On August 14, 2014, local citizens scored a major victory against Entergy when Mass. Land Court rejected the corporation’s attempt to get the citizens’ law suit thrown out of court. The judge ruled that certain citizen plaintiffs living within two miles of Pilgrim have standing to move on to the next stage of the case because they may suffer a loss of their property values due to the construction and operation of the waste dump at Pilgrim. The citizens are being represented by a team of volunteer lawyers including members of the Earthrise Law Center.
The Pilgrim facility sits on the shore of Cape Cod Bay in Plymouth. In early 2013, Entergy began construction of a $140 million concrete pad and dry cask long-term storage unit for its spent nuclear fuel. Because the Town of Plymouth did not require a special zoning permit, the massive project—that will result in the indefinite storage of nuclear waste within a few hundred feet of the shoreline—has received little public scrutiny and no risk evaluation for adverse, and potentially catastrophic effects. The “indefinite period” outlined in the NRC regulations exceeds three hundred years.
The plaintiffs seek a remand of the case to the Plymouth Zoning Board, giving them another chance to require a special permit with needed environmental design conditions and mitigation measures to ensure that, if nuclear waste is going to be stored at the site, it is done in a way that ensures maximum protection of the community and environment.