Our Work

PSB Decision Affirms Vermont Yankee Will Cease Operations by End of This Year

The Vermont Public Service Board issued a decision March 28 putting the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant under the legal obligation to cease  power generation at the end of 2014. This is good news. The decision also means Entergy, the owner of the plant, must provide $10 million to promote economic development in Windham County and commit to site restoration measures.

The Vermont Yankee proceedings were long and complicated and addressed many important issues.  Vermont Natural Resources Council and Connecticut River Watershed Council were primarily involved in the proceedings to address Vermont Yankee’s discharge of hot water into the Connecticut River.

The PSB has decided to implement the terms of the MOU between Entergy and the State of Vermont.  We recognize that the PSB certainly had the authority to require closed cycle cooling to stop the thermal pollution of the Connecticut River now, but we understand this would have likely violated the terms of the MOU between Entergy and the State of Vermont.

The MOU and the CPG require the Agency of Natural Resources to pursue issues related to VY’s thermal discharge through the ANR permitting process.  The Board stated that the MOU provides a short-term mechanism to address the thermal discharge concerns.  It is important to note, however, that the Board also acknowledged that if the VY Station were going to operate for an additional eighteen years, the evidence put forward by CRWC, VNRC and the ANR might have led the Board to “conclude that Entergy VY had not met its obligation to demonstrate that the discharge would not adversely affect the water quality” of the Connecticut River.  The PSB therefore recognized that there are concerns with the VY Station’s thermal discharge.

Updating VY’s discharge permit is long overdue, and we call on the ANR to swiftly implement a revised discharge permit that protects the ecological health of the Connecticut River.

For additional information contact:

Jamey Fidel, Counsel for VNRC and CRWC – 802-595-2885

Andy Fisk, Executive Director, CRWC – 413-772-2020, ext. 208

David Deen, River Steward, CRWC – 802-380-9228