Senator Harckham Announces Two Bills to Protect Indian Point Workers, Taxpayers and Surrounding Communities

Planned closure and decommissioning will have a significant economic impact on local communities and workers

(Peekskill, NY) Senator Pete Harckham, 40th Senate District announced two important bills to help protect the workers employed by Indian Point and the surrounding communities that will be impacted by the closure. Assemblymember Sandy Galef, 95th Assembly District, has introduced both bills in her chamber.

The first, S5305A/A7569A, is designed to help assure continued union jobs during the closure and decommissioning of Indian Point. It will ensure that current union employees are retained and paid no less than prevailing wage. The legislation will help keep families in place by preventing a decommissioning company from coming in and displacing our well-trained workforce, replacing them with unskilled, non-union, low-wage out-of-towners. 

The second, S3443/A5404, a bill on the cusp of passing the state Senate, will allow spent fuel rods, including fuel stored in pools or in a dry cask storage, to be taxed as Real Property. This vital legislation will provide some much needed tax relief during the decommissioning process. The revenue stream from such a tax should help the local communities and schools that will face massive declines in revenues after the closure and decommissioning of the plant.

Senator Pete Harckham said, “Since the day I took office in January, the Indian Point closure has been one of my top priorities. My goals are to retain jobs, protect workers, assure safety and help the local economy. The two bills we are announcing today, are designed to mitigate the significant economic impact the decommissioning will have on our local communities, small businesses and Indian Point workers. We’ll continue to do everything in our power to assist the people and communities impacted.” 

Assemblywoman Sandy Galef said, “These two bills promise to protect the workers and taxpayers of our community. Preparing for Indian Point’s closure has not been easy, and we all feel the economic uncertainty that comes with it. However, Senator Harckham and I are here today to make a commitment to the residents of Cortlandt and Buchanan, and the Hendrick Hudson School District that we are here for you, and we will continue to look for innovative measures to protect this community no matter what the future holds.”

Westchester County Executive George Latimer said, “The closure of Indian Point will have drastic impacts on Westchester County, including our residents who are part of the workforce and those who live in the surrounding communities. We need to do everything we can to ensure that those workers are placed in new jobs, and protect the taxpayers of those local municipalities and the school districts. I laud Senator Harckham and Assemblymember Galef for their efforts.”

Westchester/Putnam County Central Labor Body AFL/CIO President Thomas Carey said, "I thank our new Senator for his proactive approach on this extremely sensitive matter. Senator Harckham immediately reached out to Labor leaders, once he was sworn in, to help find a way to help over 1,000 workers who will be affected by the closure of Indian Point Energy Centers 2 Nuclear plants by 2021. The Senator held a round table discussion with members of Utility Workers Local 1-2, Building & Construct Trades Unions representing Steamfitters, Plumbers, Electricians, Operating Engineers, Carpenters and others, gathering information to put this legislation forward. It’s imperative to keep Local skilled labor employed for the safe shutdown and decommissioning process. Who better than the current workforce that has all the necessary training and experience with knowledge of the daily operations. This Legislation will protect the current and future workforce and make sure there will be a level playing field for everyone.

Theresa Knickerbocker, Mayor, Village of Buchanan said, "Because the Department of Energy has not found a final repository for nuclear waste, our Village will become a defacto storage facility and we should be compensated.”

Linda Puglisi, Cortlandt Town Supervisor said, "I appreciate Senator Harckham working with us on Indian Point and the challenges we face."

New York State Senate District 40 includes parts of Northern Westchester (Briarcliff, Buchanan, Cortlandt, Croton-on-Hudson, Lewisboro, Mount Kisco, Mount Pleasant, New Castle, North Salem, Peekskill, Pleasantville, Pound Ridge, Sleepy Hollow, Somers, Yorktown) Putnam (Brewster, Carmel, Patterson, Southeast) and Dutchess (Beekman, Pawling).