The state has scheduled its first public hearing on the proposed sale of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant.
The Public Service Board will be in Vernon on Tuesday March 14 as it considers the proposed sale from Entergy Nuclear Vermont to the demolition company NorthStar Group Services.
The public hearing will start at 7 p.m. at Vernon Elementary School.
The Department of Public Service will hold an informational session at 6 p.m. at Vernon Elementary.
State regulators have to approve the license transfer, which would be the first time that a clean up company would retain ownership of a plant after decommissioning.
NorthStar says it wants to purchase VY, and its approximately $560 million decommissioning trust fund.
NorthStar says it can decommission the plant using the money in the fund, and that it can clean up the site decades ahead of Entergy's schedule.
The Public Service Board earlier this month set its yearlong schedule for the sale, but the local public hearing was announced this week.
"I'm pleased that the PSB is holding a hearing in Vernon in March and has agreed to hold another meeting locally later in the year," said Kate O'Connor, chairwoman of the The Vermont Nuclear Decommissioning Citizens Advisory Panel. "It's important that the citizens in the communities located near Vermont Yankee have the opportunity to share their comments and concerns with the PSB. The board has to determine whether the sale is in the public interest, so the public should be included in the process."
The PSB says it will hold a second hearing in Vernon in September.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission also has to approve the sale, but federal regulators have not yet decided if they will hold hearings in Vermont.
The citizens advisory panel sent a letter to the NRC earlier this month requesting the local meeting.
Entergy shut down VY at the end of 2014, and the company announced at the end of last year that it wanted to sell the shuttered reactor to NorthStar.
Entergy originally said it would take up to 40 years to restore the site in Vernon for redevelopment, but NorthStar says it can clean-up the area around the plant before 2030.
The two companies say they hope the Public Service Board rules on the sale before the end of 2018.