A recent letter to the editor (Yankee sale bad precedent, Aug. 29) suggests that the Vermont Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has treated its review of the sale of Vermont Yankee to NorthStar as a done deal without input from concerned Vermonters. The writer also asserts that Entergy will have no further responsibility after the sale. Those of us who have followed NorthStar’s proposal from November 2016 to the present can attest that this process has been transparent from day one and has allowed members of the public to express their concerns in open forums frequently. When NorthStar first presented its decommissioning plan, it included significant financial assurances to safeguard completion against the $500-plus million project going over budget. Rather than Entergy remaining as a middle man, NorthStar’s proposal saves everyone time and money by purchasing the plant and self-performing. Many observers considered this plan innovative, precise, well-capitalized and a good blueprint for success. Over the past two years, NorthStar’s plan has been scrutinized at many town hall gatherings, PUC hearings, legal filings, legislative reviews and Nuclear Decommissioning Citizens’ Advisory Panel meetings – all of which were open to the public. Any interested parties could meet the senior executives of NorthStar and grill them face-to-face — and many concerned citizens did. The plan also was thoroughly covered in the local, statewide and national press. After months of lengthy, painstaking information sharing and negotiations, nine of the 10 intervening parties agreed with NorthStar’s revised proposal. The New England Coalition, Vermont Yankee’s longtime critic, was granted input in the ongoing oversight of the decommissioning project. Two Native American groups expressed satisfaction with NorthStar’s commitment to conduct an extensive archaeological review at the site. And most importantly, four state agencies approved NorthStar’s enhanced economic assurances and plans for material removal and/or recycling. Now that these nine interveners have supported the plan, approval by the PUC will speed the way for the early decommissioning of Vermont Yankee and pave the way for a new economic future in Vernon. The PUC’s announcement will follow the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s decision, which is expected by the end of the year. Guy Page is a Berlin resident, is the Communications Director of the Vermont Energy Partnership, a coalition of individuals and industry, business and labor organizations committed to clean, safe, affordable, reliable power for Vermont. Entergy-Vermont Yankee is a VTEP member.

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