Indian point closure

Neighbors, we are two years closer to the closing of Indian Point and know nothing  

more than we did the day the closing was announced, January 6, 2017.  


I will fight FOR the taxpayers and small businesses of Legislative District 9 and Westchester County, as well as the affected workers to make sure there is:

*Alternate power sources sufficient to sustain us.

*Tax relief from the state until our communities and schools are able to substitute lost revenue.

*A plan for Indian Point workers to be given priority positions in the decommissioning process wherever possible instead of bringing in outside workers.

*A land re-use study and commitment from Entergy to release the unused portions of land so it can be developed for re-use sooner than later.


Our legislator had the chance to demand action on Indian Point and protect her constituents by demanding that New York State follow the law and complete a full environmental impact statement before signing any deal to close Indian Point.  Instead, our legislator put politics before people by voting against the lawsuit to force the review.  As a result, Indian Point will be a nuclear waste cemetery in our backyards for the next 100 years with all these unknowns still looming over us. We deserve better.
 

Transparency... knowing up front the economic, environmental and health effects we all will face from the closing of the Indian Point, and how these effects will be mitigated was my number one priority two years ago and it is still my number one priority today. 

 

I will fight FOR our children, grandchildren, taxpayers and the small businesses of Legislative District 9 and Westchester County, as well as the affected Indian Point workers to make sure there is:


*Alternate power sources sufficient to sustain us.

*Tax relief from the state until our communities and schools are able to substitute lost revenue. 

*A plan for Indian Point workers to be given priority positions in the decommissioning process wherever possible instead of bringing in outside workers.

*A land re-use study and commitment from Entergy to release the unused portions of land so it can be developed for re-use sooner than later.


Our legislator had the chance to demand action on Indian Point and protect her constituents by demanding that New York State follow THE LAW and complete a full environmental impact Statement before signing any deal to close Indian Point, instead our legislator put politics before people voting against the lawsuit to force the review as a result Indian Point could be a nuclear waste cemetery in our backyard for the next 100 years. We deserve better.
 

TIMELINE

*On January 6, 2017 local government officials were blindsided by the news of the closure of Indian Point.
*On February 24, 2017 then Majority Leader Borgia moved to squash the County Executive's plan for a lawsuit against the state to demand a SEQRA to determine the economic and environmental impact of the closing.

*On April 20, 2017 in her video rebuttal to the State of the County address, she made no mention of the Indian Point closure or its impacts on our community, even though it was a prominent point in the State of the County Address.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4CYsWakkuOM In this rebuttal, she accuses Rob Astorino of a back-room deal to sell off the airport, yet mentions nothing of Governor Cuomo’s backroom deal with Entergy and Riverkeeper to close Indian Point without first requiring the SEQRA to outline the actual impact of our community.
*On May 8, 2017 she voted against the action against New York State, Riverkeeper and Entergy for failing to file a SEQRA.

*On October 27, 2017 ONE WEEK before election day she puts out a “Resolution” on Indian Point.

 

WHAT HAS SHE DONE SINCE THEN?


From my Opponent's Website: “When Indian Point closes, we will still face the serious environmental threat of storing the spent fuel rods until the Federal Government decides on a long-term strategy for this fuel. I will continue to fight for the safe storage of spent fuel rods and continued stringent safety oversight by the NRC, the Department of Energy, and State Authorities. The residents of Westchester County deserve every protection from any potential risks of maintaining the spent fuel rods in our community.”


Please, email our Legislator and ask her in writing why we the residents do not deserve to know how the movement of nuclear material may affect our children and what the environmental and economic impacts of the Indian Point Closure are going to be on the rest of us? Please ask the then Majority Leader, when the County Executive tried to file a lawsuit demanding Entergy and New York State to provide us with this critical information why she called this a frivolous lawsuit and a waste of money and rejected it?  Why is it frivolous to want to know how this is going to affect our health, our environment and our community? I think the residents around Indian Point would beg to differ and deserve to know the results of this very important study. She stated in her rebuttal to the state of the county “putting wasteful lawsuits and pet projects behind us is the right place to start.” What is wasteful about demanding a SEQRA that gives citizens, and all interested parties, an opportunity in a forum governed by law and the courts. It requires NYS to demonstrate how it will mitigate any adverse effects of the closure, including the economic impact of 1,000 laid off workers. Once findings and mitigation are made part of the record in a SEQRA, the state must follow it or the court will order them to do so.


From my Opponent's Website:  "It is not a secret that when Indian Point closes the taxpayers of Cortlandt, Buchanan, Peekskill and the Hendrick Hudson School District will take a hit in lost property taxes. That is why I sponsored the resolution calling for the state and federal governments to provide economic developments assistance and why we fought to provide serious monetary relief to the school district and local governments through the Property Taxpayers Protection Act."


No, it’s not a secret the taxpayers of Cortlandt, Buchanan, Peekskill and the Hendrick Hudson School District are losing millions of dollars.  We’ve been screaming from the rafters about this for two years. Please email Legislator Borgia and ask her exactly how much relief OUR DISTRICT will receive from the increase in sales tax they are masquerading as the Property Tax Payer Protection Act? What is the “serious monetary relief” to the Town of Cortlandt, Hendrick Hudson School District and Village of Buchanan going to be? Please email our legislator and ask her if we, in District 9, ready to suffer a substantial blow in taxes, will be getting anything more than any other municipalities in Westchester.  I am asking you to ask her in writing, because her answer, if there even is one, will be a resounding NO. We aren't getting anything more than the rest of the county municipalities. It isn’t going to lower or offset our taxes and for her to say that is an out and out lie.  There is no extra relief for District 9. 


I have included my letter to the Editor in response to her 2017 resolution. I stood by it then, I stand by it now. Beyond this Resolution, what has our Legislator done for District 9 regarding Indian Point? Please ask our Legislator why she more worried about banning Styrofoam and plastic bags for environmental reasons then the safety, environmental and health concerns to our community regarding the closure of a nuclear power plant? 

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Letter to the Editor: Borgia Is Grandstanding On Indian Point

The writer is challenging the incumbent Westchester County Legislator in District 9.

By Lanning Taliaferro, Patch Staff
Oct 29, 2017 4:14 pm ET


To the Editor:

Legislator Borgia (D-Ossining) held a press conference Friday at Indian Point promoting her Indian Point Jobs "Resolution". While a resolution is a nice gesture, as the Majority Leader, she knows that a resolution does not carry the force of a law. A "Resolution" is merely the Board of Legislators stating its position on an issue… not much different than proclaiming it Joe Girardi Day to honor his 10 years of managing the Yankees.

WHERE WAS BORGIA FOR CORTLANDT
*On January 6th when local government officials were blindsided by the news of the closure of Indian Point.
*On February 24th when she moved to squash the County Executive's plan for a lawsuit against the state.
*On April 20th in her video rebuttal to the State of the County address, made no mention of the Indian Point closure or its impacts on our community.
*On May 8th, she voted against the action against New York State, Riverkeeper and Entergy for failing to file a SEQRA.
 

ABSENT, until she realized that she had an opponent who has made Indian Point his priority, and now eleven days before the election, she is political grandstanding.  Who doesn't support protecting these workers who will soon be out of work? Everyone supports that. The only mechanism that has any teeth in it is the lawsuit filed against NYS, Riverkeeper and Entergy to force NYS to comply with SEQRA (State Environmental Quality Review Act), Borgia voted "NO". SEQRA gives citizens, and all interested parties, an opportunity in a forum governed by law and the courts. It requires NYS to demonstrate how it will mitigate any adverse effects of the closure, including the economic impact of 1,000 laid off workers. Once findings and mitigation are made part of the record in a SEQRA, the state must follow it or the court will order them to do so. In a LoHud article dated 08/14/17, in reference to her Sanctuary County Act, Catherine Borgia made the following statements regarding "Resolutions". Borgia called that figure an exaggeration and said the safe haven argument was "fear mongering," with the law providing protections for law enforcement. She said she wasn't in favor of adopting a "fakey resolution with no teeth" that would be a public relations move without real protections. So the question begs: Why NOW does Catherine Borgia propose her own "fakey resolution with no teeth" and without real protections? Clearly this could potentially be one of the most devastating economic and potentially environmentally significant event our county will experience! Maybe because election day is a little over a week away… and it IS just a public-relations move.

I urge constituents to call Catherine Borgia at 914-995- 2812 and tell her to stop putting politics over people and demand an environmental impact statement.

This will be my fight. This is my vow. I am a life-long Cortlandt resident, and this is my priority.

Robert J. Outhouse
Westchester County Legislator Candidate – District 9

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In short, there was no statement whatsoever from Legislator Borgia regarding Indian Point until I announced my candidacy and made Indian Point my number one priority in late May of 2017. One week prior to election day 2017 my opponent held a press conference for her "resolution". No other legislator stood by her, not even the other Legislator of the affected district. Why? Because this rushed “resolution” was nothing but election-day grandstanding in a “Hail-Mary” attempt to show she had done “something” after doing everything wrong. In fact not another word from her regarding Indian Point until this recently again as we enter into election season where she now decides did not appear on her Facebook or her Website as an issue until this year. 


Below – News Articles. Feel free to search Catherine Borgia 


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Astorino files two Indian Point closure lawsuits

May 10, 2017

Astorino argues the shutdown came from a proverbial “three men in a room” deal

WHITE PLAINS – Westchester County Executive Robert Astorino filed two lawsuits on Tuesday, seeking what he said is to ensure that environmental reviews are undertaken to protect the laws, taxpayers, ratepayers and jobs with the closure of the Indian Point nuclear power plant in Buchanan. Astorino cited “clear and numerous breaches” in the state’s environmental laws. The lawsuits maintain the “three men in a room” deal to close Indian Point by Governor Cuomo, Entergy and Riverkeeper, “failed to comply” with the state’s Environmental Quality
Review Act. The state failed to conduct an environmental review before announcing the closure plan in January, the county executive said. The suits maintain the state put the public at risk by failing to examine: whether sufficient energy sources will be available to replace the loss of 2,000 megawatts of electricity (roughly 25 percent of the current supply to nine million Westchester and New York City residents) so that rolling blackouts can be avoided;  whether the anticipated increases in electric bills will cause economic hardships for individuals, families, and businesses, particularly among minorities, low-income residents, seniors and others on fixed incomes; whether the loss of thousands of jobs and a billion dollars of economic activity will devastate local communities and the county at large. (Payment in Lieu of Taxes losses alone are estimated at $72 million for Westchester County, the Town of Cortlandt, the Village of Buchanan and the 2,500-student Hendrick Hudson School District); whether replacing zero-emission nuclear power with fossil fuels will contribute to climate change;  whether the decommissioning of the plant will require a taxpayer bailout since current funds are estimated to be more than $1 billion short of what will be needed; whether the public will be exposed to health and safety dangers from leaving spent, radioactive fuel rods on site for a period estimated to range from 60 years to forever.

Astorino is a Republican. Democrats on the county board of legislators were critical of his latest legal actions. Majority Leader Catherine Borgia said Astorino is using taxpayer money without legislators’ approval “for a frivolous lawsuit he knows we can’t win.” 

https://midhudsonnews.com/2017/05/10/astorino-files-two-indian-point-closure-lawsuits/


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Statement from Westchester County Board Majority Leader Catherine Borgia (D- Ossining, Croton-on-Hudson, Cortlandt Manor, Briarcliff Manor, Peekskill) on County Executive Astorino’s Insistence on Filing Frivolous Indian Point Lawsuit

MAY 9, 2017
Westchester County Board Legislator Majority Leader Catherine Borgia

WHITE PLAINS, NY — May 9, 2017 — “The County Executive’s political ambitions are clearly more important to him than the taxpayers of Westchester. He has once again made known his intent to use taxpayer funded resources – without Board of Legislators Approval – for a frivolous lawsuit he knows we can’t win. Any unilateral attempt to use outside counsel on behalf of the taxpayers is in violation of our County’s charter. The surrounding communities are better served by bringing all sides together to work on real economic and environmental mitigation solutions; and that is what Democrats are focused on.”

https://www.yonkerstribune.com/2017/05/statement-from-westchester-county-board-majority-leader-catherine-borgia-d-ossining-croton-on-hudson-cortlandt-manor-briarcliff-manor-peekskill-on-county-executive-astorinos-insistence


Six takeaways from Indian Point hearing

Jon Campbell, jcampbell1@gannett.comPublished 4:34 a.m. ET Feb. 28, 2017 | Updated 5:52 p.m. ET Feb. 28, 2017

                          

Public Service Commission Chair Audrey Zibelman and NYSERDA Chair Richard Kauffman testify at a joint legislative hearing Tuesday in Albany on the pending closure of the Indian Point nuclear power plant. (Photo: Jon Campbell / Albany Bureau)

ALBANY - The pending closure of the Indian Point Energy Center was at the center of a marathon public hearing Tuesday, with lawmakers peppering state, federal and local officials with questions for eight hours.

The focus was the January deal between Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office and Entergy Corp., owner of the massive nuclear plant in Westchester County.

The agreement calls for the plant to close by April 2021.

Indian Point to close by 2021 under deal

Plant closure to get Legislature's scrutiny

Editorial: Indian Point closure coming, but what next?

Here are the key points from the hearing, which started at 10 a.m. and lasted into Tuesday evening:


1) 'Negligible' impact on cost

Lawmakers repeatedly asked Cuomo's top energy officials about the affect Indian Point's closure will have on consumers.

It's easy to understand why: The plant produced more than 16,000 gigawatt-hours of electricity in 2015, about 10 percent of the total consumed across the state, according to the state Independent System Operator.

Audrey Zibelman, chair of the state Public Service Commission, said the state has already identified 900 megawatts of capacity to help replace the 2,000-megawatt plant. That includes the Champlain-Hudson Power Express, a major plan to build a transmission line to bring power from Quebec.

Add in the state's push to find more efficiency in the state's power grid and a glut of natural gas keeping wholesale electric rates low, and Cuomo's administration believes Indian Point's capacity can be replaced.

“The analysis that we’ve done shows that because of the changes in the cost of energy, by the closing of Indian Point in 2021, we’ll see a negligible if not negative impact on prices at wholesale markets," Zibelman said.


2) Loss of taxes

Westchester County, the village of Buchanan and the Hendrick Hudson school district are among those set to lose millions of dollars in tax revenue with Indian Point's closure.

Sen. Joseph Griffo, R-Rome, said the loss of revenue was "akin to Armageddon" to those communities.

Griffo, the Senate energy chairman, co-chaired the hearing with Assembly Energy Chair Amy Paulin, D-Scarsdale, Westchester County.

Richard Kauffman, chair of the state Energy Research Development Authority, said the closure deal ensures the state will have ample time to plan.

 

Entergy's Indian Point nuclear power plant in Buchanan. (Photo: Mark Vergari/The Journal News)

Nuclear plants in other parts of the country have shut down in a matter of months, he said.

“At the heart of this agreement is time to plan," Kauffman said.

Sen. Terrence Murphy, R-Yorktown, wasn't satisfied with the state's answers.

“I mean, we’ve got to aim and then shoot, not shoot and then aim," he said.

The state is expected to set up a fund to help the local communities address the tax loss.


3) No advance notice

Some state lawmakers weren't pleased with how the agreement came together.

The closure deal was primarily negotiated by Cuomo's office, the state Attorney General's Office and Entergy.

Local governments didn't catch wind of it until it leaked to the press in early January.

"It was not the best way for them to be notified," said Assemblyman Kevin Byrne, R-Mahopac, Putnam County. "I didn’t appreciate it, either.”

Kauffman said he wasn't pleased, either.

News of the deal leaked on a Friday, but it wasn't finalized until the following Sunday, he said.


4) Task force coming

Cuomo's office is now trying to bring local government officials into the fold.

Less than an hour before the hearing started, Cuomo's office announced a new task force of local officials, which his office says will "ensure compliance" with the January deal.

Among those on the panel are Murphy and Assemblywoman Sandra Galef, whose districts include the village of Buchanan plant.

Also included are a variety of local officials: Westchester County Legislature Majority Leader Catherine Borgia; Minority Leader John Testa; Cortlandt town Supervisor Linda Puglisi; Buchanan Mayor Theresa Knickerbocker; and Hen Hud schools Superintendent Joseph Hochreiter.


5) Staffing up

Indian Point has about 1,000 employees at the Buchanan plant.

Entergy says it plans on keeping it that way until the plant closes.

Michael Twomey, Entergy's vice president for external affairs, said the company will maintain full staffing levels at the plant through April 2021.

After that, the company plans to uphold its pledge to allow its employees to transfer to other Entergy sites, he said.

"We have made a commitment to those employees willing to relocate to find them positions at other nuclear plants in the Entergy fleet or other non-nuclear positions for which they may be qualified within the Entergy utility system," Twomey said.


6) More nuclear hearings

It won't be long until the next hearing on Indian Point.

Murphy will host a hearing Thursday in Peekskill, where a host of local officials — including Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino — are among those scheduled to testify.

The hearing is set for 6:30 p.m. at the Plumbers and Steamfitters, Local 21, meeting hall on McKinley Street.

On Monday, nuclear energy will again be the focus of an Albany hearing.

The state Assembly will host a hearing on the state's bailout plan for three upstate nuclear plants, including the R.E. Ginna Nuclear Power Plant in Wayne County.

The plan, approved last year by the Public Service Commission, will cause ratepayers to pay more — the state says about $2 a month — to help subsidize the financially troubled plants. Cuomo's administration says it's important to keep the plants online to help meet the state's pollution-cutting goals.

https://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/news/local/new-york/2017/02/28/lawmakers-indian-point 


I will be happy to enter into a more in-depth personal conversation on this or any other topic. 

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