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“Watchdogs Push New Mexico To Limit US Nuclear Waste Dump”

“ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Watchdogs on Wednesday renewed their call for New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and state environmental regulators to take a stand against the federal government as it looks to extend and expand operations at the nation’s only underground nuclear waste repository.

They suggested that the state over the years has rubber-stamped decisions related to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant and needs to assert its authority as other states have in holding the U.S. Energy Department accountable for cleaning up contamination and dealing with radioactive waste.

In an application for a 10-year permit renewal, the Energy Department has proposed removing 2024 as the date when closure and decommissioning would begin. The date has been included in every permit since the first in 1999. The Southwest Research and Information Center, residents and former regulators say allowing the change would mark another step toward New Mexico becoming a permanent dumping ground for the nation’s waste.”

Susan Montoya Bryan reports for the Associated Press October 22, 2020.