Governor Opts Not to Sign SB 155
Governor Jon Huntsman signed 9 bills and issued the following statement regarding Senate Bill 155 today:
As Governor, I will allow SB155 to go into effect without my signature. I do so in part because of the need to recognize the "grandfather" status of an existing facility. The bill is simply a technical clarification of current practice. It is not the legislation that concerns me, but the nuclear waste industry and its impact on Utah.
Under SB155, EnergySolutions would still be required to receive approval from the legislature and the governor if it moved onto a new geographic area or for specified increases in capacity and facility cost, outside of the existing Section 32 facility boundary. In fact, the last time an expansion beyond Section 32 was attempted, I adamantly opposed and successfully blocked it. Additionally, SB 155 does not change the fact that EnergySolutions cannot accept Class B and C wastes and different types of higher radionuclide wastes, because the Legislature and I joined together to ban these "hotter" wastes in 2005. See Utah Code Ann. § 19-3-103.7.
However, this is not enough. As the Governor of the State of Utah, I take very seriously my responsibility to ensure that our State will not become the dumping ground for other states' nuclear waste. I remain committed to fighting increased volumes of waste.
Therefore, I will take the following actions:
* I will notify the Northwest Interstate Low-Level Waste Compact to limit the volume of waste that can be disposed at the EnergySolutions facility to the currently approved volume.
* I will exercise my statutory powers to supervise the conduct of the Department of Environmental Quality officers responsible for licensing the EnergySolutions facility, to include requesting the Utah Radiation Control Board to make special reports to me concerning the quantities and types of wastes received at the Facility.
* I will exercise my constitutional authority to issue executive orders to ensure protection of the public health and environment for wastes received at the EnergySolutions facility.
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