DRAFT – CITIZENS’ OVERSIGHT BOARD (COB) LEGISLATION
AN ACT to amend the public service law, to provide for a Citizens’ Oversight Board for the Decommissioning and ongoing Nuclear Waste provisions of the Indian Point Energy Center.
- Definitions. As used in this subsection, each of the following terms has the meaning assigned:
- “Indian Point Energy Center,” or “IPEC,” means the Indian Point Energy Center Unit 2 and Unit 3 facilities, as well as the closed Unit 1, in Buchanan, New York.
- “Indian Point Site” means the parcels of land occupied by Indian Point Energy Center as of the effective date of this legislation.
- Creation of Indian Point Decommissioning Citizens’ Oversight Board (or the “Board”).
- An Indian Point Decommissioning Citizens’ Oversight Board is hereby established, which shall monitor the decommissioning of the Indian Point Energy Center, provide information to the community, gather public comments, and make reports and recommendations to state officials, as more specifically outlined below.
- The Board shall consist of fifteen voting members. Five members shall be chosen by the following local entities:
(i) One member shall be appointed by the Town Board of the Town of Cortlandt for an initial term of three years.
(ii) One member shall be appointed by the Village Board of the Village of Buchanan for an initial term of three years.
(iii) One member shall be appointed by the Common Council of the City of Peekskill for an initial term of three years.
(iv) One member shall be a member of, and selected by, the Town of Cortlandt Conservation Advisory Council for an initial term of three years.
(v) One member shall be appointed by the Board of Fire Commissioners of the Verplanck Fire Protective Association or other local first responder organization for an initial term of two years.
- One member, chosen by the Westchester County Executive for an initial term of two years, shall be an individual with scientific training consisting of either:
(i) a PhD or equivalent degree from an accredited University in the United States in a recognized scientific or medical field and at least three years of experience in related career positions, or
(ii) a Masters degree from an accredited University in the United States in a recognized scientific or medical field and at least ten years of experience in related career positions.
- Five members shall be appointed by the Governor of New York representing the constituencies described below:
(i) two members representing labor unions whose members were employed at IPEC as of the effective date of this legislation, one for an initial term of two years and one for an initial term of one year;
(ii) two members representing environmental organizations with at least ten years of experience researching and advocating about issues related to IPEC, one for an initial term of two years and one for an initial term of three years;
(iii) one member representing an environmental organization with at least ten years of experience researching and advocating to address the differential effects of IPEC on economically disadvantaged communities, for an initial term of two years;
- Four members of the public who reside within fifty miles of IPEC shall be selected through an open application process within each of Orange, Putnam, Rockland, and Westchester counties. The choice of a public member from among the applicants in each County shall be made by the respective County’s legislature for initial one year terms.
- Term lengths. Initial appointments of members shall be for the terms described above. All subsequent appointments shall be for terms of three years. If a position becomes vacant, an appointment to fill the unexpired term shall be made within sixty days of the date of the vacancy. After two terms, each member shall cycle off and be replaced by another appointee from the same municipality or category; former members may return after a break of at least one year.
- All voting members shall be residents of the State of New York. No person who holds any relationship to or financial interest in Entergy Corporation or any other company with an ownership or other financial interest in IPEC may be appointed to the Board.
- In addition to the voting members, the Chief Executive Officer of the Department of Public Service, the Secretary of State, the Commissioner of Environmental Conservation, the Commissioner of Health, the Director of the Office of Emergency Management, the Chair of the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council, the Westchester County Executive, and the Westchester County Legislator representing the district in which IPEC is located, or their designees, shall serve as ex officio, non-voting members of the Board.
- The Board shall elect a Chair and a Vice Chair from among the voting members. The Chief Executive Officer of the Department of Public Service shall serve as the chair of the Board until the Board elects its first Chair. The initial term for the first Chair shall be two years and the initial term for the first Vice Chair shall be one year. Subsequent terms for each shall be for two years. In the event of the unavailability or incapacity of the Chair, the Vice Chair shall assume the duties of the Chair.
- Meetings of the Board.
- The Board shall meet a minimum of ten times each year at the call of the Chair. The Chair shall provide notice to all members and to the public at least two weeks prior to any regular meeting.
- In response to an unplanned shutdown of any IPEC operating facility, or to a situation in which the physical integrity of the facility and/or nuclear waste storage may have been compromised and/or damaged, an Emergency Meeting may be called by any member of the Board on 24 hours notice.
- The Board shall act only by a vote of a majority of its entire voting membership and only at meetings called as herein provided.
- All meetings shall be open to the public and shall include an opportunity for public comment. Meetings shall be recorded and made available electronically for public viewing.
- Powers and Duties. The Board shall have the following powers and duties.
- The Board’s function shall be to advise the Governor, the State Senate, the Assembly, the Agencies of the State, and the public on issues related to the decommissioning of IPEC, including but not limited to, short-term and long-term radioactive waste storage; restoration and future use of the Indian Point Site; maintenance of emergency planning and response before, during, and after decommissioning; and plans for ongoing oversight or Rolling Stewardship of the Indian Point Site.
- The Board shall hold a minimum of ten meetings each year for the purpose of monitoring and discussing the decommissioning fund; the decommissioning process such as Post Shutdown Decommissioning Activities; the management of nuclear waste; a Post-Shutdown Decommissioning Activities Report (“PSDAR”); any License Amendment Request(s) (“LAR(s)”); and any other modifications and/or amendments to the Indian Point Site or the decommissioning process.
- The Board shall produce an annual report to advise the Governor and State Legislature of the status of decommissioning; effects on the surrounding community; and any recommendations for state action in regard to any PSDAR, LAR and/or other modification or amendment to the decommissioning process. It may produce additional reports or memoranda as it deems necessary.
- When a PSDAR or other decommissioning plan for IPEC is produced, the Board shall:
(i) Review decommissioning plans;
(ii) Alert the public to such plans and provide public access to the plans;
(iii) Solicit and provide a forum for public comment on such plans;
(iv) Compile the Board’s recommendations and a summary of public comment;
(v) Provide a report of such recommendations and comments to the Governor, the state legislature, applicable state agencies, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (“NRC”).
- When any application is made to the NRC to transfer or modify IPEC’s commercial power reactor license, including, but not limited to, LAR(s) or license termination or transfer plans, or when an application is made to the NRC for any other permit(s) related to the Indian Point Site, such as, but not limited to, the establishment of an independent spent fuel storage installation, the Board shall:
(i) Review such applications;
(ii) Alert the public to such applications and provide public access to the application materials;
(iii) Solicit and provide a forum for public comment on such applications, or inform the public of opportunities to provide comment directly to the NRC;
(iv) Compile the Board’s recommendations and a summary of public comment;
(v) Provide a report of such recommendations and comments to the Governor, the state legislature, applicable state agencies, and the NRC.
- When any state agency is developing a plan or reviewing a permit application related to IPEC, it shall inform the Board. The Board may, as it deems appropriate, review such plans or permits, solicit public comment, and produce comments or recommendations to the state agency.
- The Board shall periodically review reports on the decommissioning trust fund and other funds associated with decommissioning of or site restoration at IPEC, including fund balances, expenditures made, and reimbursements received. It shall advise the Governor, the state legislature, and the NRC of any concerns.
- Information Disclosure. The licensee of the IPEC shall provide the following information to the Board and New York State in the timeframes specified:
- A copy of the respective Unit 2 and Unit 3 PSDARs, as defined by NRC regulations, by or before their respective dates of closure;
- A copy of any written communications between the licensee and the NRC regarding PSDARs for Units 1, 2, or 3, cleanup of the existing radioactive contamination on the site, license transfer or modification, and the storage of spent fuel at IPEC. Such communications shall be sent to the Board as soon as possible, but no later than one week from transmission or receipt by the licensee;
- Within a week of their completion, annual audited financial statements, prepared in compliance with generally accepted auditing standards adopted by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, for the funds held in trust by the licensee for decommissioning of IPEC, including an independent analysis of whether the expenditures in the financial year covered were consistent with NRC regulatory requirements; and
- Any other information requested by the Board that is in the possession of the licensee and relates to site reuse; the decommissioning fund; the relevant economic interests of the state or municipalities; or is otherwise reasonably required to allow the Board to complete its duties, within two weeks of communication of such a request.
- Board members’ expenses. Board members shall receive no salary but voting members shall be entitled to reimbursement of reasonable travel and meeting expenses, including transportation, meals and lodging.
- State assistance.
- The Department of Public Service shall provide administrative support including scheduling meetings and securing meeting locations; providing notice of meetings; producing minutes and recordings of meetings; assisting in the compilation and production of the Board’s annual report; hosting a public website for the Board; contracting for services as requested by vote of a majority of the Board; and providing for materials and other reasonable and necessary expenses of the Board as the Chief Executive Officer may find appropriate.
- To support the deliberations of the Board, the Chief Executive Officer of the Department of Public Service shall, upon a vote of the Board, contract for the services of technical consultants to produce, compile, and/or analyze data relating to IPEC and to advise the Board.
- Severability clause
If any provision of this law or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of this law which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this law are severable.
MUNICIPAL RESOLUTION URGING THE NEW YORK STATE LEGISLATURE
TO ADOPT LEGISLATION CREATING A CITIZENS’ OVERSIGHT BOARD FOR
THE DECOMMISSIONING OF INDIAN POINT ENERGY CENTER
Whereas the ______(town/village/city) Board/Council strives to protect its residents, businesses and institutions.
Whereas _______(town/village/city) is located within 50-miles of the Indian Point nuclear power plant and a radioactive release there could render _______(town/village/city) uninhabitable for generations and/or adversely impact the health of _______(town/village/city) residents and business and institution personnel, and
Whereas according to the January 8, 2017 Indian Point Closure Settlement Agreement, Indian Point reactors 2 and 3 are scheduled to be closed in 2020 and 2021, respectively, and more than 2,700 tons of highly radioactive spent fuel will be stored onsite, and
Whereas, it will take decades to transfer the radioactive spent fuel to onsite dry cask, where it will be safer but not fully safe, and
Whereas, a large high pressure 42” diameter gas transmission pipeline transverses the Indian Point property and a rupture in the pipeline at or near that location could destroy critical Indian Point nuclear safety infrastructure and back-up cooling equipment, and
Whereas, in February 2016 Governor Cuomo, recognizing the dangers of the co-location of the pipeline and Indian Point, called for a risk assessment that was to be completed by September 2016, the scope of which was subsequently expanded and due to be completed on December 31, 2016, and
Whereas, the safe decommissioning of Indian Point is critical to the well-being of _______(town/village/city) residents, businesses and institutions, and
Whereas, the citizens in the region surrounding Indian Point will be most impacted by the decisions made regarding decommissioning, and should therefore have effective input into that decision-making process, and
Whereas, a Citizens’ Oversight Board for decommissioning can act on behalf of residents, businesses and institutions and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission states in “Nuclear Regulatory Experience in the Decommissioning of Nuclear Power Plants” that in the reactor decommissioning proposed rule-making a Citizen Advisory Board be a required part of the decommissioning process.
Therefore, be it resolved that the _______(town/village/city) Board/Council, in the interests of its residents, businesses and institutions, urges the New York State Legislature to adopt legislation creating a Citizens’ Oversight Board to ensure the safest possible decommissioning of Indian Point and other New York nuclear reactors, as described in the Attachment A; and, be it further
Resolved, that the Governor’s Risk Assessment must be released as soon as possible so that elected officials, emergency providers and the public have the benefits of this information to be better prepared and that Entergy, the NRC and the Citizen Oversight Board can include this information in decommissioning planning; and, be it further
Resolved, that it is in the interest of the well-being of ______(town/village/city)’s residents, businesses and institutions that the State conducts and releases an assessment that includes public input that addresses the risks of siting a gas power plant on or near Indian Point prior to further discussions regarding the possibility of allowing such a plant at that location; and, be it further
Resolved, that the _____(town/village/city) Clerk shall forward this Resolution, with attachments, to the Governor of New York and to the New York State Legislators in both the New York State Senate and the Assembly that represents the _____(town/village/city), and to New York’s Public Service Commission, Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, Department of Health, Department of Environmental Conservation, Empire State Development, NYSERDA and the Office of the NY State Attorney General to urge these actions be taken as promptly as possible.