| Home > 105th Congressional Bills > H.R. 629 (ih) To grant the consent of the Congress to the Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact. ...
H.R. 629 (ih) To grant the consent of the Congress to the Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact. ...
H.R.629 One Hundred Fifth Congress of the United States of America AT THE SECOND SESSION Begun and held at the City of Washington on Tuesday, the twenty-seventh day of January, one thousand nine hundred and ninety- eight An Act To grant the consent of the Congress to the Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act may be cited as the ``Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact Consent Act''. SEC. 2. CONGRESSIONAL FINDING. The Congress finds that the compact set forth in section 5 is in furtherance of the Low-Level Radioactive Waste Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 2021b et seq.). SEC. 3. CONDITIONS OF CONSENT TO COMPACT. The consent of the Congress to the compact set forth in section 5-- (1) shall become effective on the date of the enactment of this Act; (2) is granted subject to the provisions of the Low-Level Radioactive Waste Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 2021b et seq.); and (3) is granted only for so long as the regional commission established in the compact complies with all of the provisions of such Act. SEC. 4. CONGRESSIONAL REVIEW. The Congress may alter, amend, or repeal this Act with respect to the compact set forth in section 5 after the expiration of the 10-year period following the date of the enactment of this Act, and at such intervals thereafter as may be provided in such compact. SEC. 5. TEXAS LOW-LEVEL RADIOACTIVE WASTE COMPACT. (a) Consent of Congress.--In accordance with section 4(a)(2) of the Low-Level Radioactive Waste Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 2021d(a)(2)), the consent of Congress is given to the States of Texas, Maine, and Vermont to enter into the compact set forth in subsection (b). (b) Text of Compact.--The compact reads substantially as follows: ``TEXAS LOW-LEVEL RADIOACTIVE WASTE DISPOSAL COMPACT ``ARTICLE I. POLICY AND PURPOSE ``Sec. 1.01. The party states recognize a responsibility for each state to seek to manage low-level radioactive waste generated within its boundaries, pursuant to the Low-Level Radioactive Waste Policy Act, as amended by the Low-Level Radioactive Waste Policy Amendments Act of 1985 (42 U.S.C. 2021b-2021j). They also recognize that the United States Congress, by enacting the Act, has authorized and encouraged states to enter into compacts for the efficient management and disposal of low-level radioactive waste. It is the policy of the party states to cooperate in the protection of the health, safety, and welfare of their citizens and the environment and to provide for and encourage the economical management and disposal of low-level radioactive waste. It is the purpose of this compact to provide the framework for such a cooperative effort; to promote the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens and the environment of the party states; to limit the number of facilities needed to effectively, efficiently, and economically manage low-level radioactive waste and to encourage the reduction of the generation thereof; and to distribute the costs, benefits, and obligations among the party states; all in accordance with the terms of this compact. ``ARTICLE II. DEFINITIONS ``Sec. 2.01. As used in this compact, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, the following definitions apply: ``(1) `Act' means the Low-Level Radioactive Waste Policy Act, as amended by the Low-Level Radioactive Waste Policy Amendments Act of 1985 (42 U.S.C. 2021b-2021j). ``(2) `Commission' means the Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact Commission established in Article III of this compact. ``(3) `Compact facility' or `facility' means any site, location, structure, or property located in and provided by the host state for the purpose of management or disposal of low-level radioactive waste for which the party states are responsible. ``(4) `Disposal' means the permanent isolation of low-level radioactive waste pursuant to requirements established by the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the United States Environmental Protection Agency under applicable laws, or by the host state. ``(5) `Generate,' when used in relation to low-level radioactive waste, means to produce low-level radioactive waste. ``(6) `Generator' means a person who produces or processes low- level radioactive waste in the course of its activities, excluding persons who arrange for the collection, transportation, management, treatment, storage, or disposal of waste generated outside the party states, unless approved by the commission. ``(7) `Host county' means a county in the host state in which a disposal facility is located or is being developed. ``(8) `Host state' means a party state in which a compact facility is located or is being developed. The State of Texas is the host state under this compact. ``(9) `Institutional control period' means that period of time following closure of the facility and transfer of the facility license from the operator to the custodial agency in compliance with the appropriate regulations for long-term observation and maintenance. ``(10) `Low-level radioactive waste' has the same meaning as that term is defined in Section 2(9) of the Act (42 U.S.C. 2021b(9)), or in the host state statute so long as the waste is not incompatible with management and disposal at the compact facility. ``(11) `Management' means collection, consolidation, storage, packaging, or treatment. ``(12) `Operator' means a person who operates a disposal facility. ``(13) `Party state' means any state that has become a party in accordance with Article VII of this compact. Texas, Maine, and Vermont are initial party states under this compact. ``(14) `Person' means an individual, corporation, partnership or other legal entity, whether public or private. ``(15) `Transporter' means a person who transports low-level radioactive waste. ``ARTICLE III. THE COMMISSION ``Sec. 3.01. There is hereby established the Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact Commission. The commission shall consist of one voting member from each party state except that the host state shall be entitled to six voting members. Commission members shall be appointed by the party state governors, as provided by the laws of each party state. Each party state may provide alternates for each appointed member. ``Sec. 3.02. A quorum of the commission consists of a majority of the members. Except as otherwise provided in this compact, an official act of the commission must receive the affirmative vote of a majority of its members. ``Sec. 3.03. The commission is a legal entity separate and distinct from the party states and has governmental immunity to the same extent as an entity created under the authority of Article XVI, Section 59, of the Texas Constitution. Members of the commission shall not be personally liable for actions taken in their official capacity. The liabilities of the commission shall not be deemed liabilities of the party states. ``Sec. 3.04. The commission shall: ``(1) Compensate its members according to the host state's law. ``(2) Conduct its business, hold meetings, and maintain public records pursuant to laws of the host state, except that notice of public meetings shall be given in the non-host party states in accordance with their respective statutes. ``(3) Be located in the capital city of the host state. ``(4) Meet at least once a year and upon the call of the chair, or any member. The governor of the host state shall appoint a chair and vice-chair. ``(5) Keep an accurate account of all receipts and disbursements. An annual audit of the books of the commission shall be conducted by an independent certified public accountant, and the audit report shall be made a part of the annual report of the commission. ``(6) Approve a budget each year and establish a fiscal year that conforms to the fiscal year of the host state. ``(7) Prepare, adopt, and implement contingency plans for the disposal and management of low-level radioactive waste in the event that the compact facility should be closed. Any plan which requires the host state to store or otherwise manage the low-level radioactive waste from all the party states must be approved by at least four host state members of the commission. The commission, in a contingency plan or otherwise, may not require a non-host party state to store low-level radioactive waste generated outside of the state. ``(8) Submit communications to the governors and to the presiding officers of the legislatures of the party states regarding the activities of the commission, including an annual report to be submitted on or before January 31 of each year. ``(9) Assemble and make available to the party states, and to the public, information concerning low-level radioactive waste management needs, technologies, and problems. ``(10) Keep a current inventory of all generators within the party states, based upon information provided by the party states. ``(11) By no later than 180 days after all members of the commission are appointed under Section 3.01 of this article, establish by rule the total volume of low-level radioactive waste that the host state will dispose of in the compact facility in the years 1995-2045, including decommissioning waste. The shipments of low-level radioactive waste from all non-host party states shall not exceed 20 percent of the volume estimated to be disposed of by the host state during the 50-year period. When averaged over such 50-year period, the total of all shipments from non-host party states shall not exceed 20,000 cubic feet a year. The commission shall coordinate the volumes, timing, and frequency of shipments from generators in the non-host party states in order to assure that over the life of this agreement shipments from the non-host party states do not exceed 20 percent of the volume projected by the commission under this paragraph. ``Sec. 3.05. The commission may: ``(1) Employ staff necessary to carry out its duties and functions. The commission is authorized to use to the extent practicable the services of existing employees of the party states. Compensation shall be as determined by the commission. ``(2) Accept any grants, equipment, supplies, materials, or services, conditional or otherwise, from the federal or state government. The nature, amount and condition, if any, of any donation, grant or other resources accepted pursuant to this paragraph and the identity of the donor or grantor shall be detailed in the annual report of the commission. ``(3) Enter into contracts to carry out its duties and authority, subject to projected resources. No contract made by the commission shall bind a party state. ``(4) Adopt, by a majority vote, bylaws and rules necessary to carry out the terms of this compact. Any rules promulgated by the commission shall be adopted in accordance with the Administrative Procedure and Texas Register Act (Article 6252-13a, Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes). ``(5) Sue and be sued and, when authorized by a majority vote of the members, seek to intervene in administrative or judicial proceedings related to this compact. ``(6) Enter into an agreement with any person, state, regional body, or group of states for the importation of low-level radioactive waste into the compact for management or disposal, provided that the agreement receives a majority vote of the commission. The commission may adopt such conditions and restrictions in the agreement as it deems advisable. ``(7) Upon petition, allow an individual generator, a group of generators, or the host state of the compact, to export low-level waste to a low-level radioactive waste disposal facility located outside the party states. The commission may approve the petition only by a majority vote of its members. The permission to export low-level radioactive waste shall be effective for that period of time and for the specified amount of low-level radioactive waste, and subject to any other term or condition, as is determined by the commission. ``(8) Monitor the exportation outside of the party states of material, which otherwise meets the criteria of low-level radioactive waste, where the sole purpose of the exportation is to manage or process the material for recycling or waste reduction and return it to the party states for disposal in the compact facility. ``Sec. 3.06. Jurisdiction and venue of any action contesting any action of the commission shall be in the United States District Court in the district where the commission maintains its office. ``ARTICLE IV. RIGHTS, RESPONSIBILITIES, AND OBLIGATIONS OF PARTY STATES ``Sec. 4.01. The host state shall develop and have full administrative control over the development, management and operation of a facility for the disposal of low-level radioactive waste generated within the party states. The host state shall be entitled to unlimited use of the facility over its operating life. Use of the facility by the non-host party states for disposal of low-level radioactive waste, including such waste resulting from decommissioning of any nuclear electric generation facilities located in the party states, is limited to the volume requirements of Section 3.04(11) of Article III. ``Sec. 4.02. Low-level radioactive waste generated within the party states shall be disposed of only at the compact facility, except as provided in Section 3.05(7) of Article III. ``Sec. 4.03. The initial states of this compact cannot be members of another low-level radioactive waste compact entered into pursuant to the Act. ``Sec. 4.04. The host state shall do the following: ``(1) Cause a facility to be developed in a timely manner and operated and maintained through the institutional control period. ``(2) Ensure, consistent with any applicable federal and host state laws, the protection and preservation of the environment and the public health and safety in the siting, design, development, licensing, regulation, operation, closure, decommissioning, and long-term care of the disposal facilities within the host state. ``(3) Close the facility when reasonably necessary to protect the public health and safety of its citizens or to protect its natural resources from harm. However, the host state shall notify the commission of the closure within three days of its action and shall, within 30 working days of its action, provide a written explanation to the commission of the closure, and implement any adopted contingency plan. ``(4) Establish reasonable fees for disposal at the facility of low-level radioactive waste generated in the party states based on disposal fee criteria set out in Sections 402.272 and 402.273, Texas Health and Safety Code. The same fees shall be charged for the disposal of low-level radioactive waste that was generated in the host state and in the non-host party states. Fees shall also be sufficient to reasonably support the activities of the Commission.
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