On August 2, 2016 the World Business Academy filed a lawsuit against the California State Lands Commission, demanding that the state review significant potential environmental and human health dangers that could result from continued operation of the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant.
This action follows the June 28 decision by the State Lands Commission to issue new land leases that will allow the plant to continue operating through 2025. The Academy—a nonprofit organization advocating for the public welfare—contends that the State Lands Commission did not have the authority to exempt Diablo Canyon from an environmental impact report (EIR), as required under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), and that attempting to do so was arbitrary and capricious.
The Academy further believes that substantial harm to adjacent communities and the ecosystem may occur during the nine-year interval leading up to the plant’s proposed closure in 2025. The lawsuit requests that the Court order the Commission to prepare an environmental impact report (EIR), as required under CEQA to formally review these issues.
“The Commission refused to ask the tough questions about the safety and environmental impacts of Diablo Canyon because they feared that a full EIR process would alert the public to Diablo Canyon’s actual environmental and health impacts, thereby possibly forcing PG&E to shut down the plant immediately,” Academy President Rinaldo Brutoco said of the ruling. Brutoco, an entrepreneur and public advocacy lawyer, added, “Under California statutory and case law, the existence of any ‘unusual circumstances’ automatically requires an environmental review under CEQA, and Diablo Canyon is a series of ‘unusual circumstances,’ any one of which should trigger a CEQA review.”
In its filing with the Court, the Academy argues that the following unusual circumstances should be considered as part of a CEQA environmental review: high seismic risk; adverse health impacts from continuing emissions of radioactive isotopes; devastating impacts on marine life; potential adverse impacts from a terrorist attack; leakage and buildup of radioactive waste; and Diablo Canyon’s status as the sole remaining nuclear power plant in the State of California.
Local media reports have been streaming in as this lawsuit continues to bring much needed attention to numerous issues and significant impacts stemming from continued operation of Diablo Canyon.
The lawsuit was filed in the Los Angeles Superior Court, case number BS 163811. The State Lands Commission has until September 2, 2016 to respond.