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Radioactive-waste oversight legislation advances

Published February 22, 2013 11:05 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A radioactive waste oversight bill passed the House Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment Committee unanimously Friday.

Substitute HB124, sponsored by Rep. Brad Dee, R-Ogden, addressed several concerns raised by legislative auditors last summer, such as guaranteeing the Division of Radiation Control access to waste in the states where it is packed and doubling the maximum penalties for violating the state's radioactive waste law to $10,000.

The Legislature's budget analysts said they anticipated the penalty change could boost the General Fund by between $20,000 and $115,000 per year, depending upon how many violations are noted and what penalties are imposed.

The proposed bill also sets time constraints on regulators for reviewing permit applications, renewals and other paperwork.

And, while some questioned the wisdom of imposing such tight deadlines when regulators are trying to review often complex safety and legal questions, Department of Environmental Quality Director Amanda Smith said EnergySolutions Inc. is typically understanding when the state misses its review deadlines."We are comfortable with these timelines," she told the committee.

The bill still faces a vote by the state House of Representatives and the Senate.