Rockland County Legislator David Fried, chairman of the Public Safety Committee, urged state leaders to approve legislation that would require licensed nuclear generating plants, such as Indian Point, to fully reimburse counties like Rockland for costs incurred as a result of operating those plants.

The New City lawmaker was invited to speak as part of a panel in Albany on Wednesday.

“Rockland taxpayers are confronted with the high costs of housing a nuclear facility in the shadows of our county,” Fried said. “The nuclear industry should cover these expenses – not the hardworking women and men of Rockland County. These commercial burdens shouldn’t be carried by our taxpayers.”

Nuclear generating facilities licensed by the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission are not required to pay for the development and maintenance of radiological emergency preparedness by government entities. Currently, the taxpayer incurs all these costs, while the industry that directly profits from nuclear facilities, are not required to incur any of the costs.

Fried cited data he received from the Rockland County Office of Fire and Emergency Services indicating that office incurs approximately $340,000 in annual expenses as a result of the plant being close to Rockland’s borders. “The data I have been given by Emergency Services barely scratches the surface of the true costs our communities incur as a result of the Indian Point nuclear plant,” he said. “School reception centers, communication upgrades, hospital and health preparations, first responder readiness, and social service initiatives all add up to a significant fiscal impact on local budgets.”

Fried announced that he has introduced legislation at the county level in support of state legislation authored to reimburse counties for expenses they incur as a result of radiological preparedness. 

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