GovTrack’s Bill Summary
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Library of Congress Summary
The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.
Waste Isolation Pilot Plant Land Withdrawal Act of 1991 - States as the purpose of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) (a Department of Energy (DOE) research and development facility authorized to demonstrate the safe disposal of radioactive waste) to receive, handle, and permanently dispose of defense transuranic waste and to conduct activities related to the management, storage, and disposal of such waste, subject to specified restrictions.
Applies this Act with respect to any items in conflict with the Agreement for Consultation and Cooperation entered into in accordance with this Act. Withdraws from all forms of entry, appropriation, and disposal under the public land laws and from location and patent under the mining laws the public lands in Eddy County, New Mexico, which surround WIPP and transfers jurisdiction and control of the withdrawn lands to DOE. Describes the lands to be withdrawn.
Revokes specified public land orders made inconsistent by this Act. Makes the Secretary of Energy responsible for management of the withdrawn lands.
Requires the Secretary to develop a management plan for the withdrawn lands requiring any use of such lands for activities not associated with WIPP to be subject to conditions and restrictions that may be necessary to permit the conduct of WIPP activities.
Requires the management plan to permit domestic livestock grazing, hunting and trapping, maintenance of wildlife habitat, the disposal of salt tailings remaining on the surface, and mining, subject to prescribed guidelines.
Authorizes the Secretary to close to the public any part of such withdrawn lands if required for public health and safety.
Directs the Secretary to submit the management plan to appropriate congressional committees and the State of New Mexico. Provides for ongoing review by the WIPP Environmental Evaluation Group (EEG) and New Mexico of the data, reports, and other material concerning the implementation of the WIPP experimental program plan issued on April 1, 1990.
Requires New Mexico and EEG to submit their comments on such materials to appropriate congressional committees and specified agencies and officials.
Requires the Secretary to report to the Congress on such program not later than two years after the program is implemented.
Requires the Secretary, with respect to the WIPP, to be in compliance with appropriate Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards of waste management and storage, as well as with transuranic radioactive waste disposal standards.
Directs the Secretary and the EPA Administrator to submit to the Congress a statement of compliance prior to the permanent disposal of such waste at WIPP. Requires the Secretary to conduct an annual demonstration at WIPP that all transuranic radioactive waste stored there can be readily retrieved.
Outlines administrative procedures with respect to such annual demonstrations.
Outlines procedures to be followed if it is found that such waste is not readily retrievable.
Limits the amount of such waste to be received by WIPP before it has demonstrated compliance with disposal standards.
Provides that, if the EPA Administrator finds that such standards have not been complied with, the Secretary shall notify the Congress and shall remove such waste, WIPP shall be decommissioned, the land withdrawal shall be terminated, and the lands transferred back to the Secretary of the Interior. Authorizes additional time for compliance (not to exceed 12 months) as agreed to by the Governor of New Mexico and the Secretary of Energy. Requires the Secretary to use both engineered and natural barriers at WIPP to isolate transuranic radioactive waste after disposal to the extent required.
Directs the EPA Administrator to issue final standards for disposal of radioactive wastes within two years after the enactment of this Act. Authorizes appropriations.
Prohibits the transport of transuranic radioactive waste to WIPP until the Secretary has approved a Final Safety Analysis Report and an addendum to such report relating to dry bin tests for WIPP. Authorizes appropriations to the Secretary to provide in-kind and cash assistance for emergency response-related activities to New Mexico and any other State or Indian tribe through whose jurisdiction the Secretary plans to transport transuranic radioactive waste to or from WIPP. Requires such waste transported to be in packages that have been certified by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Directs the Secretary, prior to any such transportation, to properly notify State and local governments and Indian tribes.
Provides certain priorities in shipping for such waste currently stored at specified sites.
Requires the Secretary to continue to encourage WIPP-related business and employment opportunities within the State of New Mexico. Provides for payments to New Mexico to mitigate the impacts on the State and local governments resulting from WIPP. Authorizes appropriations.
Directs the Secretary to submit to New Mexico, the Secretary of the Interior, the EPA Administrator, and appropriate congressional committees within five years after enactment of this Act a plan for decommissioning WIPP. Directs the Secretary to develop within such period a plan for the management and use of the withdrawn lands following the WIPP decommissioning.
Authorizes the Secretary to permanently dispose of transuranic radioactive waste at WIPP when certain requirements of this Act have been fulfilled and the EPA Administrator concurs that the Secretary has complied with disposal standards.
House Democratic Caucus Summary
The House Democratic Caucus does not provide summaries of bills.
So, yes, we display the House Republican Conference’s summaries when available even if we do not have a Democratic summary available. That’s because we feel it is better to give you as much information as possible, even if we cannot provide every viewpoint.
We’ll be looking for a source of summaries from the other side in the meanwhile.