By Melanie Condontestified on behalf of NCSL before the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to discuss the recently introduced Nuclear Waste Administration Act of 2013 (NWAA), S. 1240. Delegate Jameson, whose Maryland district borders the Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant, has long been involved with issues of nuclear waste disposal and storage, and has twice provided testimony to the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future.
Delegate Jameson’s testimony applauded the bi-partisan work of Senators Wyden, Murkowski, Feinstein and Alexander to move comprehensive policy on the permanent disposal of spent nuclear fuel forward. In her testimony, Delegate Jameson noted the consent-based approach with state and local governments throughout the disposal siting processes.
Although the process has generally been positive, Jameson pointed out how important it is for state legislatures to be involved. Specifically, Delegate Jameson suggested adding the phrase “presiding officer of each legislative chamber” to the bill’s current language of “Governor or duly authorized official of the state.”
Also testifying before the Committee was newly confirmed U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz. Secretary Moniz noted that, in his opinion, one of the most important pieces of the NWAA is the consent-based approach of working with state, local and tribal governments throughout the waste disposal life-cycle, saying that the legislation wouldn’t be workable without state consent.
The NCSL Natural Resources and Infrastructure Committee will be holding a session, moderated by Delegate Jameson, on the future of the NWAA and nuclear waste storage at the upcoming Legislative Summit in Atlanta on August 13.
Melanie Condon is a policy associate for the Agriculture, Energy, Environment and Transportation Committee in NCSL’s Washington, D.C. office.