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Earthrise Concludes First Trial as Lead Counsel

September 02, 2016

Earthrise concluded a six-day trial in Massachusetts Land Court in August, on the issue of whether a new long-term nuclear waste storage facility at the Pilgrim Nuclear Plant in Plymouth, Massachusetts required special authorization from the Plymouth Zoning Board. The case now proceeds to post-trial briefing, with a decision from the Land Court expected in late 2016.

“This was an unusual case for Earthrise in that it originated as a local zoning case,” said Earthrise Senior Staff Attorney Kevin Cassidy, who tried the case. “But because it involved a nuclear plant and what will happen to the spent nuclear fuel after the plant shuts down,the case raised some novel legal and factual issues that have some potentially far-reaching implications for other communities around the country dealing with nuclear waste.”

Cassidy co-counseled the case with Earthrise Advisory Council member Meg Sheehan and Lewis & Clark alum Genevieve Byrne. They represented several individual home owners living in close proximity to the plant who are concerned about their property values due to the new long-term nuclear waste facility being constructed. The Town of Plymouth and the plant’s owner, Entergy Nuclear Generation Company, were the defendants in the case. Fourteen witnesses, including 4 experts, testified at the trial.

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