Schneider Provision to Help Communities with Stranded Nuclear Waste Signed in to Law
Today, legislative language first introduced by Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL) to help communities with stranded nuclear waste identify available federal resources was signed into law by President Trump as part of H.R. 5895, the Energy and Water, Legislative Branch, and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act of 2019.
The measure requires a report by the Department of Energy on existing public and private resources and funding available for municipalities where a nuclear power plant is decommissioned, in the process of decommissioning, or plans to shut down within 3 years.
“Communities like Zion have been saddled with storing our nation’s stranded nuclear waste while the federal government has failed to meet its legal obligation to find a permanent repository,” said Schneider. “They deserve compensation, and this new report is a step toward connecting these communities with critically needed federal assistance. I will continue to work to build on this progress by advancing the STRANDED Act to finally compensate communities like Zion what they deserve.”
“I greatly appreciate the leadership of my colleagues Nita Lowey and Marcy Kaptur championing this cause on the Appropriations Committee, and ensuring this language to help communities with stranded nuclear waste was included,” continued Schneider.
In May 2018, Schneider introduced a similar amendment requiring 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, which was included in H.R. 3053, the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act of 2018 and also passed the House.
In October 2017, Schneider introduced H.R. 3970 Sensible, Timely Relief for America’s Nuclear Districts’ Economic Development (STRANDED) Act with Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL). In addition to a task force, the bill would compensate communities storing waste through economic impact grants and would establish tax credits to encourage development and homeownership in affected communities.
Nuclear Power Plant Closings.--Prior to the opening of a permanent repository or monitored retrievable storage for spent nuclear fuel, power plant sites serve as de facto storage facilities for this nuclear waste. When a plant closes, onsite storage of spent nuclear fuel can be a factor affecting redevelopment of the location. The Department is directed to submit to the Committees on Appropriations of both Houses of Congress not later than 180 days after the enactment of this Act a study on existing public and private resources and funding for which municipalities where a nuclear power plant is decommissioned, in the process of decommissioning, or plans to shut down within 3 years of enactment of this Act and contains nuclear waste within its boundaries may be eligible.