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CT Attorney General Petitions U.S. Court of Appeals To Reject NRC Nuke Waste Storage Rule

Connecticut’s Attorney General, George Jepsen, has joined a court petition by Vermont and New York on October 24, 2014 to challenge the NRC’s latest rules that would allow onsite storage of thousands of tons of high-level nuclear waste onsite at the Millstone nuclear power plant for 60 years after Units 2 and 3 close.

In a landmark 2012 ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington DC found that spent nuclear fuel stored onsite at the nation’s nuclear power plants “poses a dangerous, long-term health and environmental risk.”

That court invalidated an NRC regulation and ordered the NRC to complete an environmental assessment of the risks involved in the longterm onsite storage of the deadly waste. The NRC finalized its review in September.

“The NRC’s approach is wrong and illegal, and I will continue to fight to insure that our communities receive the full and detailed accounting of the risks of long-term, onsite nuclear waste storage that they deserve,” said New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman in a press release on his website announcing the legal move.

Schneiderman’s Connecticut counterpart, AG Jepsen, did not post a press release on his website.

Jepsen’s office has also sided with New York’s attorney general in his effort to close the Indian Point nuclear power plant in Buchanan, less than 13 miles from Greenwich and Stamford.

However, Jepsen’s office has taken no similar steps with regard to Millstone, Connecticut’s only operating nuclear power plant.

Indeed, Connecticut’s attorney general at the time, Richard S. Blumenthal, supported Dominion’s plans to expand its onsite nuclear waste storage to enable Millstone Unit 2 to continue to operate. At the time, Unit 2 was nearing capacity for spent nuclear fuel in its onsite pool. Jepsen’s office did not participate in the latest round before the Connecticut Siting Council when Dominion obtained approval to expand its spent nuclear waste storage capacity further. That decision is the subject of an appeal pending before the state’s Appellate Court.

Read New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman’s Press Release HERE

Read the petition HERE

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Alerts Millstone News

Millstone Loses Radiation Monitoring Capacity AGAIN During Days of Dirtiest Releases

Midway through its refueling outage – when Millstone Unit 3 is releasing its dirtiest pre-planned radioactive waste products to the air – Dominion reports the unplanned outage of a critical radiation monitor and the pre-planned outage of two other critical radiation monitors.

This latest notification is the latest in recurring radiation monitor breakdowns at Millstone.

In notifications to the NRC (Event Reports 50567 and 50568), Dominion reported the unplanned loss of the “normal range Supplemental Leakage Collection and Release System (SLCRS)” on October 24 “due to sample pump failure” and the planned loss for more than three days of the ”normal and high range ventilation process radiation monitors (3HVR*RE10A/B) on October 25, 2014.

Dominion had to report each radiation monitor loss to the NRC pursuant to federal regulations, 10 CFR 50.72(b)(3)(xiii), which states as follows: “Immediate notification requirements for operating nuclear power plants . . . Any event that results in a major loss of emergency assessment capability, offsite response capability, or offsite communications capability (e.g., significant portion of control room indication, Emergency Notification System, or offsite notification system)” [Emphasis added.]

The NRC allows Millstone to continuously discharge to the air its most concentrated releases of radioactivity while its critical radiation detectors are inoperable and Dominion’s ability to assess emergency conditions and radiological threats to the environment is jeopardized.

The NRC’s dangerous hands-off approach shields Millstone’s operations from public accountability and perpetuates secrecy and deception as to the real dangers of Millstone operations.

Email us HERE to join the independent citizen monitoring network.

Posted October 29, 2014

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Alerts Uncategorized

Amanda’s Choice

Amanda Fowle is the Assistant District Attorney who asked a Plymouth, Massachusetts District Judge on October 23, 2014 to incarcerate 3 grandmothers for 30 days for trying to plant flowers on the grounds of the Pilgrim nuclear power plant on Mother’s Day.

  • The crime was trespass.
  • The defense was the common law doctrine of necessity.
  • The choice was Amanda’s.

She could have taken the path of her colleague, Bristol County Assistant District Attorney Sam Sutter, whose assignment was to prosecute Jay O’Hara and Ken Ward for boarding a boat (named Henry David T.) last year and interfering with the arrival of a barge bearing 40,000 tons of coal bound for the Brayton Point power plant (once owned by Dominion) on Narragansett Bay, New England’s largest.

Their act of civil disobedience, in the spirit of Massachusetts native Thoreau, was to dramatize how local acts of burning coal contribute to the major problem of global warming.

O’Hara and Ward stood accused of conspiracy, motorboat violations and disturbing the peace.

Sutter not only dismissed the most serious charge of conspiracy and settled the others for $2,000 fines as the trial was to commence. He said he’d put his own body forward by joining the defendants at the September 21 Climate Change march in New York City.

“Protest works,” Sutter explained. “Indeed protest may be the only thing that can save us. “

Over at Plymouth District Court, Amanda made a different choice: in a spitfire oration, she demanded four convictions and the slammer for Diane Turco, Sarah Thacher and Susan Carpenter and a fine for Mary Conathan, a first-time “offender.”

The women maintained their act of civil disobedience was necessary to protect their children and grandchildren from exposure to Pilgrim’s continuous planned releases of airborne radioactive isotopes that cause cancer, genetic mutations, birth defects, miscarriages, stillbirths and much, much more.

As their expert witness, Dr. Helen Caldicott, told the court, it takes just one hit by ionizing radiation to a single cell on a microscopic level to wreak havoc on the most vulnerable – women, little girls and developing fetuses.

The necessity defense requires proof of three elements: the defendants acted to avoid a significant risk of harm and the harm avoided was greater than that caused by breaking the law. No problem there: Fowle did not seriously challenge the women on these points.

The third element of proof is the clinker: No adequate lawful means could have been used to avoid the harm.

Dr. Helen Caldicott, who has devoted her life to the cause of a nuclear-free planet on medical and moral grounds, was asked if the women and their families could avoid the harm.

“Yes,” she told the filled courtroom. “Close the reactor.”

Amanda argued the grandmothers had made progress pursuing legal redress to shut Pilgrim down by meeting with the Governor and other elected officials to press their cause and therefore their necessity defense was futile on the third element.

But here’s the problem with Amanda’s argument: there is no “legal” means to shut Pilgrim on health and safety grounds.

The 1954 Atomic Energy Act, as interpreted over the past 50 years, charts the course for installing a nuclear power plant and keeping it running no matter what. It does not, however, provide a path or legal authority to shut one down forever for reasons of public health and safety. And in fact the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has never ordered the permanent shutdown of a nuclear power plant on grounds of public health and safety, nor has any court, president, senator, Congressperson or governor.Where nuclear power plants have shut down, the decision has always been made by the owner/operator on grounds of corporate economics.

And so Amanda’s argument doesn’t hold water: the Pilgrim Four lack the legal means to shutter Pilgrim because that decision is for Entergy and Entergy alone to make. Entergy is in practical effect the sovereign of Pilgrim. Entergy answers neither to the people nor the government on the ultimate question. That could change only if Congress were to amend the AEA Act to give the states power to shut their nukes on grounds of public health and safety.

As Amanda addressed Judge James Sullivan, she ridiculed the conscience-driven women.

She said their protest was a disgrace to their children and they should stop their outlaw conduct.

“This is a court of law,” she snapped. “This has to end.”

Amanda Fowle
Assistant District Attorney Amanda Fowle composes her closing argument asking for jail time for the four grandmothers.

Amanda could have ended it another way: by asking the judge to dismiss the charges on grounds the four defendants lack a legal remedy to avoid the risks of living in the shadow of Pilgrim.

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Millstone News

NRC Issues Dominion Notice of Violation For 6-Month-Long Safety Violation at Millstone

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has issued a Notice of Violation to Dominion for a serious violation of federal regulations for operating Millstone during a six-month period (August 11, 2013 to February 3, 2014) with a continuing failure of a safety-related feedwater pump.

Read more

Posted October 21, 2014

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Alerts Millstone News

NRC CURES PROBLEM WITH MILLSTONE’S RECURRING OUT-OF-SERVICE RADIATION MONITORS

ALLOWS DOMINION TO KEEP ITS RADIATION MONITORING OUTAGES SECRET!

Things just got a whole lot riskier for folks living in the shadow of Millstone – residents of southeastern Connecticut and Long Island’s East End in particular – with no advance notice, no opportunity for public comment and no stand-in for the public communicating its outrage.

Millstone has the worst record of all U.S. nuclear reactors in the frequency of reported radiation monitor outages over the past year, according to the NRC. (Dominion, “the licensee for the Millstone nuclear power company does report radiation monitors out of service more frequently than at other nuclear power plants in the United States via a 10 CFR 50.72 report.” NRC letter to Union of Concerned Scientists October 8, 2014.)

Unlike most other plants, Millstone does not have redundant devices for some of their radiation monitors, particularly [the main station stack and long-range monitors, the most critical ones],” NRC’s letter states. It goes on:

“Therefore, anytime one of these radiation monitors is out of service for more than 15 minutes for any reason and if compensatory measures cannot be completed within 15 minutes, then the licensee for Millstone is required to report this to the NRC in accordance with 10 CFR 50.72(b)(3)(xiii).

Millstone does take compensatory measures for grab sampling and analysis in the event that radiation monitors are out of service, however it takes more than 15 minutes to complete the compensatory measures, and therefore, a 50.72 report is still required.”

This week, the NRC revealed its amazing solution to Millstone’s singular problem, which has had concerned citizens worrying: the NRC’s now excusing Dominion from having to report the loss of radiation monitoring operability for reasons of “planned maintenance” unless the loss persists for 24 hours.

This magical solution came three weeks after concerned citizens demanded to know why radiation monitor outages were recurring frequently at Millstone, a fact known to them only because Dominion was required to report the loss to the NRC and the NRC posted the report on its website, NRC.org.

What it means: Dominion will now be able to operate Millstone at full power for up to 24 hours with its main radiation monitors deliberately disabled without prior notice to the public, where the previous standard was 15 minutes.

Dominion now has free rein to belch dirty radioactive air at “unusual” levels for 24 hours straight while its main radiation monitors are down, as long as the blast coincides with “pre-planned maintenance.”

Here’s the obvious question:

What’s to stop Dominion from venting its dirtiest releases – those containing the highest concentrations of radionuclides – during “pre-planned maintenance” over 24-hour periods, making it impossible for the public to ever know the levels to which they and their children and grandchildren were exposed?

The NRC has an easy answer: Nothing!

Shockingly, under existing regulation, Dominion is allowed to disgorge built-up “batches” of its dirtiest radioactive air from the containment, where the nuclear reactor is located, and radioactive processing systems, even when its major radiation monitors are shut down.

All that Dominion need do in such circumstances is apply its “best efforts” (Dominion’s term, approved by the NRC) to repair the monitors and carry out additional sampling and analysis.

The Union of Concerned Scientists asked the NRC if it could say whether Dominion had its workers actually carry out these “compensatory measures.”

Once again, the NRC had an easy answer: “This level of detailed information is not required to be submitted to the NRC.”

This issue is of greater concern during the month of October 2014 because of the scheduled refueling of Unit 3 when Dominion projects it will have the biggest, dirtiest radiation releases to the atmosphere of the entire year.

Take action: Sign on to our letter to Jeffrey Semancic, Director of Radiation, Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

Posted October 13, 2014

Categories
Alerts Millstone News

October 2014: Millstone Set for Worst Radiation Releases to the Air You and Your Family Breathe

Dominion is gearing Millstone up for its worst releases of radioactive waste to the air you breathe and to the shoreline’s life-sustaining waters during the month of October.

During October, Millstone Unit 3 will shut down for a scheduled refueling.

The uninitiated might welcome this news because logic should dictate that it must be safer to breathe during a nuclear reactor shutdown than when it’s operating full blast at 100% power.

Sorry to dispel the illusions: a nuclear power plant’s worst releases to your air and water – other than during accidents and emergencies – occur during refueling outages because that’s when the radiation-contaminated systems are “purged” and deferred maintenance of radiation-intense components is performed.

Don’t take our word for it.
Go to: https://www.dom.com/about/stations/nuclear/millstone/atmospheric-radiation-releases.jsp
It’s not a pretty picture.

At its website, www.dom.com, Dominion projects the quantities of radioactivity it plans to release in advance of the release.

Dominion didn’t volunteer to publicize this information about its 24/7 disregard for how it treats your environment and your health.

Dominion wants you to believe it’s a benevolent neighbor and the radiation you can’t see, smell, hear or taste doesn’t exist.

The Connecticut Coalition Against Millstone changed all that when it got the Connecticut legislature to pass a law in 2008 that forces Dominion to post its airborne radioactive projections in advance – the only law of its kind in the U.S. Here it is: Connecticut General Statutes §22a-135(c) )(“Licensees shall post on their websites all plans for routine and continuous releases of radiation to the atmosphere, including dates, times and fissile materials, as soon as such releases are scheduled.”)

No surprise, Dominion is not in compliance with that simple law.

Our research shows that Dominion neglected to post its projected releases during the summer of 2014 even though Millstone has numerous continuous releases going on at any one time.

We could not confirm our information because when we filed a Freedom of Information request with the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (“DEEP”), which has responsibility for overseeing Dominion’s compliance with the law, DEEP told us it has no records which pertain to Dominion’s compliance or lack of compliance with that law.

When we checked the Dominion website this morning, the information posted was out of date: Dominion was stuck in September 3 days into October.

When we checked the NRC website this morning, its most current information is from yesterday, October 2: Millstone 3 at 100% power.

Dominion is withholding from the public – not to mention the Connecticut legislature and DEEP – the information the law mandates that it report.

Time to contact your Connecticut legislators, Governor Dannel Malloy, Attorney General George Jepsen and DEEP:

Find and contact your state legislators: http://www.cga.ct.gov/rwd/cgafyl/default.asp

Contact Governor Malloy: http://www.governor.ct.gov/malloy/site/default.asp

Contact Attorney General Jepsen: http://www.ct.gov/ag/site/default.asp

Contact DEEP Commissioner: Rob.Klee@ct.gov

Contact Jeffrey Semancic, DEEP Radiation Director: Jeffrey.Semancic@ct.gov

Leave Dominion a Google+ review: https://plus.google.com/105087789929389855411/about?hl=en&review=1

Time to rein in Dominion, that nuclear profiteer.

Millstone radioactive air pollution during October 2014

Categories
Millstone News Press Releases

COALITION PETITIONS DEEP TO RECONSIDER ITS DECISION ALLOWING MILLSTONE TO WITHDRAW 80-DEGREE WATER FROM LONG ISLAND SOUND

For Release October 1, 2014
Contact: Nancy Burton Tel. 203-313-1510 NancyBurtonCT@aol.com

The Connecticut Coalition Against Millstone petitioned the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) today to reconsider its decision allowing Millstone to withdraw 80-degree water from the Long Island Sound.

On July 23, 2014, DEEP notified Millstone’s owner, Dominion Nuclear Connecticut, Inc., that it need not apply to modify its existing DEEP permit to discharge hotter water to the Sound. The decision allows Millstone to use water hotter than 75 degrees, the previous limit under Millstone’s federal operating license.

At the same time, DEEP notified Dominion that the data the company submitted to DEEP to avoid a permit modification was insufficient, inaccurate and misleading, according to Nancy Burton, the Coalition’s director.

“DEEP spoke out of both sides of its mouth as it rushed to rubber-stamp Dominion’s request,” Burton said. “DEEP said, in effect, ‘We don’t really believe your data but we’ll let you do what you want regardless’.”

“We believe Millstone’s thermal releases have contributed to the lobster die-off and may have irreversibly harmed the Long Island Sound ecosystem,” she said. “The last thing the Sound needs is Millstone discharging hotter water.”

“We’re filing a Petition for Declaratory Ruling to force DEEP to order Dominion to file a proper application that will be subject to public comment and public participation,” Burton said.

The hot water controversy arose two summers ago when Dominion had to shut its Unit 2 reactor for nearly two weeks when the intake temperature exceeded 75 degrees, the limit set by its federal license. This summer, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission upped the limit to 80 degrees. The DEEP has jurisdiction over thermal discharges to the Sound.

– 30 –

Sign the petition

Note to Editors: The 11-page petition follows.

STATE OF CONNECTICUT DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION TO THE COMMISSIONER:
PETITION FOR DECLARATORY RULING

In re Dominion Nuclear Connecticut, Inc., Permit CT 0003263
Millstone Nuclear Power Station OCTOBER 1, 2014

The Connecticut Coalition Against Millstone and its director, Nancy Burton, herewith petition the Commissioner (“Commissioner”) of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (“DEEP”) for a declaratory ruling that the July 30, 2013 notification of Dominion Nuclear Connecticut, Inc. (“Dominion”) to DEEP of its intent to release hotter water to the Long Island Sound is a request to modify NPDES Permit CT0003263 and should have been deemed as such by DEEP and, accordingly, the Commissioner should (1) revoke its determination on July 23, 2014 that a permit modification is unnecessary and (2) require Dominion to submit to DEEP an application to modify NPDES Permit CT0003263 in accordance with applicable provisions of law.

This petition is submitted in accordance with the provisions of Connecticut General Statutes §4-176 and Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies Sec. 22a-3a-4.

Facts and Circumstances Giving Rise to the Petition
In support of this petition, the petitioners represent as follows:

1. Section 22a-430-3(i) of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies requires inter alia that a permittee provide prior written notification to DEEP of any proposed process change that may result in the discharge of a new water, substance or material, or increase the quantity or concentration of an existing pollutant beyond permit conditions. No such process change shall be undertaken until either the permittee is notified that a permit modification is unnecessary or the permittee obtains a permit modification.

2. Dominion Nuclear Connecticut, Inc. (“Dominion”), the “permittee” operates two electric power generating units, Units 2 and 3, which draw 2.2 billion gallons of water per day from Long Island Sound for cooling water and service water needs. The water is withdrawn through two separate intake structures located on the shoreline of Niantic Bay, a large estuary of Long Island Sound. Temperature of the intake water is measured at a point identified as Monitoring Site No. 001-7 in the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (“NPDES”) Permit CT0003263 issued by DEEP on September 1, 2010 pursuant to the U.S. Clean Water Act, pursuant to which DEEP is a delegated state agency authorized to implement the federal NPDES program. The legality of the permit is at issue in Burton v. Department of Environmental Protection pending in the Superior Court, Judicial District of Hartford, CV10-5015209 S. .

3. Monitoring Site No. 001-7 is located in front of the Unit 2 intake structure on Niantic Bay where condenser cooling water is withdrawn. Pursuant to the Millstone U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (“NRC”) operating license, the temperature of the intake water – Ultimate Heat Sink (“UHS”) in NRC jargon – is measured at two separate locations in the Units 2 and 3 service water piping systems.

4. Pursuant to Section 22a-430-3(i) of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies, Dominion notified DEEP on July 30, 2013 of a proposed change to the operations of Millstone relating to a license amendment request to the NRC which would modify the Technical Specifications in Millstone’s NRC operating license by allowing for Millstone to withdraw water from the Long Island Sound at a maximum temperature of 80 degrees F. from the 75 degrees F. allowed under the existing NRC license.

5. DEEP determined that the increase in the temperature as stated is a process modification that may result in an increase of an existing pollutant beyond permit conditions requiring a Section 22a-430-3(i) notification to DEEP.

6. More particularly, DEEP determined that the proposed process change has the potential to affect (a) the maximum temperature differential limits allowed under the existing DEEP NPDES permit for two discharge points from Millstone Units 2 and 3 to the onsite Quarry identified as Discharge Serial Number (“DSN”) 001B for Unit 2 and DSN 001C for Unit 3 and (b) the temperature-related limits and conditions associated with Millstone’s direct discharge to the Long Island Sound (DSN 001-1).

7. For DSN 001B (Unit 2), the potentially affected permit parameter is “Maximum Temperature Differential,” designated ◊T, which is calculated by subtracting simultaneous temperature measures taken at Monitoring Site No. 001-7 and DSN 001B. Several different ◊Ts are authorized for DSN 001B based on Millstone Nuclear Station operating conditions.

8. Dominion utilized a software program to evaluate the impact that the increased temperature of the intake water will have on the cooling water component at DSN001B. Based on this analysis, Dominion projected the ◊T for the cooling water component of DSN001B would be increased by 0.1 degree F. if the intake water temperatures were increased from 75 to 80 degrees F. at the modeled conditions.

9. For DSN001C (Unit 3), the potentially affected permit parameter is also the MTD, designated ◊T, which is calculated by subtracting simultaneous temperature measures taken at Monitoring Site No. 001-7 and DSN 001C. Several different ◊Ts are authorized for DSN 001B based on Millstone Nuclear Power Station operating conditions.

10. Using the same software program as applied to Unit 2, Dominion projected the ◊T for the cooling water component of DSN001C would be increased by 0.2 degree F. if the intake water temperature were increased from 75 to 80 degrees F. at the modeled conditions.

11. For DSN 001-1, located where the Quarry exits to the Long Island Sound, the potentially affected permit parameter is “Maximum Temperature Differential,” designated ◊T. Maximum temperature is measured at the west outlet of the Quarry. The ◊T is calculated by subtracting simultaneous temperature measures taken at Monitoring Site No. 001-7 and DSN 001-1. Several different ◊Ts are authorized for DSN 001B based on Millstone Nuclear Station operating conditions.

12. Using the same software program as applied to Units 2 and 3, Dominion projected Maximum Temperature of DSN 001-1 would be 101.57 degrees F. if the intake water temperatures were increased from 75 to 80 degrees F. at the modeled conditions. Dominion projected that the projected ◊T would be within Condition 1 of Permit CT 0003263.

13. Permit CT 0003263 also requires that the temperature of the Millstone discharge to the Long Island Sound shall not increase the temperature of the receiving waters above 83 degrees F. or in any case raise the temperature of the receiving waters by more than 4 degrees F. beyond the area that extends 8,000 feet in radius from the discharge outlet at the Quarry Cuts.

14. Permit CT 0003263 allows for an 8,000-foot -1.51-mile – “mixing zone” for DSN 001-1. Thus, at the edge of the mixing zone, the temperature shall not be greater than 83 degrees F. or in any case raise the ambient temperature of the receiving waters by more than 4 degrees F. The dimensions for the mixing zone authorized in CT 0003263 Permit were based on a predictive model developed for Millstone’s then-owners in 1979, 35 years ago.

15. With respect to the absolute temperature limit of 83 degrees F., Dominion’s consultant’s report indicates that for intake water temperatures of up to 79 degrees F., the absolute standard would be met, but beyond that, compliance would be contingent on the relationship between the ambient temperature and the intake temperature. Nevertheless, the report ultimately concludes that the absolute temperature limit would also be met at 80 degrees F.

16. Dominion’s consultant conducted an analysis designed to determine if the thermal mixing zone requirements above stated will be met if the temperature of the intake water increases from 75 to 80 degrees F. The consultant concluded that there will be an insignificant impact on the dynamics and the shape of the thermal plume. The consultant also concluded that for intake water temperatures up to 79 degrees F., the permit conditions concerning excess temperature would be met. However, at an intake temperature of 80 degrees F., the consultant report implies that operational controls may be necessary since “Above an intake temperature of 79 degrees F., there is some ambiguity depending on how the ambient temperature is defined.”

17. Permit CT 0003263 does not require Dominion to carry out temperature monitoring at the edge of the mixing zone. DEEP does not carry out independent temperature monitoring at the edge of the mixing zone.

18. On September 12, 2012, Dominion conducted a thermal plume field study, as required by Permit CT 0003263 Section 10(V), to delineate the areal extent of the thermal plume and summarized the results in the “April 2013 Report for a Combined Field and Analytical Thermal Plume Study.”(Thermal Plume Report”) The Thermal Plume Report noted that the 4.0 degree F. ◊T isotherm crosses the 8,000-foot mixing zone at maximum flood tide – seemingly a violation of Permit CT 0003263. Dominion apparently attempted to distance itself from this conclusion by stating that its own field study does not accurately represent the thermal plume. Subsequently, Dominion revised its mapping of the thermal plume field using Millstone’s intake temperature as the ambient temperature.

19. DEEP evaluated the information Dominion submitted to persuade DEEP that increasing the temperature of the intake water to 80 degrees F. complies with Permit CT 0003263 and issued a letter dated July 23, 2014 setting forth its conclusions (“DEEP Letter”). DEEP did not engage an independent consultant to evaluate the Dominion submission.

20. In DEEP Letter, DEEP rejected Dominion’s use as an ambient reference point a location within the boundary of the mixing zone and which is potentially impacted by the thermal plume itself under certain tidal conditions. Moreover, DEEP stated that it is entirely possible that Dominion’s initial mapping accurately represents Millstone’s thermal plume and thus increasing the temperature of the intake water to 80 degrees F. violates Permit CT 0003263.

21. DEEP determined that the information Dominion submitted delineating the degree and extent of the thermal plume was inadequate and DEEP could not conclusively determine the degree and extent of the thermal plume and that additional mapping was required before DEEP could conclude permit compliance.

22. Permit CT 0003263 requires that the thermal plume shall not block zones of passage of marinelife. Analysis of whether zones of passage will be blocked if the temperature of the intake water is increased to 80 degrees F. requires accurate delineation of the thermal plume. Since DEEP deemed Dominion’s delineation of the thermal plume inadequate, the information submitted by Dominion does not establish whether zones of passage of marinelife would be blocked if the temperature of the intake water is increased to 80 degrees F. Thus, Dominion failed to submit adequate information by which DEEP could properly assess whether Permit CT 0003263 would be violated if the temperature of the intake water increases to 80 degrees F. with regard to the zone of passage issue. Accordingly, DEEP lacked an adequate basis to find that Millstone use of 80 degree F. intake water would not result in violation Permit CT 0003263.

23. Permit CT 0003263 requires that the level of dissolved oxygen in the receiving water shall not fall below 6.0 mg/L as a result of the Millstone discharge. Increases in temperature of the Long Island Sound can have the effect of lowering dissolved oxygen. Despite this condition, Permit CT 0003263 does not require in-stream dissolved oxygen monitoring. The most recent information Dominion provided to DEEP on this issue was dated October 2010. The DEEP Letter states that from historical data Dominion projected that the dissolved oxygen level would not violate Permit CT 0003263 if the temperature of the intake water increases to 80 degrees F. The DEEP Letter does not contain information documenting any DEEP analysis of the Dominion projections.

24. Permit CT 0003263 requires that during the period including July, August and September, the temperature of the receiving water shall not be raised more than 1.5 degrees F. unless it can be shown that spawning and growth of indigenous organisms will not be significantly affected. In support of its argument that increasing the temperature of the intake water to 80 degrees F. will not significantly affect spawning and growth of indigenous organisms, Dominion relied on its historical ecological studies, which inter alia document the virtual collapse of the indigenous Niantic River winter flounder from larval entrainment at the Millstone intakes. DEEP conducted no independent investigation of this claim. DEEP also implicitly assumed that there is no threshold beyond which marine organisms may not continue to “adapt” to continuing increases in the water temperature in the ecosystem which they inhabit without investigating this possibility.

25. In DEEP letter, DEEP concluded:

“While Millstone [sic] has provided documentation in support of its position that it will maintain compliance with all terms and conditions of its NPDES permit and with the Connecticut Water Quality Standards should the temperature of the [intake water] increase to 80 degrees F., Millstone [sic] will need to undertake additional monitoring and studies designed to conclusively demonstrate permit compliance, including studies designed to evaluate the impact of natural, seasonal warming described by Millstone [sic]. The [DEEP] is hereby requiring that the following additional studies and collection of additional monitoring data described in Attachment 1 be performed:

“Millstone [sic] has provided documentation in support of its position that it will maintain compliance with all terms and conditions of its NPDES permit and with the Connecticut Water Quality Standards should the temperature of the [intake water] increase to 80 degrees F. However, to conclusively demonstrate compliance with its NPDES permit, Millstone [sic] will need to undertake more detailed studies and perform additional monitoring to conclusively demonstrate compliance. In particular, the Department will need additional information to more clearly determine the degree and extent of the [Millstone] thermal plume, including the effect that any “natural warming” may have on the degree and extent of the thermal plume.

“ITEM 1: Thermal Plume Field Study. The most recent thermal plume study conducted in September 2012 has a number of issues associated with it: the study was conducted under less than critical conditions; a portion of the 4 degree F. plume appeared to be mapped beyond the 8,000 foot mixing zone limit; the isotherm maps developed from the study do not include portions of the 4 degree F. ◊T isotherm (at maximum flood) and the 1.5 degree F. ◊T isotherms (at maximum flood, maximum ebb, and low slack). The next recent thermal plume study was conducted twenty-five years prior to this in August 1987. This study investigated the thermal plume associated with the then, three-unit Station operation. It used dye (a conservative tracer) to measure a non-conservative pollutant. While this study may be useful from a historical perspective, it is limited in what it can offer in terms of defining existing plume size. Based on the above, an additional thermal plume study should be undertaken.

“[Dominion] shall submit a Scope of Study for the review and written approval of the Commissioner by November 1, 2014 which shall provide a plan and schedule for conducting a thermal plume study that will clearly delineate, at a minimum, complete 4 degree F. ◊T and 1.5 degree F. ◊T isotherms associated with the [Millstone] thermal plume. The Scope of Study shall also provide a plan and schedule to undertake a thorough and complete investigation of the effect that “natural warming” contributes to the [Millstone] thermal plume.

“ITEM 2: Predictive Modeling. [DEEP] has noted that there are some issues with the predictive modeling that may be resolved through the use of another model with expanded capabilities. This could lead to some resolution about the isotherm length discrepancy and could provide some clarity as to the expected impacts at ambient temperatures of 80 degrees F.

“[Dominion] shall submit a Scope of Study for the review and written approval of the Commissioner by December 1, 2014 which shall include an identification and evaluation of six peer-reviewed, public domain hydrothermal models for use in modeling the extent of the thermal plume at ambient temperatures of up to 80 degrees F. The Scope of Study shall also identify at least one model from the six models evaluated that is proposed for use in modeling the thermal plume. A plan and schedule to perform the modeling shall also be included in the Scope of Study.

“Quarterly status reports shall be provided to the [DEEP] summarizing the progress made concerning the modeling requirement. These reports shall be due on: March 1, June 1, September 1, and December 1 until submission of a thorough and complete modeling report is provided to the [DEEP].

“ITEM 3: Measuring temperature at the edge of the thermal mixing zone. Unless otherwise approved in writing by the Commissioner: (1) On or before August 29, 2014, [Dominion] shall develop a plan and schedule for the Commissioner’s review and written approval to conduct temperature monitoring at the edge of the thermal mixing zone (“Thermal Mixing Zone Monitoring”). (2) In the interim, on or before August 15, 2014, and until the Commissioner’s written approval of the plan for Thermal Mixing Zone Monitoring, [Dominion[ shall conduct in-stream temperature monitoring to determine compliance with Remark 3 in Table A. The monitoring shall be conducted as follows: At two locations at the edge of the thermal mixing zone: 41.2979 degrees, -72.1355 degrees (Location 1) and 41.2892 degrees, -72.183 degrees (Location 2), at a depth of 1 foot; at a time coincident with maximum ebb (for Location 1) and maximum flood (for Location 2). The duration of measurement shall be for a two-hour continuous time frame extending one hour prior to maximum ebb/flood and one hour after maximum ebb/flood. Reference ambient temperature measurements shall be taken at a one foot depth at the Bartlett Reef daymark (Location 3) at times coincident with the monitoring at the edge of the thermal mixing zone.

“[Dominion] shall provide all temperature monitoring data for Locations 1, 2 and 3 and it shall provide the Maximum Temperature Differential for Location 1 & 3 and Location 2 & 3. This data shall be submitted as an attachment to the monthly DMRs.

“ITEM 4: In-stream dissolved oxygen monitoring. Unless otherwise approved by the Commissioner: 1) On or before August 29, 2014, [Dominion] shall develop a plan to conduct in-stream dissolved oxygen monitoring in the area of the receiving water influenced by the thermal plume. 2) During August 2014, [Dominion] shall monitor dissolved oxygen content of the receiving water in the vicinity of the Quarry outlets at a minimum of twice per week. The monitoring locations shall not exceed a distance 500 feet from the outlets. The monitoring shall be conducted at the surface and at the bottom of the receiving water and shall be undertaken at times so that diurnal variation can be measured. Temperature shall also be measured concurrent with dissolved oxygen.

“[Dominion] shall provide all dissolved oxygen and temperature data as well as the coordinates for the monitoring locations. This data shall be submitted as an attachment to the monthly DMRs [Discharge Monitoring Report].

“ITEM 5:Table A, Remark 8 of the permit requires that certain data associated with DSN 001-1 be maintained onsite. Starting with the next DMR filing after the date of this letter, [Dominion] shall provide the following DSN 001-1 data to the [DEEP] with its monthly DMRs: 1) Daily flow (gpd); 2) Daily Maximum Temperature (degrees F.); 3) Daily Average Temperature (degrees F.); 4) Daily Maximum Temperature Increase (degrees F.); 5) Daily Average Temperature Increase (degrees F.)”

The Statute, Regulation and Final Decision of the Department at Issue

Statute at Issue: Connecticut Environmental Protection Act, §22a-14 et seq.

Regulation at Issue: Sec. 22a-430-3(i) of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies requires inter alia that a permittee provide prior written notification to DEEP of any proposed process change that may result in the discharge of a new water, substance or material, or increase the quantity or concentration of an existing pollutant beyond permit conditions. No such process change shall be undertaken until either the permittee is notified that a permit modification is unnecessary or the permittee obtains a permit modification

Final Decision of DEEP at Issue: July 23, 2014 notification letter from the Commissioner by Oswald Inglese to Dominion Resources Services, Inc.

The Questions as to Which the Declaratory Ruling Is Sought

1. Does Millstone’s projected use of intake water withdrawn from the Long Island Sound hotter than 75 degrees F. and as high as 80 degrees F. constitute a process change resulting in an increase of an existing pollutant – the thermal plume – beyond conditions defined in Permit CT 0003263 and therefore require Dominion to submit an application for modification of the permit?

2. Was DEEP required to reject the Dominion notification based on its lack of sufficient information, as evidenced by DEEP’s order to Dominion to conduct studies and gather data to establish that a modification to Permit CT0003263 was not legally required.

3. Did DEEP fail to carry out the monitoring and scientific analysis required to establish the degree to which Millstone’s thermal plume is causing irreparable and irreversible harm to the marine ecosystem of the Long Island Sound?

4. Did DEEP fail to carry out the monitoring and scientific analysis required to establish whether the thermal plume involves conduct which has or which is reasonably likely to have the effect of unreasonably polluting, impairing or destroying the public trust in the air, water or other natural waters of the state, in violation of the Connecticut Environmental Protection Act?

5. In light of specific findings set forth in DEEP Letter, including the following:

(a) “The most recent thermal plume study conducted in September 2012 has a number of issues associated with it: the study was conducted under less than critical conditions”;

(b) “a portion of the 4 degree F. plume appeared to be mapped beyond the 8,000 foot mixing zone limit”;

(c) “the isotherm maps developed from the study do not include portions of the 4 degree F. ◊T isotherm (at maximum flood) and the 1.5 degree F. ◊T isotherms (at maximum flood, maximum ebb, and low slack)”;

(d) “the next recent thermal plume study was conducted twenty-five years prior to this in August 1987”;

(e) “this study investigated the thermal plume associated with the then, three-unit Station operation”;

(f) “it used dye (a conservative tracer) to measure a non-conservative pollutant”;

(g) “While this study may be useful from a historical perspective, it is limited in what it can offer in terms of defining existing plume size. Based on the above, an additional thermal plume study should be undertaken”;

(h) “there are some issues with the predictive modeling that may be resolved through the use of another model with expanded capabilities. This could lead to some resolution about the isotherm length discrepancy and could provide some clarity as to the expected impacts at ambient temperatures of 80 degrees F”

did DEEP knowingly and deliberately rubber-stamp Dominion’s notification when DEEP knew critical aspects of Dominion’s notification were based on inaccurate, misleading and insufficient information and thereby did DEEP violate the public trust in the environment, contrary to the provisions of the Connecticut Environmental Protection Act, Connecticut General Statutes § 22a-14 et seq.?