Friday, May 27, 2011
BRATTLEBORO, Vt. – Massachusetts intends to file a “friend of the court” brief supporting the state of Vermont in a federal case brought by Entergy Corp. over the state’s authority to halt continued operation of the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant after next year.
Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley filed a motion Wednesday seeking to file the brief by June 13, according to Assistant Attorney General Amie Breton. Proceedings in the case are scheduled to begin June 23.
Meanwhile, the state of Vermont has filed suit in federal court challenging the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s licensing the Vernon reactor for an additional 20 years as a violation of the federal Clean Water Act.
The Conservation Law Foundation, on behalf of the Brattleboro-based citizens’ group New England Coalition, also sued the NRC for approving a 20-year license for plant beyond 2012 without plant owner Entergy first obtaining a water quality certificate or waiver from the state.
The filing last week in the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., contends that NRC issued a license for the plant in March without a water discharge certificate from the state, as required by the Clean Water Act.
“It’s the state’s responsibility to issue the certificate, it’s Entergy’s responsibility to apply for it, and it’s NRC’s responsibility to make sure that all that has happened before they issue a license,” said coalition spokesman Raymond Shadis.