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Putnam County Executive Voices Concerns Over Indian Point Closing

Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell says she has concerns about the closing of the Indian Point power plant in neighboring Westchester. Photo Credit: File
Gov. Andrew Cuomo startled nearly everyone earlier this month with his announcement that the Indian Point nuclear power facility in Buchanan would be closed by 2021. Local leaders are expressing concerns about the shutdown's economic effects. Photo Credit: File

PUTNAM COUNTY, N.Y. – County Executive MaryEllen Odell is worried that certain Putnam residents will be harmed economically if Indian Point is closed.

Many local citizens and union workers depend upon their Entergy Corp. salaries, Odell said in a recent statement.

(Entergy is a Louisiana-based integrated energy company primarily engaged in electric power productions and retail distribution operations in the Deep South. It operates 10 non-utility “segments,” including Indian Point.)

Not only that, Odell said, she fears that the entire county might be left in the lurch – power source wise – when the aging nuclear plant in Buchanan is permanently shuttered in April 2021.

The plant is located about 25 miles north of Manhattan.

Earlier this month, Gov. Andrew Cuomo startled just about everyone – from local politicians to environmental groups – with the surprise announcement that the plant’s Unit 2 reactor will close in 2020 and Unit 3, the following year – about 14 years earlier than anyone had expected.

According to the governor’s office the agreement with Entergy addresses safety risks associated with decommissioning and fuel storage.

Current Indian Point employees, the gov promised, will be offered relocation funds and the opportunity to work at other plants and utilities in New York state and will get training, if they want, in renewable technologies.

Cuomo also said that Entergy will provide $15 million in funding for environmental and community benefits.

The state will retain the legal rights to bring additional actions and legal proceedings against Entergy and the facility itself will remain subject to annual inspections.

The governor also said that replacement power will be in place that “adds no new carbon emissions” and will have “a negligible cost impact” on ratepayers.

Cuomo, who lives in Mount Kisco in Westchester, contends that Indian Point has “presented numerous threats to the safety of over 20 million residents,” not to mention, the environment.

To read his entire announcement, click here.

Odell, for her part, pointed out that parts of Putnam are less than 10 miles from Indian Point.

“Many of our citizens and union workers are employed by Entergy,” she noted, adding: “At this point, their future livelihood is uncertain and that is cause for concern.”

Putnam “currently sources a portion of its power from Indian Point’s nuclear generators,” Odell said.

Among the many questions she said remain to be answered by the state are exactly how Indian Point’s power will be replaced and “at what cost to the taxpayers.”

Meanwhile, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino plans to address the Indian Point issue at an “Ask Astorino” town hall-style meeting in Cortlandt at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 25.

Cortlandt Town Supervisor Linda Puglisi, who has also expressed concerns about the ripple effects of the plant’s closure, will participate in the public forum.

Astorino also plans to discuss tax relief, economic development and the preservation of essential services.

Cortlandt Town Hall is located at 1 Heady St., Cortlandt.

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