FEMA to decide fate of Indian Point

(01/31/03) WHITE PLAINS - Federal officials are in the process of deciding the fate of the Indian Point nuclear power plants. New York State says it can't certify that the emergency plan for the area. Now, the Federal Emergency Management Agency must take the next step.

The State Emergency Management Office sent a letter to FEMA Thursday. The letter stated that because the four counties closest to the plants have refused to make their annual assurances that the plan is ready, the state is unable to say that "essential program activities" have been completed. The state's action means FEMA must decide on the next step.

Three weeks ago, an independent consultant commissioned by Governor Pataki (R-NY) said current emergency planning is inadequate to protect residents, partly because it doesn't take into account the possibility of terrorism.

FEMA is expected to release their evaluation next month.

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