June 26, 2009


Contact:  Andrea Kott

(914) 478-4501 x 239


NY State Supreme Court Affirms that Indian Point Adversely Impacts Fish
Riverkeeper and DEC victorious in effort to bring plant into compliance with CWA

(TarrytownRiverkeeper and the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and dismissed Entergy’s petition to overturn a decision by the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). That decision, released on August 15, 2008, determined that Indian Point’s cooling water intake system causes adverse environmental impacts on Hudson River fish.

In October 2008, Entergy filed a lawsuit challenging DEC’s determination. On behalf of Riverkeeper and Scenic Hudson, Riverkeeper Attorney Victor Tafur filed a motion to have Entergy’s suit dismissed on the grounds that the claims are premature, and that DEC established “adverse environmental impact,” in large part, by relying on Entergy’s data.

The DEC will now move to require closed-cycle cooling, which would reduce water usage and fish kills by 95 percent or more. Hearings on the new draft permit for the plant, which will now mandate closed-cycle cooling, are tentatively scheduled for 2010.

This marks a major victory for Riverkeeper, NY State and the other proponents of bringing Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant into compliance with the Clean Water Act.

In accordance with the Clean Water Act (CWA), facilities with cooling water intake structures must utilize the “best technology available” to minimize adverse environmental impacts. Currently, Indian Point’s cooling water intake structures utilize 2.5 billion gallons per day of Hudson River water to cool its facilities. These antiquated intake structures kill over 1.2 billion fish each year through impinging larger fish against their intake screens, and entraining smaller fish and larvae sucked into the cooling system. For almost 30 years, Riverkeeper, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and Scenic Hudson, as environmental interveners, have been fighting to compel state officials to enforce the Clean Water Act by mandating closed cycle cooling at Indian Point and other Hudson River power plants.

ABOUT RIVERKEEPER: Riverkeeper is an independent member-supported environmental organization. Riverkeeper’s mission is to protect the Hudson River, and its tributaries, and the New York City drinking water supply.  For more information, please visit www.riverkeeper.org.