For Immediate Release: July 12, 2007
Contact: Renee Cho,
914-478-4501 x239


(Tarrytown, NY): Today New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo filed an amicus brief with the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals. Cuomo's brief supports Westchester County's appeal challenging a recent decision by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) that rejected the County's petition to update emergency planning regulations for nuclear plants seeking license renewal.

"The NRC's refusal to require consideration of emergency planning and security concerns as part of Indian Point's relicensing review is unjustifiable, given the significant changes in population density, increase in traffic congestion and increased concerns over terrorism in the New York Metropolitan area," says Alex Matthiessen, President of Riverkeeper. Riverkeeper welcomes the Attorney General's decision to commit the considerable resources of his office to supporting Westchester County in this appeal.


In May 2005 Westchester County Executive Spano filed a rulemaking petition with the NRC asking the agency to apply the same standards for relicensing an existing nuclear plant as those used to license new reactors, thereby requiring a reassessment of emergency planning and security concerns as part of the relicensing review.  The County's petition relied in large part on a 2003 report by James Lee Witt, former head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency that found Indian Point's evacuation plan would not protect the public in the event of an actual emergency.

Under its current regulations, the NRC has exempted emergency planning, security and nuclear waste concerns from the relicensing review for existing plants. The County's petition was rejected by the NRC in Fall 2006, prompting Executive Spano to file an appeal in federal court earlier this year.

Alex Matthiessen and Lisa Rainwater, Policy Director, are available for interviews, and can be reached at 914-478-4501 x239,

About Riverkeeper
Riverkeeper is a member-supported, not-for-profit environmental organization dedicated to safeguarding the ecological integrity of the Hudson River and the watershed areas that provide drinking water to New York City and parts of four upstate counties by tracking down and stopping polluters. Since 1983, Riverkeeper has investigated and brought to justice hundreds of environmental lawbreakers. For more information, please visit


Renee Cho
Communications Officer
878 South Broadway
Tarrytown, NY 10591
(914) 478-4501 x 239