DRAFT PERMIT ISSUED TO OYSTER CREEK NUCLEAR
IN ACCORDANCE WITH PLANT CLOSURE AGREEMENT
(11/P70) TRENTON - In accordance with the agreement negotiated by the State with Exelon Corp. to close the Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station 10 years ahead of its license expiration, the Department of Environmental Protection today has issued a New Jersey Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NJPDES) draft permit renewal to the plant, Commissioner Bob Martin announced today.
The draft permit renewal would allow the nuclear power plant to continue the previously authorized intake of waters from the Forked River, as well as the discharge of water to Oyster Creek.
The permit incorporates the conditions of the Dec. 9, 2010 Administrative Consent Order (ACO) between Exelon Corp. and the DEP. As part of this ACO, Exelon agreed it will permanently cease power generation operations at this facility by the end of 2019 even though its federal operating license expires in 2029.
"The early closure of the Oyster Creek plant is a major win for the long-term health of Barnegat Bay,'' said Commissioner Bob Martin. "It is major component of Governor Christie's comprehensive 10-point plan to restore this incredible resource and reverse the Bay's declining ecological health.''
"This regulatory document follows through on our commitment to close Oyster Creek a decade earlier than its federal license allows,'' added Commissioner Martin. "We have a commitment from Exelon to continue to operate the nuclear plant in a safe and responsible manner until its closure.''
Governor Christie in December of 2010 unveiled a comprehensive plan of action to address the short- and long-term ecological health of Barnegat Bay, including the early closure of Oyster Creek.
Officials of the Exelon Corp., which owns and runs the plant, have pledged to work closely with state, county and local governments to ensure an environmentally safe shutdown of the facility, which currently draws significant amounts of water from the Bay. Exelon also has pledged to cooperate with an independent safety panel that will review plant operations, issue safety reports, and hold annual meetings to provide the public with status reports as the plant prepares for closure.
A two-session public hearing on the draft permit will be held on July 7, from 1-4 p.m. and from 7-9 p.m., at the Lacey Township Municipal Building, Lacey Road, in Lacey Township.
Written comments on the draft document must be submitted in writing to Pilar Patterson, Chief, or Attention: Comments on Public Notice NJ0005550, Mail Code 401-02B, Bureau of Surface Water Permitting, P.O. Box 420, Trenton, NJ 08625 by August 1, 2011.
To view a copy of the permit, visit: http://www.state.nj.us/dep/dwq/pdf/draft_permit_OC_6_1_11.pdf
To view Governor Christie's comprehensive 10-point Barnegat Bay Restoration Plan, visit: http://nj.gov/governor/news/news/552010/pdf/20101209a.pdf