Vermont Yankee

Group opposes Entergy, state on Vt. Yankee suit

MONTPELIER, Vt. — The New England Coalition has pushed back against filings by both Entergy Nuclear and the state of Vermont aimed at derailing the coalition’s request to the Vermont Supreme Court to order the shutdown of Vermont Yankee.

The coalition criticized Entergy’s filing to the federal court in Vermont to thwart the coalition’s request of the state’s highest court, saying it was an “unlawful evisceration” of state power.

It also criticized the Department of Public Service’s similar opposition, saying “the department’s response fundamentally misconstrues the situation at hand.”

The department urged the high court to dismiss the coalition’s request, saying it didn’t want the Yankee legal fight spread out in so many legal venues.

“NEC’s complaint is properly before this court and the court should find that Entergy is operating the VY plant in direct violation of condition 8 of the sale order,” wrote the coalition’s attorneys, Brice Simon and Jared Margolis.

“The court should move forward with New England Coalition’s complaint,” the coalition attorneys added.

Simon said Monday that the Vermont Supreme Court had not set a hearing for the coalition’s request, but had created a docket number and said it was proceeding under Rule 21, which governs extraordinary relief.

“I consider that neutral,” said Simon.

The U.S. District Court in Brattleboro, where Entergy filed documents against the motion, has said that Judge J. Garvan Murtha would make a ruling in about two weeks, but not until the coalition responded to Entergy’s filing, Simon said. Simon said the coalition was seeking a hearing on the matter.

“I don’t view either the Vermont Supreme Court or the District Court’s action as tipping any hand on what they are thinking,” said Simon.

The coalition filed suit to force the Vermont Supreme Court to enforce a condition of the 2002 Public Service Board decision approving the sale of Vermont Yankee to Entergy Nuclear. Condition No. 8 of the sale specified that Entergy would not operate Yankee beyond March 21, 2012 unless it had a new state certificate of public good.

Entergy has argued it didn’t have the necessary state permit because of the vote by the Vermont Senate in February 2010, which blocked the PSB from acting on its pending request. The PSB has ruled that explanation is not legally valid.

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