FEMA recertifies IP evacuation plans

(07/25/03) BUCHANAN - The Federal Government has overruled local officials and recertified the Indian Point evacuation plan. This assures the nuclear plants will remain open and operational. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced the decision Friday afternoon. 

The decision caps months of standoffs and negotiations among local, state, and federal authorities over terrorism concerns surrounding the plants in Buchanan. The emergency plan has been under fire ever since the September 11th terror attacks started fueling fears that the plants could be targets.

Executives in the four counties closest to Indian Point, Westchester, Rockland, Orange and Putnam, refused to recertify the existing evacuation plans, prompting New York State to do the same. FEMA apparently determined it did not need the counties' paperwork because it had worked closely with local authorities to craft the evacuation plan.

Word about the decision has drawn mixed emotions from residents who live within the 10-mile evacuation zone around the plants on the shores of the Hudson River. Under the plan, emergency personnel would evacuate local residents in the immediate vicinity of the power plants in the event of a serious radiation leak. Some say the plants have worked fine for years and other say they don't believe any evacuation of Westchester is possible.

Meanwhile a county spokesperson says County Executive Andy Spano plans to fight the certification of the plan.

Click here for a complete timeline of events involving Indian Point.

Click here to view the Indian Point 2 Nuclear Power Station Exercise Report.

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory CommissionClose Indian Point NowIndian Point Energy CenterFederal Emergency Management Agency

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