n an attempt to resolve an impasse over certifying
the emergency plan for the Indian Point nuclear power plant in
Westchester County, New York State last night suggested a
meeting of federal and local officials to discuss their
Edward F. Jacoby Jr., director of the State Emergency
Management Office, sent a letter to the Federal Emergency
Management Agency reiterating the state's position that it
cannot sign off on the plan because the four counties
surrounding the plant, in Buchanan, have refused to send
information the state needs for certification. The
certification is normally an annual, routine task.
The counties, Mr. Jacoby noted, said they had acted out of
concerns raised by a state-sponsored report last month that
said the emergency plan, including designs for evacuating
people within a 10-mile radius of the plant, is inadequate to
protect the public from a large release of radiation.
On Monday, Joseph F. Picciano, acting regional director of
FEMA, sent a letter to Mr. Jacoby asserting that the state
should have enough information even without the counties to
decide if the plan is current.
FEMA uses the "annual letter of certification," as well as
its own information, to determine whether to approve the plan,
a condition of the plant's operating license. The Nuclear
Regulatory Commission, however, has never withdrawn a license
over emergency planning issues.
But Mr. Jacoby said the state would not take a stand
without the counties' participation. The state normally
receives checklists from the counties that confirm that they
have completed required training and administrative tasks.
Without taking a position on the adequacy of the plan, he
suggested that FEMA meet with officials from the counties and
state "to directly address the concerns of both the counties
and the state."
A spokeswoman for FEMA said last night that the agency was
reviewing the letter and had no comment.