S 1287 -- 02/08/2000

February 8, 2000

S. 1287 - Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act of 2000
(Murkowski (R) Alaska)

The Administration has reviewed a February 4, 2000, manager's amendment to S. 1287 and understands that this amendment will be brought to the Senate floor. Unfortunately, this amendment undermines EPA's existing statutory authority to set standards to protect public health and the environment from radioactive releases; therefore, it is unacceptable to the Administration. Although the amendment appears to allow EPA to exercise its existing authority to set appropriate radiation release standards for the Yucca Mountain repository, it will allow another entity to block EPA's authority until June 1, 2001. Consequently, if the February 4, 2000, manager's amendment to S. 1287 is approved by the Senate and a bill with these provisions is presented to the President, the President will veto the bill.

The bill also contains unrealistic and unworkable milestones; insufficient funding mechanisms to pay for both the Yucca Mountain scientific program and the "take title" provisions; and burdensome and unworkable transportation provisions that do not provide a commensurate improvement in safety.