Bloomberg News

Vermont Loses Bid to Block Entergy Nuclear Plant License

June 26, 2012

The state of Vermont lost its challenge to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s renewal of a license for a nuclear power plant owned by Entergy Corp. (ETR:US)

A unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington today dismissed a lawsuit filed against the commission by the Vermont Department of Public Service and the New England Coalition, a nuclear-safety watchdog group, after finding that they failed to raise objections to an environmental study directly to the NRC.

“The petitioners here were required under agency regulations to afford the full commission an opportunity to pass” on the environmental challenge before filing a lawsuit, U.S. Circuit Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson wrote for the panel. “And they had repeated opportunity to do so.”

Vermont sued the NRC in May 2011, claiming the issuance of a 20-year renewal license for the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station was unlawful because New Orleans-based Entergy didn’t furnish a state water-quality certificate as required under the Clean Water Act.

Elizabeth Miller, commissioner of the Vermont Department of Public Service, didn’t immediately respond to a phone message seeking comment on the ruling. Michael Burns, a spokesman for Entergy, said the company was pleased with the ruling.

The case is Vermont Department of Public Service v. U.S., 11-1168, U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia (Washington).

To contact the reporter on this story: Tom Schoenberg in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at

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