Rick Pezzullo’s article in the April 1 Examiner, “Indian Point Community Advisory Panel” describes the recent Press Conference in Buchanan at which the formation of a Community Advisory Panel was formally announced with a minimum of advance notice to the public – far less than a decision of this importance should require..
For the past year, community environmental groups have tried repeatedly to engage Mayor Knickerbocker and Supervisor Puglisi in the effort to develop a Citizens’ Oversight Board — a legislative approach to achieving true citizen involvement in the decommissioning of Indian Point and the on site storage of nuclear waste that will follow.
Knickerbocker and Puglisi chose to ignore these efforts, and instead have opted naively for a panel that puts Entergy firmly in charge of the process, and in possession of two seats. With a membership predominantly composed of elected officials and their appointees, there is little hope for true citizen decision-making or independent scientific input; the group appears instead to be a continuation of the finance and real estate obsessed task force currently in existence, where the public is not afforded the option of registering questions or comments.
The overriding theme of “Home Rule”, stated repeatedly at the Press Conference, tells us that this is not a truly regional plan as indicated in the Pezzullo article (although the panel will include the nearest neighboring county representatives). Decisions made during the decommissioning and storage process will impact far more than these immediate neighbors; therefore a regional approach (as in the proposed Citizens’ Oversight Board) is preferable and fair.
It is most unfortunate that ongoing anger over the decision to close Indian Point, coupled with the lack of advance notice to the home communities (a disrespectful move that could easily have been avoided), continues to motivate those in positions of power. The formation of this panel is the regrettable outcome of this dynamic, and does a disservice to the public, most especially in the local communities.
Marie Inserra,Peekskill, NY