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that alternative is selected.

Each state would have to

establish its own procedures for establishing state ownership of the disposal area if that alternative were to be


Section 274p. is intended to ensure a measure of national

uniformity in substantive uranium mill tailings disposal

requirements based upon Commission substantive standards.

State requirements would have to be at least the equivalent

of Commission standards in the degree of protection given

public health and safety from radiation hazards.

A state

may, however, at its discretion use standards that give

greater protection than required by the Commission.

Neither of these two new sections is intended to affect the

status of Agreement States licensing actions as state, as

opposed to Federal, actions.

Sec. 10.

Section 10 adds a new Section 83 to the Atomic

Energy Act of 1954, as amended, and is meant to provide a

statutory exemption from licensing for sites cleaned up by

the Department of Energy under the Residual Radioactive

Materials Act of 1978. The exemption from licensing does

not mean, however, that persons in possession of the residual

radioactive materials (as defined in the Residual Radioactive

laterials Act) or in possession of disposal sites will be free of regulation. The Commission may, through its avail

able regulatory procedures (except licensing), require such persons to monitor the sites, perform remedial work, or take

such other measures to protect health or minimize danger to

life or property.

The Commission is also authorized to

inspect as necessary.

Persons in violation of rules or

orders may be subject to a civil penalty even though not


Proposed Sections 83(b) and (c) also will apply

to persons in possession of uranium mill tailings disposal areas not part of the DOE program and who may be exempted

from licensing in the Commission's discretion under Section

81 of the Atomic Energy Act.

Section 11.

This section would authorize appropriations

of $500,000 to assist Agreement States in implementing the

requirements of the new legislation as it applies to them.

Funds would be made available to the affected Agreement

States in the form of one time grants to enable them to

develop mill tailings regulatory programs at least equivalent to the regulations of the Commission.

This section of the Act provides a short descrip

Sec. 12.

tive title to the amendments taken as a whole.


In addition to the comments on H.R. 13382 contained in its

oral testimony, the Commission would like to submit a number of comments addressing other issues raised by the bill.

The second, seventh, and ninth sections of the draft legis

lation are intended to establish an interim period of three

years during which Agreement State programs for the regu

lation of uranium mill tailings would be reviewed, and

agreements amended to bring in the new class of byproduct

material added to the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, by the first section of the proposed legislation. The seventh section, in particular, makes it clear that agreements must

be amended if the Agreement State is to regulate the tail

ings area after the three year period under the section 274


Commissioner Gilinsky believes that a two year

interim period should be adequate for these purposes.


section also stipulates that certain standards and public

procedures required in the review of new agreements prior

to execution would also be followed for amendments to exist

ing agreements.

The third and eighth sections are intended to facilitate and

authorize Government ownership of all mill tailings disposal

An amendment of section 161g. of the Atomic Energy


Act would allow the Department of Energy to accept title to

mill tailings disposal areas on behalf of the United States,

without cost to the United States and with subsequent

designation of the custodial agency by the President.

A final substantive requirement in section eight of the

draft would require Agreement State programs for the regu

lation of mill tailings to be at least the equivalent of

substantive regulations established by the Commission for

the same purpose.

To encourage Agreement State participa

tion, section eleven would authorize appropriations of

$500,000 to assist Agreement States in implementing the

requirements of the new legislation as it applies to them.

Funds would be made available to the affected Agreement

States in the form of one time grants to enable them to

develop mill tailings regulatory programs at least equiva

lent to the regulations of the Commission.

Other provisions are intended to permit the amendment of

existing agreements and to allow time for the development of appropriate regulations. There is no requirement that

existing agreements with States be amended.

Thus, Agreement

States would have the opportunity to forego licensing of

uranium mill tailings areas.

A companion amendment will

give the same option to States entering into new agreements.

37-249 0.79 - 24

Mr. DINGELL. Without objection, the additional matters you have referred to will be inserted in the record at this point and we do thank you for that.

The Chair should recognize now-and we do thank you very much for a very helpful statement-Dr. Rowe.



Mr. Rows. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee.

I am Dr. William D. Rowe, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Radiation Programs, Environmental Protection Agency.

I am pleased to be here today to testify on H.R. 13382 which would specifically provide for NRC authority over uranium milltailings.

There are presently about 115 million tons of uranium milltailings at facilities that are licensed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission or its agreement States. At present the commission regulates the design and siting of uranium milltailings disposal areas as part of its licensing and regulation of source material milling under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, and the Atomic Energy Act of 1954.

Environmental issues regarding reclamation and stabilization of tailings disposal areas and the provision of some kind of surety to assure the completion of reclamation and stabilization work prior to termination of the source material license are currently being addressed in the source material licensing process. However, this has not always been the case.

Uranium mills which were licensed in the past have accumulated large volumes of tailings for which the authority to require the licensee to invoke surety and stabilization requirements is in question. If these facilities should cease their production of source material, the NRC may be without legal recourse as there would be no material over which they have authority handled at the sites.

Also complicating the matter are questions of the basis of authority and the compatibility with Federal requirements in those cases where uranium mills are licensed by agreement States.

Two sections in the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 specifically address the question of jurisdiction over radioactive waste materials.

Section 1004(27) exempts from the coverage of RCRA materials which come within the coverage of "source, special nuclear or byproduct material" as defined by the AEA.

Section 1006(a) provides that RCRA may only apply to activities or substances subject to the AEA to the extent that the RCRA application is not inconsistent with the requirements of the AEA. Thus, if tailings were to be included in the definition of "source, special nuclear or byproduct material,” they would not be covered by RCRA at all. If such a change in definition is not made, then we must examine whether RCRA coverage of tailings is inconsistent

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