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URANIUM MILL TAILINGS CONTROL ACT OF 1978

URANIUM MILL TAILINGS RADIATION CONTROL ACT OF 1978 1

AN ACT To authorize the Secretary of Energy to enter into cooperative agreements with certain States respecting residual radioactive material at existing sites, to provide for the regulation of uranium mill tailings under the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SHORT TITLE AND TABLE OF CONTENTS

SECTION 1. This Act may be cited as the "Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act of 1978”.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Sec. 1. Short title and table of contents.

Sec. 2. Findings and purposes.

Sec. 101. Definitions.

TITLE I-REMEDIAL ACTION PROGRAM

Sec. 102. Designation of processing sites.

Sec. 103. State cooperative agreements.

Sec. 104. Acquisition and disposition of land and materials.

Sec. 105. Indian tribe cooperative agreements.

Sec. 106. Acquisition of lands by Secretary.

Sec. 107. Financial assistance.

Sec. 108. Remedial action.

Sec. 109. Rules.

Sec. 110. Enforcement.

Sec. 111. Public participation.

Sec. 112. Termination; authorization.

Sec. 113. Limitation.

Sec. 114. Reports to Congress.

Sec. 115. Active operations; liability for remedial action.

TITLE II-URANIUM MILL TAILINGS LICENSING AND REGULATIONS

Sec. 201. Definition.

Sec. 202. Custody of disposal site.

Sec. 203. Authority to establish certain requirements.

Sec. 204. Cooperation with States.

Sec. 205. Authorities of Commission respecting certain byproduct material.

Sec. 206. Authority of Environmental Protection Agency respecting certain byproduct material.

Sec. 207. Authorization of appropriations for grants.

Sec. 208. Effective date.

Sec. 209. Consolidation of licenses and procedures.

TITLE III-STUDY AND DESIGNATION OF TWO MILL TAILINGS SITES IN

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'This Act consists of Public Law 95-604 (92 Stat. 3021) enacted on Nov. 8, 1978. The Act, except for amendments made to other law, generally appears in 42 U.S.C. 7901-7942.

FINDINGS AND PURPOSES

SEC. 2. (a) The Congress finds that uranium mill tailings located at active and inactive mill operations may pose a potential and significant radiation health hazard to the public, and that the protection of the public health, safety, and welfare and the regulation of interstate commerce require that every reasonable effort be made to provide for the stabilization, disposal, and control in a safe and environmentally sound manner of such tailings in order to prevent or minimize radon diffusion into the environment and to prevent or minimize other environmental hazards from such tailings. (b) The purposes of this Act are to provide

(1) in cooperation with the interested States, Indian tribes, and the persons who own or control inactive mill tailings sites, a program of assessment and remedial action at such sites, including, where appropriate, the reprocessing of tailings to extract residual uranium and other mineral values where practicable, in order to stabilize and control such tailings in a safe and environmentally sound manner and to minimize or eliminate radiation health hazards to the public, and

(2) a program to regulate mill tailings during uranium or thorium ore processing at active mill operations and after termination of such operations in order to stabilize and control such tailings in a safe and environmentally sound manner and to minimize or eliminate radiation health hazards to the public.

TITLE I--REMEDIAL ACTION PROGRAM

DEFINITIONS

SEC. 101. For purposes of this title

(1) The term "Secretary" means the Secretary of Energy. (2) The term "Commission" means the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

(3) The term "Administrator" means the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.

(4) The term "Indian tribe" means any tribe, band, clan, group, pueblo, or community of Indians recognized as eligible for services provided by the Secretary of the Interior to Indi

ans.

(5) The term "person" means any individual, association, partnership, corporation, firm, joint venture, trust, government entity, and any other entity, except that such term does not include any Indian or Indian tribe.

(6) The term "processing site" means

(A) any site, including the mill, containing residual radioactive materials at which all or substantially all of the uranium was produced for sale to any Federal agency prior to January 1, 1971 under a contract with any Federal agency, except in the case of a site at or near Slick Rock, Colorado, unless

(i) such site was owned or controlled as of January 1, 1978, or is thereafter owned or controlled, by any Federal agency, or

(ii) a license (issued by the Commission or its predecessor agency under the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 or by a State as permitted under section 274 of such Act) for the production at such site of any uranium or thorium product derived from ores is in effect on January 1, 1978, or is issued or renewed after such date; and (B) any other real property or improvement thereon which

(i) is in the vicinity of such site, and

(ii) is detemined by the Secretary, in consultation with the Commission, to be contaminated with residual radioactive materials derived from such site.

Any ownership or control of an area by a Federal agency which is acquired pursuant to a cooperative agreement under this title shall not be treated as ownership or control by such agency for purposes of subparagraph (A) (i). A license for the production of any uranium product from residual radioactive materials shall not be treated as a license for production from ores within the meaning of subparagraph (A) (ii) if such production is in accordance with section 108(b).

(7) The term "residual radioactive material" means

(A) waste (which the Secretary determines to be radioactive) in the form of tailings resulting from the processing of ores for the extraction of uranium and other valuable constituents of the ores; and

(B) other waste (which the Secretary detemines to be radioactive) at a processing site which relate to such processing, including any residual stock of unprocessed ores or low-grade materials.

(8) The term "tailings" means the remaining portion of a metal-bearing ore after some or all of such metal, such as uranium, has been extracted.

(9) The term "Federal agency" includes any executive agency as defined in section 105 of title 5 of the United States Code. (10) The term "United States" means the 48 contiguous States and Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, and the territories and possessions of the United States.

DESIGNATION OF PROCESSING SITES

SEC. 102. (a) (1) As soon as practicable, but no later than one year after enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall designate processing sites at or near the following locations:

Salt Lake, Utah

Green River, Utah

Mexican Hat, Utah

Durango, Colorado

Grand Junction, Colorado

Rifle, Colorado (two sites)

Gunnison, Colorado

Naturita, Colorado

Maybell, Colorado

Slick Rock, Colorado (two sites)

Shiprock, New Mexico

Ambrosia Lake, New Mexico

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