, I have serious concerns that the process for granting an exemption to a long-standing safety standard by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission was done without transparency or the appropriate public hearings,” he said. “I believe it is in the best interests of the residents of Westchester and the surrounding communities to determine if the exemption granted to Indian Point in the attendant matter was proper, and complies with the safety requirements for the plant, to ensure the safety of our community.”