WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV) joined Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) and Representative Dina Titus (NV-01) in helping introduce bicameral legislation to guarantee state, tribal, and local officials have a seat at the table and the ultimate decision-making authority when a permanent nuclear waste repository is proposed in their backyards. The Nuclear Waste Informed Consent Act, also co-sponsored by Representatives Steven Horsford (NV-04) and Susie Lee (NV-03), will ensure that state, local, and tribal governments are central to decisions regarding a permanent repository, while giving Nevadans a meaningful voice in any plans to store nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain.
“For years, I have been fighting alongside our Congressional Delegation to prevent Nevada from becoming the nation’s dumping ground for nuclear and toxic waste,” said Senator Rosen. “Now, I’m joining my colleagues in introducing legislation that would prevent the federal government from attempting to revive the ill-conceived Yucca Mountain project without clear, written consent from Nevada state and local leaders.”
“Nevadans have made it crystal clear that they don’t want a permanent nuclear waste dump in their backyard,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “I’ve opposed every attempt to restart the failed Yucca Mountain project, and will continue to champion this legislation that respects the voices of our state, local, and tribal governments in Nevada that have been silenced by an unworkable process.”
Senators Cortez Masto and Rosen, along with Representatives Titus, Horsford, and Lee, have all fought to ensure Yucca Mountain remains dead. These members of the Nevada delegation successfully fought the Trump Administration’s early efforts to restart the Yucca Mountain licensing process, by preventing funds from being included for the failed site in every final appropriations bill during the Trump Presidency.
The Nuclear Waste Informed Consent Act is based on recommendations from DOE’s 2012 Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future and DOE’s 2017 consent-based siting report. Accordingly, this bill would require that the Secretary of Energy secure written consent from the following entities before moving forward with a nuclear waste repository:
- Governor of the host state;
- Affected units of local government;
- Each contiguous unit of local government primarily affected by the repository; and
- Affected Indian tribes.