Analysis of Nuclear Fuel Management and Disposal Act Consequences Overdue
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a joint letter sent Monday, U.S. Senators Harry Reid and John Ensign of Nevada again strongly urged the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and Department of Energy (DOE) to release the long-overdue and legally mandated environmental impact analysis of the Nuclear Fuel Management and Disposal Act, the proposal for dumping nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain.
“Nevadans and the rest of the country have the right to know about the environmental and public safety risks associated with the Yucca Mountain Project.,” said Reid. “That’s why it’s so important that our request for the release of this important study be met –otherwise, Nevadans are left to wonder what the federal government is trying to hide.”
“We are going to continue to press for the environmental impact statement so that we will know the true cost of Yucca Mountain when it comes to the health and safety of Nevadans,” Ensign said.
Reid and Ensign sent a follow up letter to CEQ and DOE after CEQ responded to the original letter by referring the Nevada Senators to the DOE, the lead agency on the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump. CEQ did not provide the analysis to the Senators.
The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires the completion and public release of an environmental analysis of such legislation so the full environmental consequences of the bill can be examined before Congress acts. The Nuclear Fuel Management and Disposal Act was first presented to Congress on April 5, 2006, nearly four months ago. The full text of the letter is below.
July 31, 2006
James L. Connaughton
Council on Environmental Quality
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, D.C 20500
Samuel W. Bodman
U.S. Department of Energy
1000 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20585
Dear Chairman Connaughton and Secretary Bodman:
Thank you for responding to our letter requesting a copy of the administration’s environmental impact analysis of the Nuclear Fuel Management and Disposal Act, S. 2589, that Senators Domenici and Inhofe introduced by request of the President. We also appreciate the Council on Environmental Quality informing us that the Department of Energy is the lead agency on this analysis. However, our request was for a copy of the analysis, which we still have not received.
To reiterate, the National Environmental Policy Act requires the administration to prepare an environmental impact analysis and include it with any recommendation to Congress on legislative proposals. We request that the environmental impact analysis required under NEPA and clarification as to whether that analysis has been competed, be provided by noon on Tuesday, August 1, 2006.
We look forward to your response. If you have any questions or would like to discuss this request, please contact Sandra Schubert at 224.3542 or Pam Thiessen at 224.6244.
HARRY REID United States Senator
JOHN ENSIGN United States Senator
Cc: United States Senator Pete Domenici, Chairman, Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources United States Senator Jeff Bingaman, Ranking Member, Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources United States Senator James Inhofe, Chairman, Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works United States Senator James Jeffords, Ranking Member, Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works