“White Plains – The County of Westchester Thursday filed an appeal with the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit challenging the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s denial of the county’s petition to change its relicensing criteria for the Indian Point nuclear power plants.

County Executive Andrew Spano said the NRC should have granted the county’s petition or told the officials they needed more information. “They should have held a public hearing,” he said. “Operating a nuclear power plant in 2007 is far different than in 1995 when relicensing criteria was last looked at.”

Spano said Entergy and Indian Point should be judged on how they have been operating. “Indian Point has siren problems. Indian Point has environmental problems,” he said. “Just because it is here now, is not a reason for it to be here for the next 20 years. The NRC must put aside any bias toward the nuclear industry and consider all these issues.”

Westchester was joined in its appeal with the New Jersey Environmental Federation and the New Jersey Chapter of the Sierra Club. New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo and Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal both filed friend of the court briefs.

Meanwhile, anti-Indian Point environmental groups Clearwater, Riverkeeper and Scenic Hudson commended Cuomo for joining in the Indian Point appeal.

But, the New York Affordable Reliable Electricity Alliance said Indian Point “is a safe facility whose continued operation is critical to New York’s economy, improving the state’s air quality, and ensuring that New York reduces greenhouse gas emissions significantly in the coming years.”

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