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. ...


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        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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