State regulators are demanding answers from Entergy, the owner of the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant.
Entergy has won federal approval to run the plant until 2032. But it still needs a state permit, called a certificate of public good.
But Entergy wants to limit the scope of the state review. Now the Public Service Board has pushed back. It says Entergy agreed to substantial state oversight when it bought the plant in 2002.
A recent PSB order asks Entergy to explain the "seeming inconsistencies" between what it said 11 years ago and what it’s saying now.
Geoff Commons is public advocate for the Department of Public Service, the agency that represents ratepayers before the board.
"They really are asking very directly to ‘please explain these apparent differences between what you were telling us about preemption back when you wanted to buy the nuclear stations versus what you’re telling us about it now,’" he said. "I think that reflects the board’s, I think puzzlement, or dismay at the differences, the discrepancies between those two sets of statements."
The board has also told Entergy that it’s operating in violation of its existing permit.
Sandra Levine is a lawyer with the Conservation Law Foundation in Montpelier. She says the board has made similar comments in several recent orders.
"It’s another example of the board rejecting those attempts to narrow state review and rejecting Entergy’s attempts to walk away from its obligations. Entergy made promises to the state in the past, and the board is expecting Entergy to live up to those promises," she said.
The PSB has given Entergy until next Monday, Jan. 14, to respond.