Indian Point is set for closure in 2021 and subsequent decommission. Entergy, the current owner of the plant, announced that a subsidiary of Holtec International of Camden, New Jersey, has agreed to purchase the plant for decommissioning. The closure will have a significant economic impact on our local communities and an inevitable ripple effect on small businesses and the regional economy. The Village of Buchanan stands to lose 43 percent of its tax revenue; the Hendrick Hudson School District, 31 percent of its revenue; and, the Town of Cortlandt, 2 percent of revenue. In addition, there are about 1,200 skilled union jobs directly at stake.
Since the day I took office in January 2019, aiding the workers and the communities surrounding Indian Point has been my top priority. My goals are to assure safety, protect jobs, and help the local and regional economies, and, see to it that all environmental safeguards are assured. In the last six months, I have met with local officials, union representatives and residents of the community. I am inspired by their determination to succeed in the face of adversity. These hardworking people are not looking for handouts, but need some help dealing with the resulting challenges of the plant closure.
With their very valuable input, I have sponsored two vital pieces of legislation in the Senate to help these communities in times of need. To protect union jobs during closure and decommissioning, I introduced a bill (S5305B) that will ensure that current union employees are the first to be hired by the decommissioning company and paid no less than the prevailing wage. This bill passed the Senate on June 6, and it is my hope that it will soon pass the Assembly (A7569B) where it is carried by Assemblywoman Sandy Galef, D-Westchester. The legislation will help keep families in place by preventing the decommissioning company from displacing our well-trained workforce and replacing it with non-union, lower-wage workers from out of state.
In addition, I’m carrying a bill in the Senate (S3443/A5404) created by Assemblywoman Sandy Galef, that will allow spent fuel rods, including fuel stored in pools or in dry cask storage, to be assessed and taxed as Real Property. This vital legislation will provide some much needed tax relief for the surrounding communities and school districts during the decommissioning process.
While these bills are not the total answer to the economic concerns created by the closure of Indian Point, they will offer some relief to both workers and the affected communities.
I will continue to work with all of the Indian Point communities and will do everything I can to help them through this very difficult period.