JUDGE RULES: VT’s GMO FOOD LABELING LAW IS CONSTITUTIONAL AND CAN GO TO TRIAL

From Rural Vermont –

JUDGE RULES: VT’s GMO FOOD LABELING LAW IS CONSTITUTIONAL AND CAN GO TO TRIAL

In an eighty-four page decision issued late on Monday April 28th, Federal District Court Judge Christina Reiss denied the Grocery Manufacturers’ Association’s motion for an injunction to block Vermont’s GMO labeling law from being implemented. Although she also denied the State of Vermont’s motion to dismiss the GMA’s lawsuit entirely, her ruling did support many of the State’s key arguments in support of the law.

Vermont’s first in the nation GMO labeling law was passed overwhelmingly by the legislature last year, and signed by Governor Shumlin last May. Passage of the law was supported by the work of the Vermont Right to Know GMOs coalition spearheaded by Cedar Circle Farm, the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT), Rural Vermont, and VPIRG. .

Next steps in the case may include proceeding to trial to resolve outstanding claims, or an appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Though the Court found that Plaintiffs’ are not likely to succeed on blocking the disclosure requirement, the Court indicated that the prohibition on using the term “natural” will face an uphill battle. The law is set to go in to effect on July 1st 2016.

Please visit the VT Right to Know GMOs website for further updates as the court case continues.

60 Million Dollars of Presumption on Preemption

Donald M. Kreis, attorney and professor at the Vermont Law School said “I flat out predict that they [Entergy] will, in fact, order their fuel rods” and keep the plant running past 2012,

Quote from VT DIGGER article analyzing the injunction

An end quote in the embedded “News Report” below on Vermont Yankee re-fueling:

They’ll be missed if they give up.

Really?…. this is the objective news informing the people? … VY didn’t “give up” after loosing the injunction hearing, (which would have allowed them to keep the plant open during the proceedings of the Entergy vs Vermont case.) they decided to spend $60 million to refuel the plant this October, despite the uncertainty that the operational relicensing is lawful.

Take action – https://vermont4evolution.wordpress.com/human-rights/take-action-vermont-yankee/

Vermont Yankee Propaganda


NRC members refuse to answer Vt. Yankee questions

By DAVE GRAM

The five members of the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission refused to say Thursday whether they had voted in secret a day earlier on whether to ask the U.S. Justice Department to intervene in the lawsuit brought by Entergy Corp. against the state of Vermont over the future of the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant.

The comments came during a hearing of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works at which Sen. Bernie Sanders, a member of the committee, grilled commission members on their involvement in the Vermont Yankee litigation.

“My understanding is that there was a vote yesterday at the NRC on the issue in fact of whether or not the NRC should be involved in this case,” Sanders said while questioning NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko. “Can you tell me what the vote was, Mr. Commissioner?”

Jaczko and the other commissioners declined to answer, saying it was a matter of litigation strategy and that they had been urged not to speak about the matter by the Justice Department. But the chairman reiterated comments he first made in March as the NRC issued Vermont Yankee a 20-year license extension that he doubted there were grounds for the federal government to pre-empt state action.

“I don’t want to specifically comment on a matter that is in front of the commission because that is a privileged matter, but I see nothing that would tell me that there’s a pre-emption issue here,” Jaczko said in response to questions from Sanders.

Sanders aides had said Wednesday evening that they had received information that the NRC had voted in a closed-door session to ask the Justice Department to get involved in Entergy’s suit, arguing that federal laws and regulations governing nuclear power pre-empt the state laws that are threatening to shut Vermont Yankee down next March, when its initial 40-year license expires.

A senior NRC official, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak about the matter, said the commission voted 3-2 on whether to ask the Justice Department to intervene, but he would not say which way the vote went.

full article – http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9NT8K780.htm

Massachusetts backs Vermont suit against Nuclear Regulatory Commission

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.

Full article – http://www.gazettenet.com/2011/05/27/massachusetts-backs-vermont-suit-against-nuclear-regulatory-commission?SESS5bd48b21875116cd73d694e5d5bd4d45=gnews

 

 

Former VY employee sues Entergy

Tuesday May 10, 2011

BRATTLEBORO — A former employee of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant is suing its parent company Entergy, for wrongful termination.

Peter Prince, of Spofford, N.H., had worked for Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Corp., for 23 years before Entergy purchased the plant in 2002 and then another nine and a-half before his termination in January 2010.

“The bottom line is they just wanted to get rid of the guy and it was done grossly inappropriately,” said his attorney William McCarty said.

In 1986, he was hired as an auxiliary operator and within three years was promoted to radiation protection technician. A decade later, he was promoted again, this time to the role of radiation protection supervisor. Then in October 2007, due to company re-alignment, he was offered the position of senior nuclear support coordinator/operating experience.

He had the option to either accept the new role or be fired without severance pay, according to court documents filed by McCarty.

Prince began his new duties in November, 2007, but he alleges he was never provided a job description.

In January 2009, Price was evaluated for obstructive sleep apnea and referred to a sleep study evaluation. Due to the sleep lab schedule, the evaluation wasn’t performed until April 8, 2009.

Then-manager Sam Wender and supervisor Christine Eyre held a performance review with Prince in March 2009 for the previous year. He alleges that none of the concerns listed were brought to his attention. The review had an overall rating of “needs improvement.”….

It wasn’t until staff from Nine Mile Station contacted Entergy several times in March and April that Entergy agreed Prince’s unfavorable PADS entry was inaccurate.

Prince is currently working as a contractor at various nuclear facilities during outages and has to spend the majority of his time traveling.

“He has to miss a lot of holidays and family functions because of the current work situation,” McCarty said. “It’s not right.”
McCarty said that he and Prince are seeking payment for lost wages and future pension benefits that he would have occurred if he hadn’t been terminated.

He added that Entergy lawyers had filed that at least three of his client’s claims be dismissed. A court date is tentatively set for June 28 in Rutland.

full article (to see this old article you must be a Brattleboro subscriber)- http://www.reformer.com/ci_18029293

Closed-door Case for Nuklear Entergy?

First hearing in suit over Vermont nuke plant – Bloomberg 

A court case over whether Vermont has the authority to close down the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant next year is off to a secretive start. The first hearing for Entergy Corp.’s suit against state officials was held behind closed doors Thursday in federal court in Brattleboro.

Attorneys for Entergy and the state met in chambers with U.S. District Judge J. Garvan Murtha. Neither side would reveal afterward what was discussed.

Entergy filed a civil suit against the state of Vermont last month, saying jurisdiction over Vermont Yankee’s continued operation lies with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which recently granted it a 20-year license extension. State officials contend that they have the authority to close the plant in March 2012.

Judge schedules June hearing on Vt. Yankee closing

The Brattleboro Reformer says U.S. District Court Judge J. Garvan Murtha scheduled the hearing for June 23 and 24 in federal court in Brattleboro.

Lawmaker calls for tough law against VY

By CHRIS GAROFOLO / Reformer Staff          Monday April 25, 2011

BRATTLEBORO — State Rep. Richard Marek will introduce a bill this week that would make it a criminal enterprise to operate a nuclear plant in Vermont without receiving the approved permit from state lawmakers and the Public Service Board.

Marek, a Newfane Democrat, said he will hold a press conference at the Statehouse on Tuesday outlining a bill to put Vermont in a position where a statute pertaining to nuclear plants would be similar to other laws addressing illegal activities…

The penalties for violating the proposed measure would include a fine of up to $100,000 daily applied to both the owner of the plant (Entergy) and to board members and decision-making levels of management.

Marek’s legislation would also make it illegal to furnish services amounting to more than $10,000 annually to facilitate operation of a nuclear plant when the company knows it requires Legislature-approval to operate.

full article – http://www.reformer.com/localnews/ci_17921138