Morning Briefing - March 12, 2018
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March 12, 2018

Parties Urge Approval of Vermont Yankee MOU

By ExchangeMonitor

Several parties to the state regulatory review of the sale of the shuttered Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant on Friday called for approval of the new memorandum of understanding that lays out financial-assurance and site-restoration commitments for the deal.

All but one of the parties to the Vermont Public Utility Commission proceeding agreed to the MOU on March 2. The commission will rule on the document in deciding whether to allow utility Entergy to sell the plant to NorthStar Group Services for decommissioning, site restoration, and spent fuel management.

The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources “believes the agreement embodied in the MOU, if adopted by the PUC, will help ensure a timely and effective decommissioning and restoration in a manner that is protective of human health and the environment and that will allow for productive future use of the Site in an expedited manner,” Charles Schwer, director of the agency’s Waste Management and Prevention Division, said in testimony filed Friday with the commission.

The state Attorney General’s Office and Public Service Department also agreed to the MOU, along with Entergy, NorthStar, the New England Coalition, Elnu Abenaki Tribe, Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi, Windham Regional Commission, and the town of Vernon Planning and Economic Development Commission. The sole holdout among the parties was the Conservation Law Foundation.

“The Town of Vernon requests that the Public Utility Commission approve the multiparty Memorandum of Understanding,” Robert Spencer, chairman of the town’s Planning and Economic Development Commission, said in his own prefiled testimony. “It is the Town’s position that a prompt cleanup of the Vermont Yankee site to Town Plan, backed by significant financial assurances, with further the interests of the Town.”

Friday was the deadline for parties to submit prefiled testimony. The PUC proceeding, including public and evidentiary hearings, will continue at least into May. Entergy and NorthStar hope to secure approval from the commission by July 31 so they can complete the sale by the end of 2018.