(December 17, 1993) Major decisions have been taken in recent weeks concerning the system of regional "Low" Level Waste sites being planned in the United States. In the case of the leading Ward Valley facility in southern California (see NC 400/1.3898), US Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt has bowed to the concerns of opponents by declaring on 25 November that he will not transfer federal land for the site until the courts have addressed environmental safety issues.
(404.4002) WISE Amsterdam -The decision could postpone final approval of the site for at least a year. This raises the possibility that California Gov. Pete Wilson, the dump's most powerful supporter, could be out of office before the final showdown.
Then on 8 December, the North Carolina LLW Authority took a historic vote selecting the final site for a regional megadump designed to contain 32 million cubic feet (915,000 cubic meters) of LLW from 35 reactors in the Southeastern US.
For several years, two 3,000-acre (1,500-hectare) sites have been under heavy geologic investigation which has required the cutting of 1000 hectares of forest and destruction of many small farms. The present decision has rejected the Richmond County site on the state's southern border and has chosen instead a site in neighboring Wake and Chatham counties. During the voting, a large crowd of opponents in the audience waved handfuls of dollar bills to symbolize their accusation that the LLW Authority was made up almost exclusively of representatives of the nuclear industry.
This decision could put the North Carolina site in front place ahead of a dozen planned LLW facilities in other parts of the country. Beside the California site, advanced licensing processes are under way at Sierra Blanca, Texas and Boyd County, Nebraska.
Contact: Committee to Bridge the Gap, 1637 Butler Avenue #203, Los Angeles CA 90025 USA
tel.+1 (310) 478-0829
Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, P.O.Box 512, Rich Square NC 27869 USA
tel.+1 (919) 534-1118
Save Sierra Blanca, P.O. Box 218, Sierra Blanca TX 79851 USA
tel. +1 (915) 369-2541
Save Boyd County, P.O.Box 219, Spencer NE 68777 USA
tel. +1 (402) 589-1148