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BUCHANAN, NY-Governor George Pataki reports the state has reached an agreement with the US Coast Guard to continue 24-hour surveillance at the Indian Point nuclear power plants here pending an examination of security measures at the complex.

The governor announced the continuation of Coast Guard patrols at the facilities that lie on the banks of the Hudson River in Westchester County on Friday, October 19. A day earlier, Westchester County Executive Andrew Spano, as well as the county’s Congressional and Senate delegations, demanded that the Coast Guard not be allowed to leave the waters near Indian Point until a replacement security plan is in place.

“There is no plan for protecting the water after Monday when the Coast Guard leaves,” Spano complained. “Through our joint efforts, we are getting this message out to every level of government that we will not be satisfied or feel assured about the plant until such a plan for the water approach is in place and this plan must include security that is sufficient and visible.”

Spano, who noted that federally elected officials from Westchester, including U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Hillary Clinton, spoke with key state and federal anti-terrorism officials about their concerns. “We are told that the NRC (Nuclear Regulatory Commission) is responsible for the security of the plant–by land, by air by sea,” Spano charges. “We want to know what the sea plan is. This is a major issue to all of us, and I will not be satisfied or feel assured about Indian Point until this security plan is in place.”

Governor Pataki in announcing the continuance of Coast Guard patrols at Indian Point notes that the newly formed New York State Office of Public Security will work with the FBI, the NRC, the federal Office of Homeland Defense and the U.S. Coast Guard, as well as officials with Entergy (the owner of the Indian Point power plants) to assess the long term security needs at the complex.

“Since the September 11th terrorist attacks, the U.S. Coast Guard–working with our State Police and National Guard troops — has provided around the clock surveillance at Indian Point providing an added layer of security and peace of mind to local residents,” the governor says. “While security hasn’t been an issue at Indian Point, September 11 dictates that we take another look at the security plans at these two important facilities.”

The governor adds that the Coast Guard will remain at the Indian Point site pending completion of the security review of the complex. Once the review is completed, a decision on whether the Coast Guard will maintain a “stationary surveillance post near the facility” will be made.

On October 13, the governor directed National Guard troops to the Indian Point 2 and 3 power plants in Buchanan as well as to the state’s other four nuclear power plant facilities.

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