MONTPELIER - Today the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) placed on public notice the draft National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) discharge permit for the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station (Vermont Yankee) in Vernon. The public notice period will run from July 3 through August 3 of this year. A public hearing will be held mid-August in Vernon.

ANR, acting upon Vermont Yankee's September 30, 2006 application, proposed a renewal permit that will run through December 31, 2015. As Vermont Yankee intends to close its facility in December 2014, the renewal term allows Vermont Yankee to establish a post-closure operation regime and provides ANR time to evaluate and permit the facility's post-closure discharge.

"The Agency has the authority and responsibility to address Vermont Yankee's thermal discharge," said Secretary Deb Markowitz. "In releasing Vermont Yankee's draft permit we officially begin the public comment period on this permit."

On December 23, 2013, the Shumlin Administration signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Vermont Yankee that settled the issues surrounding the company's request for a Certificate of Public Good (CPG) from the Public Service Board (PSB) to operate until December 31, 2014. The MOU provides that "VY shall operate the VY Station in accordance with its existing National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System ("NPDES") permit. Entergy VY and ANR agree to continue to pursue issues related to Entergy VY's thermal discharge through ANR's NPDES permitting process, in accordance with state and federal law." The PSB issued a CPG to Entergy on March 28, 2014.

"Now that the permit is out for comment, we look forward to hearing from interested parties and stakeholders on how the thermal discharge should be addressed during the remainder of Vermont Yankee's operation," said Secretary Deb Markowitz.

The draft NPDES permit and fact sheet for Vermont Yankee is available at: http://www.watershedmanagement.vt.gov/ww/htm/notices.htm.