Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Bill to tighten hot-waste oversight

Audit » Lawmaker urges changes to EnergySolutions’ regulator.

First Published Feb 08 2013 06:32 pm • Last Updated May 21 2013 11:32 pm

Maximum fines for companies that dump too-hot radioactive waste in the EnergySolutions Inc. landfill would double, under HB124 sponsored by House Majority Leader Brad Dee, R-Ogden.

Dee’s bill, made public Friday, responds to several issues raised in a Legislative Auditor General report last fall that criticized the Utah Division of Radiation Control for relying too much on self-policing at the low-level radioactive waste site in Tooele County.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Under current law, companies that use the Utah site face a maximum penalty of $5,000 per violation. The measure would increase that penalty to $10,000.

In addition, the bill would require the radiation division to allow waste only if the company that wants to use the EnergySolutions disposal site agrees to allow state regulators to see and test the Utah-bound shipments. It also would require radioactive waste fees to be used for radioactive waste oversight.

The bill grew out of a pair of audits highly critical of the state’s management over the waste and the taxes associated with EnergySolutions’ operations. Former Senate President Michael Waddoups, R-Taylorsville, angrily raised the possibility of disbanding the Department of Environmental Quality and firing Utah’s top radiation-control official over the audit findings.

Of particular concern: 37 containers of too-hot radioactive waste had come to Utah for disposal. Fourteen were returned, but 23 were buried at EnergySolutions in violation of state law, and the biggest fine paid by an offending shipper was $4,875.

Christopher Thomas, executive director of the Healthy Environment Alliance of Utah, called the Legislature’s response to the audit "underwhelming."

"While Dee’s bill appears to take a few steps in the right direction, we will certainly watch closely to make sure EnergySolutions doesn’t use it as an opportunity to slip in provisions that degrade Utah’s nuclear-waste protections," he said. "That’s certainly been the company’s MO before."


Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.