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James FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant

Written Statement

In connection with the Entergy Nuclear Fitzpatrick LLC (Fitzpatrick) Application for a New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Water Quality Certification (“WQC”), the African American Environmentalist Association-New York submitted comments in support of granting a WQC based on environmental justice considerations.

The draft denial of the WQC may lead to the closure of the facility if the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) denies a license renewal based on the denial of a WQC. Any substantial reduction in the amount of electricity generated by Fitzpatrick will spark demand for replacement electricity from power plants in other parts of the state. Unfortunately, these plants are, for the most part, pollution-emitting fossil-fuel plants.

In New York City fossil plants and other pollution sources are largely located in low-income and minority communities. As production at these fossil-fuel plants increases, the air quality in and around these plants will further deteriorate, causing a spike in the incidences of respiratory and cardiovascular diseases in these vulnerable communities. The denial of the WQC, to the extent that it leads to fossil fuel replacement of Fitzpatrick, effectively places the interests of Lake Ontario fish eggs and larva over the health of New York’s low-income and minority communities.

James FitzPatrick nuclear power plant

Containment Dome on left and Generating Station on right

AAEA presented a statement at a public hearing before the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) on July 15, 2008 in Scriba, New York that was helpful in getting approval in July of the license renewal for the James A. FitzPatrick nuclear power plant State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) permit and Water Quality Certification (WQC). The meeting was an opportunity for members of the public to state their views on the station’s renewed SPDES permit and WQC. FitzPatrick expects its 20-year license renewal from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) soon, extending the station’s current 40-year license to 2034. AAEA is proud to have played a small part in the license renewals for this facility that will help in reducing global warming.

Concurrently, the New York Department of State Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) issued its consistency determination for the renewed NRC license. The WQC and CZMA determination reflect New York State’s acknowledgement of the important role of the FitzPatrick plant to the New York power supply and the absence of adverse aquatic impacts associated with its operations. The AAEA President Norris McDonald is pictured above at the plant.

Video of Oral Statement