Schneider Amendment to Aid Communities with Stranded Nuclear Waste Passes House of Representatives
Today, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed an amendment offered by Congressman Brad Schneider (IL-10) to help connect communities housing stranded nuclear waste, including Zion, IL, with desperately needed federal resources.
The Schneider amendment would require the Secretary of Energy to assemble a task force to work across all federal agencies to identify existing resources and funding opportunities that could assist communities with decommissioned plants where nuclear waste is being stored. In addition, the task force would work with communities in the decommissioning process to develop a transition plan to mitigate the economic damage when a plant closes. The legislation amends H.R. 3053, the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act of 2018, which passed the House by a vote of 340-72.
The former Zion Nuclear Power Station is located on valuable lakefront property and has housed more than 2 million pounds of spent nuclear fuel since the plant’s closure in 1998. This presents both an extreme environmental hazard, and a severe burden on the quality of life of the residents of Zion – deterring economic investment, depressing home values and driving up property taxes to fill the local revenue void.
“For too long, communities like Zion have been saddled with housing our nation’s stranded nuclear waste while the federal government has failed to meet its legal obligation to find a permanent repository,” said Schneider. “I am very pleased this amendment passed the House, appreciate the bipartisan support from my colleagues, and urge the Senate to take up this matter urgently. Today’s bill is an important step forward, but should be just the start of our work to help communities forced to store our nuclear waste. I will continue to work with Mayor Al Hill, the City of Zion, and my colleagues in Congress to get communities shouldering this burden the federal help they are owed.”
Schneider spoke on the House floor in support of the amendment. Video of his remarks are available online.