“The environmental group Riverkeeper says it plans to sue Entergy Nuclear
Northeast for allegedly violating the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
(RCRA) over radioactive leaks disclosed last fall.
Riverkeeper President Alex Matthiessen says they are not seeking monetary
damages, or a shutdown of Indian Point, with this suit, although closing the
reactors is an ultimate goal. What they want here is for the Environmental
Protection Agency to get involved and to “oversee, with the public’s
involvement, a cleanup and remediation of the site”.
Karl Coplan, with the Pace University Law School Environmental Litigation
Clinic, says with this suit, RCRA gives them very clear parameters.
“Much clearer. It has a specific citizen suit, unlike the provisions we sued
under before, and a very clear requirement that if you have a leak in an
underground tank, you have to report it to the EPA, and if you don’t you are
subject to a citizen suit.
In fact, two private citizens have signed on to the suit: Gary Shaw, of Croton, an artist who looks for driftwood along the banks of the Hudson, and Charles Kane, a fisherman concerned about the possible impact of radioactive
tritium and strontium 90 on fish.
Entergy Spokesman James Steets disputes contentions that they did not make
proper notification of the leaks. “Entergy made the appropriate and
regulatory required notification to both the NRC, which has jurisdiction
over Indian Point, on the federal side, and on the local side, the New York
Steets says Entergy is also carrying out a mitigation effort, and that they, and even some Westchester County officials, believe there is no threat to public safety.
Matthiessen says from their perspective, they do not know if there is a
threat to safety now, or will be in the future. It is prudent, he argues, to
err on the side of caution.”