Defenders of the Black Hills
Uranium Mining Bill
Uranium Exploration and Mining Accountability Act
(a) FINDINGS.—Congress finds that—
(1) thousands of abandoned uranium mines and exploratory sites are located throughout the United States, posing substantial, but unquantified, public health and environmental hazards;
(2) the number, location, existing hazard, and off-site migration potential for toxic and radioactive materials from these sites is unknown, as are the costs of appropriate remediation and clean-up of these abandoned sites;
(3) there is no minimum threshold for radiation damage (no dose which is harmless), and radiation causes cancer and other organ damage, especially during fetal development and in young children;
(4) capping the total radiation exposure from these abandoned sites, and reducing this exposure level over time, is in the public interest; and
(5) the costs for clean-up of these abandoned sites have been externalized from the past uranium mining operations onto the general taxpayers, as have the public health and environmental costs of these toxic sites —the costs for reclamation of any new uranium exploration and mining operations must in future be borne by the mining industry itself.
(b) PURPOSES.—The purposes of this section are—
(1) to authorize and direct the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (in this section referred to as the “Commission”) to develop an Action Plan for reclamation of abandoned uranium mines and exploratory sites; and
(2) to further authorize and direct the Commission to place a moratorium on any processing or approval of new permits for uranium exploration or mining operations until the above Action Plan is adopted.
(c) RECLAMATION OF ABANDONED URANIUM MINES AND EXPLORATORY SITES.—
(1) INVENTORY.—The Commission will establish an inventory of all existing abandoned uranium mining and exploratory sites, grouped into appropriate categories, and assessing those parameters needed to quantify the current radiation levels, off-site migration potential, and current public health and environmental risks.
(2) RECLAMATION OPTIONS.—The Commission will establish a range of reclamation options, including technical standards and associated unit costs for their implementation, to achieve exposure risk-reduction levels of 90, 95, and 99 percent for each category of abandoned site inventoried in (1) above.
(3) ACTION PLAN.—Based on the Inventory and Reclamation Options established in (1) and (2) above, the Commission will develop a national Action Plan for reclamation of all existing abandoned uranium mining and exploratory sites, prioritizing sites based on combined risk-reduction and cost criteria. The Action Plan will include a total exposure level and hazard rating projected over time as the Plan is implemented, and establish a threshold exposure level that is to be achieved before any new uranium operations are resumed. The Action Plan shall be subject to public notice, review, and comment.
(4) PROCESS.—The Action Plan, including the Inventory parameters and Reclamation Options, and the exposure threshold level, shall be subject to public notice, review, and comment.
(d) MORATORIUM ON NEW URANIUM EXPLORATION AND MINING PERMITS.—The Commission shall place a moratorium on any processing or approval of new permits for uranium exploration or mining operations until the above Action Plan is adopted. Any future permits issued by the Commission shall be conditional on maintaining national compliance with the exposure threshold level established in (c)(3) above.
Air Quality Alert
IF YOU CAN SEE THE AIR, IT CAN'T BE GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH.
Every day North Dakota's coal fired power plants pump dangerous toxins into the air, including radioactive particles, putting people all over the Region at risk.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is making a decision about how much air pollution should be allowed from North Dakota's power plants, and they need to hear from you.
EPA hearing on the Regional Haze Rule for ND
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
ND Health Dept. Environmental Training Center
The world is run by those who show up. The coal industry will be there to push for more pollution in the air. If you can, please attend this meeting and tell the EPA that the air needs to be clean of any pollution.