Gov, AG protest more hearings on Nevada nuclear dump
CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) – Nevada Gov. Kenny Guinn and Attorney General Frankie Sue Del Papa said Tuesday they’re opposed to the latest round of federal hearings on the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump.
The governor said public comment is being sought ”when as of today the state has only been provided with preliminary reports that contain questionable findings regarding the safety and suitability of Yucca Mountain.”
Guinn added he’s ”concerned and disappointed that DOE has scheduled these hearings when the country is grieving and working through the many challenges resulting from the horrific events of Sept. 11.”
Del Papa said the federal Department of Energy is holding the hearings ”before it has finalized the environmental impact statement and before it has issued its siting guidelines for the proposed dump.”
”Under the guise of seeking public input, DOE is making a mockery of the public participation process and denying the public an opportunity for meaningful input.”
The DOE has said it’s widening its net to collect comment about the proposed dump from every county in Nevada and in neighboring Inyo County, Calif.
The additional field hearings will be Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and Oct. 10-12. They’re in addition to public hearings scheduled Oct. 10 in Amargosa Valley and Oct. 12 in Pahrump.
”We’ve been hearing that we’re not offering enough opportunity for comment,” said Allen Benson, DOE spokesman in Las Vegas. ”Well, we’re offering opportunity to comment.”
The DOE last month hosted a marathon public hearing in Las Vegas on a scientific report that identifies no major obstacles to entombing the nation’s 77,000 tons of radioactive waste at Yucca Mountain.
The volcanic ridge is at the western edge of the Nevada Test Site, about 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas. It is the only site in the nation being studied as a nuclear dump.
On the Net:
Yucca Mountain Project: http://www.ymp.gov
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