Senators launch inquiry into Indian Point explosion, fuel spill

ALBANY, NY - At least two state lawmakers want Entergy to more thoroughly explain how the recent explosion at Indian Point could have led to over a thousand gallons of liquid to spill into the Hudson River. State Senator Joe Griffo, chairman of the Senate Energy & Telecommunications Committee, and Senator Terrence Murphy, who represents the Buchanan based plant, today began a formal investigation of the incident with a letter to Entergy executives.

"The residents of the Hudson Valley, as well as those living in other regions of the state where nuclear power plants are located, should be assured that their safety and well-being are not at risk due to incidents such as the one that occurred on Saturday," Senator Griffo said. "Entergy should provide a detailed description of what happened to the transformer at Indian Point that caused it to catch fire."

"We must understand how and to what degree this spill impacted the Hudson River," Senator Murphy said. "Any internal investigation by Entergy should help us understand why their catchment system was overloaded, and how any future incidents of this kind are going to be prevented."

If Entergy does not voluntarily respond to the Senator's letter, its executives can be compelled to testify in front of the committee.

While the plant is licensed by the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission, or NRC, it also obtains various licenses from state regulators, such as its State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) permit from the state Department of Environmental Conservation. The senators believe it is paramount that harmful substances be kept out of the state's coastal waters, including the Hudson.

Entergy, the company which owns and operates the plant, originally claimed that no oil leaked into the Hudson. "Initial indications [are] no evidence of transformer oil actually reaching the river in any significant quantity," the company tweeted on May 11th. "There is little to no evidence of any environmental consequence whatsoever on the river."

However, Governor Cuomo indicated that there was a volume of oil and water discharged as a result of the explosion and the fire suppression system which "exceeding the capacity of the holding tank and then spilled out onto the ground." The Governor noted the ground empties into the drain system, and the drain system goes right into the Hudson River.

Environmental watchdog Riverkeeper posted numerous photos and videos of an obvious oil sheen on the Hudson River. The spillage could be smelled from across the river in Rockland County, according to the Journal News.