ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York's Department of State has the right to review federal relicensing applications for the Indian Point nuclear power facility on the lower Hudson River to ensure compliance with coastal management protections, the state's highest court ruled on Monday.
Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo praised the unanimous decision by the Court of Appeals, saying the Indian Point relicensing application with the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission was inconsistent with New York's long-standing Coastal Management Program requirements.
"Indian Point is antiquated and does not belong on the Hudson River in close proximity to New York City," said Cuomo, who has long argued Indian Point's two nuclear reactors, 35 miles north of Manhattan in Buchanan, should be shut down due to the risks of terrorism, natural disaster or failure of aging plant components.
In rejecting plant owner Entergy's request for a Coastal Zone certificate in November 2015, New York's Department of State said Indian Point has been damaging the Hudson for the past 40 years, withdrawing up to 2.5 billion gallons of water a day and killing at least 1 billion fish in the process.
New Orleans-based Entergy had argued Indian Point wasn't subject to the state's Coastal Zone Management Plan because the plant was operating before the plan took effect in the early 1980s.
Entergy spokesman Jerry Nappi said the company is reviewing the decision to determine next steps, which could include refiling its application for a Coastal Zone Management permit. Entergy has continued operating the facility pending federal action on its 2007 application for a new 20-year license.
"The facility continues to safely operate in a manner that is fully protective of the Hudson River and in compliance with state and federal law," Nappi said.
Democratic state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman called Monday's court decision "a major victory for the continued health and productivity of our state's environment."
The court ruling means federal regulators will have to consider the state's objections to Indian Point's use of the Hudson River as part of its licensing decision.