Bill Requiring Public Notice of Emissions from State Nuclear Plants Passes New York State Assembly Today

June 10, 2005

The bill (A.6110/S.1675) to require all of New York’s six nuclear plants to give notice of scheduled and unscheduled releases of radioactive materials and breakdowns and malfunctions passed the New York State Assembly today, Assemblywoman Sandy Galef announced. Galef was the sponsor of the bill in the Assembly and Senator Thomas Morahan in the Senate.

The new requirement would amend the Executive Law to provide for public notification of emissions from nuclear plants through a notice available to the public via a toll-free telephone number. Notice would also be made directly to the commissioner of health and the chief executive of the county in which the plant is located, and to the chief executive officer of the city, town or village in which the plant is located. Public notice would be required within 24 hours for any and all releases of radioactive materials and for breakdowns and malfunctions.

Public notices would contain the total amount of radioactivity released, the estimated individual dose that may occur due to the release, the area affected, the equipment that malfunctioned, if any, and the corrective actions taken.

"It is important to the safety and welfare of our communities that they can receive vital information about releases of radioactive materials from the plant without delay," said Galef. "This legislation will drastically improve the public’s ability to access the operation of New York nuclear plants and any issues impacting our environment."

"We must require all nuclear plants in New York State to make public disclosure of emissions so that local governments and residents can have the information needed to take appropriate actions," concluded Galef.