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Indian Point Closure Task Force Identifies Responses to Power Plant’s Closure

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Indian Point Closure Task Force Identifies Responses to Power Plant’s Closure

June 16, 2017 - 02:23
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NEW YORK, NY -- The Indian Point Closure Task Force met for the first-time last night and publicly discussed and identified initiatives to help the local community prepare for the facility to cease power generation operations and shut down by 2021, as a result of an agreement reached earlier this year.

Critical goals of the 23-member task force include identifying ways to respond to potential local tax and workforce impacts while closing the plant in a safe and responsible manner. By evaluating site reuse options, identifying new local economic development and workforce retraining opportunities, and advocating for appropriate decommissioning timelines, the task force seeks to assist the region overall for a prosperous and sustainable future during and after the decommissioning of the facility.

“Created by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the State Legislature, this task force of key state agencies, prominent state and local elected officials, and labor union representatives, has hit the ground running to help ensure that the closure process effectively addresses the needs of the communities surrounding Indian Point,” said Task Force Chairman and Department of Public Service Executive Deputy Tom Congdon. “Given the early successes that have already been achieved in this important process, I am confident the task force will successfully meet its long-term goals, benefitting the community and region at large.”

Examples of the early successes of task force members include legally establishing its operating authority and scope of operation in the State Budget, requiring a study of re-use options of the Indian Point property, adding an additional $15 million to the State’s Power Plant Cessation Mitigation Fund starting in 2020, extending the timeline for payments from that fund, and authorizing the HendrickHudson School District to start a reserve fund to plan for future tax impacts. To ensure transparency, the task force will submit a detailed annual report starting on April 30, 2018, and each year thereafter through 2023.

The task force held is first meeting on Wednesday, May 31 in Cortlandt, Westchester County. At the initial meeting, the task force members discussed the process that will be used to hire an independent consultant to understand Indian Point site reuse and reutilization options. The Task Force will also assess resources and opportunities for school funding gaps that might develop, as well as ongoing discussions with the local labor unions on workforce retraining opportunities. 

The next meeting of the task force is scheduled for Sept. 28, 2017. During the intervening months, individual members will be busy continuing to advance the core work of the task force and will report back to the larger group in the fall. The task force is required to meet three times a year. The annual report will be issued for formal public comment.

Public comments may also be submitted through the Department’s website at any time by following the instructions below:

Internet of Mail: Go to http://www.dps.ny.gov, click on “Search,” enter the matter number (17-00994), and then click on “Post Comments” at the top of the page; or e-mail comments to the Secretary to the Commission at secretary@dps.ny.gov. Alternatively, comments may be mailed or delivered to Hon. Kathleen H. Burgess, Secretary, Public Service Commission, Three Empire State Plaza, Albany, New York 12223-1350.

Toll-Free Opinion Line: You may call the Commission’s Opinion Line at 1-800-335-2120. This number is set up to take comments about pending cases from in-state callers, 24 hours a day. Press "1" to leave comments, mentioning matter number 17-00994, Establishment of Indian Point Closure Task Force.” These comments are not transcribed verbatim, but a summary is provided to the Commission.

Task Force Members include:

State Representatives: Senator Terrence Murphy; Assemblywoman Sandy Galef; and several state agencies, including the Office of the Governor; Education Representatives; Department of Public Service; Department of Environmental Conservation; Department of Labor; Department of Tax and Finance; Empire State Development; New York State Energy Research & Development Authority; Department of State; New York State Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Services; and the New York Power Authority.

Local Representatives: Catherine Borgia, Majority Leader, Westchester County Board of Legislators; John G. Testa, Minority Leader, Westchester County Board of Legislators; Linda D. Puglisi, Supervisor, Town of Cortlandt; Joseph Hochreiter, Superintendent, Hendrick Hudson School District; and Theresa Knickerbocker, Mayor, Village of Buchanan.

Labor Representatives: Teamsters Local 456 President Louis Picani; Utility Workers Union of America Local 1-2 President James Slevin; and Westchester Putnam Central Labor Council President Thomas Carey.

Related documents to the task force may be obtained by going to the Department’s website at www.dps.ny.gov and entering matter number 17-00994 in the input box labeled "Search for Case/Matter Number". The website also provides the public with the ability to submit comments.