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Western Interstate Energy Board/WINB

2500 Stapleton Plaza, 3333 Quebec, Deatur, CO 80207 . 303/837-5851 FTS 327-5851

June 15, 1978

The Honorable John D. Dingell 2221 Rayburn House Building Washington, DC 20515

Dear Congressman Dingell:

The following resolution was adopted by the members of the Western Interstate Energy Board at their annual meeting on June 2, 1978, and reflects the strong feelings of the Board.

"WHEREAS, uranium mill tailings located on inactive uranium mill sites contain a radiation level exceeding maximum permissible safety standards and thereby present a real or potential hazard to the public; and

"WHEREAS, the uranium tailings piles are the results of mining for uranium fuel under Federal contracts for purposes of energy production and national security; and "WHEREAS, legislation is presently before Congress calling for appropriate remedial action to limit the exposure of individuals to radiation emanating from the various inactive mill tailings sites; and

"WHEREAS, the President, the Congress of the United States, and the Department of Energy all have the necessary powers and financial capabilities, as well as the duty and obligation, to rectify this problem, and their assistance is vital to the immediate and proper resolution of this environmental and health hazard;

"THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED: that the members of the Western Interstate Energy Board recommend: 1) that any remedial measures on inactive tailings piles created prior to the implementation of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 be accomplished at total Federal expense, 2) that the abandoned uranium mill tailings be classified as radioactive wastes and placed under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Federal government, 3) that the Nuclear. Regulatory Commission be charged with the establishment of standards and criteria for disposal and handling of radioactive wastes, and 4) that when such remedial measures are taken, they should be developed with the participation and ultimate concurrence of states directly impacted by this health hazard.

Sincerely,

Kredenca S. Adair

Fredrick S. Adair, Chairman
Radiological Wastes Committee

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WESTERN GOVERNORS'

CONFERENCE

165 POST STREET, 5th FLOOR • SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA 94103

ECRETARIAT:
HE COUNCIL OF STATE GOVERNMENTS
ESTERN OFFICE
15/986-3760

June 28, 1978

Honorable Harley 0. Staggers
Chairman, House Interstate & Foreign

Commerce Committee
2125 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Mr. Chairman:

At the 1978 Annual Meeting of the Western Governors' Conference held
June 14 - 17, the membership approved a resolution dealing with uranium
mill tailings.

This issue is of the utmost importance to the members of the Western
Governors' Conference and a copy is being forwarded to you for your
information and possible action.

Please feel free to call upon our staff in San Francisco for additional
information or input. We would also be most interested in your reaction
to the resolution, which will provide valuable guidance for our deliberations.

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Sincerely,

reita
John V. Evans
Governor', Idaho and
Chairman, Western Governors' Conference

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WESTERN GOVERNORS'

CONFERENCE

165 POST STREET, 5th FLOOR • SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA 94103

.CRETARIAT:
HE COUNCIL OF STATE GOVERNMENTS
IESTERN OFFICE
415/986-3760

XIII. Uranium Mill Tailings

WHEREAS, uranium mill tailings located on inactive uranium mill

sites contain a radiation level exceeding maximum permissible safety standards and thereby present a real or potential hazard to the public; and

WHEREAS, the uranium tailings piles are the results of mining for

uranium fuel under Federal contracts for purposes of energy production and national security; and

WHEREAS, the production of uranium ore enured to the benefit of

all U.S. citizens, and the cost of elimination of the health hazard created by uranium mill tailings is prohibi

tive to those states where they exist; and
WHEREAS, legislation is presently before Congress calling for

appropriate remedial action to limit the exposure of
individuals to radiation emanating from the various
inactive mill tailings sites; and

WHEREAS, the President, the Congress of the United States, and

the Department of Energy all have the necessary powers and financial capabilities, as well as the duty and obligation, to rectify this problem, and their assistance is vital to the immediate and proper resolution of this environmental and health hazard;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Western Governors

recommend: 1) that any remedial measures on inactive tail-
ings piles created prior to the implementation of the
National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 be accomplished
at total Federal expense, 2) that the abandoned uranium
mill tailings be classified as radioactive wastes and
placed under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Federal,
government, 3) that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission be
charged with the establishment of standards and criteria
for disposal and handling of mill tailings, and
4) that when such remedial measures are taken, they should
be developed with the participation and ultimate concurrence
of states directly impacted by this health hazard.

Approved, 1973 Annual Meeting, liestern Governors' Conference, June 17, 1978

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Sen Merschal Crow (Oklahoma)
Sen Knox Nelson (Arkansas)
Rep. Joe C. Hanna (Texas)

COUNCIL MEMBERS

Arkansas

Rep Ernest Cunningham
Sen Olen Hendrix
Rep John Lipton
Sen J A (Dooley) Womack

The State of New Mexico, one of the member states or the
Southwest Regional Energy Council, is greatly concerned about
legislation currently awaiting mark up in the Subcommittees on
Energy and Power and Energy and the Environnient, regarding the
stabilization of uranium tailings piles.
TREVI MEXICO

OKLAHOA
This legislation would require the state to hear 25 percent of the
cost of such stabilization with the balance to be borne by the
federal government. It has been estimated that New Mexico's
share of that cost might be as much as $40 million.

ARKANSA

Louisiana

Sen Charles Barham
Sen Ned Doucet
Sen Charles B Duval
Rep Arthur W Sour, Jr.
Me Elmen J. Bergeron

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New Mexico

Sen Joseph Fidel
Ser Joseph E Gant
Rep Robert N Garcia
Rep Bob Grant
Sen B. L. Lee
Rep Sharlyn Linard
Rep. Colin R. McMillan

The uranlum tailings pjles in New Mexico were produced during
a period when uraniuga prices were cépressed as a result of fes-
eral controls in the thtòrest of national security. thus reducing
the flcw of severance taxes to the state and denying it a fair re-
turn or the resource.

Oklahoma

Sen John L Dahl
Rep Billy F. Kennedy
Sen me Lane
Sen John D Luton
Rep Charles Morgan
Rep Victor Wickersham
Rep Robert Wilson

In view of this, the New Niexico Legislature's Joint Interim Committee on Natural Rescurces recently passed a resolution calling for the federal government, in the interest of equity, to bear the colai cost of uranium tailinys siabilization. A cory of this resclution is enclosed, and, if it is still possible, I would like to request that it be made a part oí tre Subcommittee's hearing record on this subject.

Texas

Sen. Peyton Mcknight
Rep Jimmy Manking
Rep Ed Mayes
Rep Jem Nowlin

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34TH LEGISLATURE - STATE OF NEW MEXICO

FIRST SESSION, 1979

A RESOLUTION

WHEREAS, there are presently before the congress of the United

States certain legislative measures (IR 12938, IR 12535, HR 13049) which

would provide for the stabllization of uranium tailings piles; and

WHEREAS, certain of those measures require the state in which the

tallings piles are situate to provide twenty-five or more percent of the

money to stabilize the piles; and

WHEREAS, the uranium tailings piles in New Mexico were produced

during a period when the price of uranium was controlled in the interest

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WHEREAS, the depressed price of uranium prevented the state of New

Mexico from gaining a fair return on the resource through diminution in

severance taxes; and

WHEREAS, in view of such diminution of revenue, it is now grossly

inequitable for the federal government to impose any financial burden on

the uranium-producing states;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE JOINT INTERIM NATURAL RE

SOURCES COMMITTEE OF THE NEW MEXICO STATE LEGISLATURE that in the in

terest of equity the total cost of uraniun tailings stabilization should

be borne by the federal government; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this resolution be comunicated to the

Southwest Regional Energy Council and to the goverror of New Mexico so

that he may further communicate the intent of the committee to the

Western Governors Policy Council; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that both organizations immediately express

such intent to the congressional delegations of all member states.

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