Connecticut River Watershed Council (CRC) and Vermont Natural Resources Council (VNRC) on the Public Service Board Decision (PSB) Authorizing the Operation of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station until December 31, 2014.

March 28, 2014: The Vermont Yankee proceedings were long and complicated and addressed many important issues. Vermont Natural Resources Council and Connecticut River Watershed Council were primarily involved in the proceedings to address Vermont Yankee’s discharge of hot water into the Connecticut River. While we recognize that the PSB certainly had the authority to require closed cycle cooling to stop the thermal pollution of the Connecticut River, we understand that this would have likely violated the terms of the MOU between Entergy and the State of Vermont.

The PSB has decided to implement the terms of the MOU between Entergy and the State of Vermont. The MOU and the CPG require the Agency of Natural Resources to pursue issues related the VY’s thermal discharge through the ANR permitting process. The Board stated that the MOU provides a short term mechanism to address discharge concerns; however, it is important to note that the Board also acknowledged that if the VY Station were going to operate for an additional eighteen years, the evidence put forward by CRC, VNRC and the ANR might have led the Board to “conclude that Entergy VY had not met its obligation to demonstrate that the discharge would not adversely affect the water quality” of the Connecticut River. The PSB therefore recognized that there are concerns with the VY Station’s thermal discharge.

Updating VY’s discharge permit is long overdue, and we call on the ANR to swiftly implement a revised discharge permit that protects the ecological health of the Connecticut River.

For additional information contact:

David Deen, River Steward, CRC – 802-380-9228
Jamey Fidel, Counsel for VNRC and CRC – 802-595-2885
Andrew Fisk, Executive Director, CRC – 413-210-9207