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Indian Point Nuclear Facility Units 2 and 3 - Water Quality Certification

Application to NYSDEC for the Issuance of a CWA § 401 Certification

Facility Background

The Indian Point Nuclear Facility is located in the Village of Buchanan, Westchester County. The Facility is equipped with separate cooling water systems that withdraw water from the Hudson River and discharge that water back to the river through a shared discharge canal. Up to 2.5 billion gallons of water per day are withdrawn from the Hudson River through three intake structures along the shoreline.

Water Quality Certificate

In association with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's ("NRC") federal relicensing process, Entergy Indian Point Unit 2, LLC, Entergy Indian Point Unit 3, LLC and Entergy Nuclear Operation, Inc. (collectively "Entergy") filed a Joint Application with the Department pursuant to § 401 of the Federal Clean Water Act ("CWA") and 6 NYCRR Parts 608 (Use and Protection of Waters) and 621 (Uniform Procedures) for a Water Quality Certification ("WQC"). The Federal CWA requires that, prior to any federal agency issuing a license or permit for a particular project, the State in which the project is located, must certify that the project meets State water quality standards. The Joint Application submitted by Entergy requests that the Department certify the facility meets state water quality standards and that a WQC be issued to run concurrently with its federal nuclear license application extension, which as indicated above, is pending before the NRC. The term of that NRC license and the WQC would be 20 years.

The Joint Application for a WQC by Entergy is procedurally unrelated to the ongoing SPDES permit proceeding for Indian Point Units 2 and 3. While the SPDES permit proceeding and the § 401 WQC application are subject to some of the same sections of the Environmental Conservation Law ("ECL") and implementing regulations, the two processes are different. One of the primary differences is that a SPDES permit has a maximum term of 5 years. As indicated above, the term of the § 401 WQC sought by Entergy would be for 20 years.

Application Background

On April 6, 2009, the Department received the Joint Application for a § 401 WQC from Entergy. Department staff immediately commenced a review of the initial application materials and on May 13, 2009, sent Entergy a comprehensive Request for Information ("RFI"). The May 13th RFI provided a detailed list of the additional information staff would need from Entergy in order to demonstrate that Indian Point Units 2 and 3 complied with State water quality standards and regulations so that the Department could make all of the necessary findings or determinations required by law. Over the subsequent 6 months, Entergy provided multiple responses to the Department's initial May 13th RFI. In some instances, the Department provided Entergy with a response or additional clarification regarding newly submitted information.

In accordance with the CWA, the Department has until April 6, 2010 to issue a final decision on the application. A copy of Entergy's original § 401 WQC application, all of Entergy's subsequent submittals and letters, and all of the Department's responses thereto are provided below.

All questions concerning the documents should be directed to Christopher Hogan, Project Manager.

Documents Related to Entergy's § 401 WQC Application

Cooling Tower Modeling Report dated September 1, 2009

Indian Point Energy Center Closed Cycle Cooling Conversion Feasibility Study Visual Assessment dated June 1, 2009

Application for Water Quality Certification Received by DEC April 6, 2009

Correspondence To and From DEC Regarding WQC Application - April 2009 - December 2009

Detailed Responses to NYS DEC Request for Information (RFI)

Evaluation of Alternative Intake Technologies at Indian Point Units 2 & 3 dated February 12, 2010

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