Vermont Yankee Killing the Connecticut River

Finally an article comes out (in the B. Reformer) about Vermont Yankee’s “water quality” permit. It is a bit vague but at least the issue is being raised, this is The VY issue I have been blogging about since it was published on VT Digger. I have written all of the involved parties of the permit and the petition for review of the permit with no response. Here is the article:

NRC accuses state of ‘sitting on its hands’ over water quality

Friday August 5, 2011

BRATTLEBORO — Vermont had plenty of time to raise the issue of whether Entergy needed to include a new water quality certificate in its relicensing application for Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in Vernon.

So stated the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in a filing to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, challenging the Vermont Department of Public Service’s and the New England Coalition’s contention, filed on June 24, that the lack of a new certificate means the NRC unlawfully issued a new 20-year license for the power plant.

“The state had an opportunity to raise this issue during the course of the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board hearing on the license renewal application and … the state has not exhausted its remedies with the NRC before taking this issue to federal court,” wrote Neil Sheehan, spokesman for the NRC, in a press release….

Entergy’s attorneys agreed with the NRC that Vermont and NEC didn’t preserve their right to contest the new license because they “never filed contentions with the NRC’s Licensing Board in response to Entergy’s reliance on the earlier (certificate) in its application for license renewal (and) never filed contentions in response to NRC’s environmental impact statements which indicated that a new (certificate) was not needed …”

“They’re wrong,” said Christopher Kilian, senior attorney for the Conservation Law Foundation, which is representing NEC. “It’s a posture that shouldn’t hold any water in the court.

“The state is under no obligation to stand up and request that any applicant apply for a water quality certificate,” said Kilian.

Without the request for a certificate, the application was not complete and the NRC had no authority to issue the new license, claimed the state and NEC…

“There is a process,” said Kilian. “Entergy chose to ignore it and NRC blindly moved forward without a certificate in place, completely stripping the state of its authority under the CWA.”

He also maintained that “As of right now, Entergy is operating the facility in violation of the Clean Water Act,” and the state would be within its rights to begin an enforcement proceeding.

full article –

Why did it take until June 24th for the state to point this out? I don’t know, I had written the Governor’s office with all this information when the case was first filed by Entergy. This delay doesn’t matter in the eyes of the law, Law has no expiration date. I have been blogging what Christopher Kilian is saying, as I wrote in one of my letters,

” USC 33  CH. 26 – SUBCH. IV § 1341 is Federal Law and is a required Permit for any facility discharging into navigable water ways, The NRC violated their own re-licensing procedure, by not requiring VY to have this permit in-hand prior to approval for a new operational license.”

“Any applicant for a Federal license or permit to conduct any activity including, but not limited to, the construction or operation of facilities, which may result in any discharge into the navigable waters, shall provide the licensing or permitting agency (NRC & EPA) a certification from the State in which the discharge originates or will originate,…” (link)

At the end of NRC’s “Operator License Renewal Process” it states: “The NRC regional office will renew the license if, on the basis of the application and certifications, it determines that the applicant continues to meet the regulatory requirements.” (emphasis added)

more information –



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