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Mr. OTTINGER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would like to congratulate my colleague from New York for his long, hard efforts in trying to get a resolution to this problem.

Mr. LUNDINE. You should congratulate me if we get this bill passed.

Mr. OTTINGER. It certainly will not be for a lack of the gentleman's devotion to trying to see the Federal Government face up to its responsibilities. I think, quite contrary to the remarks of my friend from Texas, this was primarily a Federal project. New York did its share for the country; it became the first reprocessing center in the country. It did this primarily for defense waste, which it was doing for the country, and to say now, the country should just turn its back on the problems which it created and dump them in the lap of the people of the State of New York would be wrong. I think certainly the gentleman from Texas would not want to see the Federal Government act in that manner in his own State. The fact of the matter is, New York has paid, and paid dearly, and the people in the gentleman's district have paid in terms of a great deal of apprehension as indeed there have been failures in the high-level tanks, there has been a good deal of leakage of lowlevel radiation, and these problems were caused primarily by the Federal Government.

I do have a couple of concerns which the gentleman is aware of but I think we should get them on the record here. As I understand it, the experiment that is called for in this legislation, the cleanup, will be subject to the National Environmental Policy Act?

Mr. LUNDINE. That is correct.

Mr. OTTINGER. But it does not call for waste disposal licensing by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. We are about to address the question of waste disposal generally, both in the Science Committee, which has acted, and in this subcommittee, which has not yet acted; it seems to me where we are dealing with substantial dangers to the public in the handling of highly toxic nuclear waste, the NRC ought-in spite of the fact that this may be considered a test facility, or the other waste management programs that are being promoted by the gentleman from Washington's Science Committee-they ought to be subject to NRC review, and I wonder what the gentleman's views on that are?

Mr. LUNDINE. I certainly believe they should be subject to NRC review, and this legislation prescribes that there must be consultation with the NRC.

I view that consultation as a requirement that the NRC should monitor the program. West Valley is currently an NRC licensed site. However, while the Energy Reorganization Act provides that repositories shall be licensed, it is silent on DOE projects. There has been a consensus, as I understand it, that in research and development projects such as this, the NRC should be involved. I would say to the gentleman, and I understand his concerns, deeply involved. But, this project should not be formally licensed, and I think the reason for that is simply it is estimated to be 1984 before you could get on with any kind of action here.

The high-level liquid wastes at West Valley do, according to all findings, pose a real and immediate threat to the public health and

safety and, as you know, licensing sometimes can be a time-consuming process.

So it seems to me that we have struck a really responsive compromise here where the environmental impact statement and all the public participation is allowed. As the gentleman knows, we have already had a lot of public participation in these studies and hearings, and there have been several public meetings both at West Valley and at Buffalo, as well as here in Washington. It seems to me ultimately that this consultation provides the best vehicle where you have NRC monitoring; you have NRC having some control, but you don't tie up the research and development in an almost endless process.

Mr. OTTINGER. Since this may well be a precedent-setting situation, I think the NRC should be more than consulted. I think the NRC should take the responsibility for the safety aspects of this project.

Mr. LUNDINE. I think they will.

Mr. OTTINGER. And I will urge that formally be done. I don't see that it should delay things. If you can't get underway until 1984, certainly the NRC licensing procedure can go along concurrent with the rest of the work that is done.

The chairman of the full committee is concerned about the precedent set by this action. If we do this in this situation, why shouldn't we do it in every situation throughout the country where there is high-level nuclear waste involved?

How many such situations are there, and doesn't, in fact, the Federal Government address itself to the waste problem in other military disposal situations?

Mr. LUNDINE. This is the only one that is not a military operation. I don't know how many military sites on which there are stored high-level liquid waste. I know that they are at Savannah River and Hanford, but I don't know how many others, but this is the only commercial site or nonmilitary site, to the best of my knowledge, where there are high-level liquid wastes being stored.

Mr. OTTINGER. I assume in this legislation that the Federal Government is subrogated to the position of whoever has the legal responsibility for pursuing the private contractor, Nuclear Fuel Services and its successor, so that it will not be let off the hook by this legislation for any neglect it may participate in?

Mr. LUNDINE. Absolutely no. The important distinction to make here is that anything that has happened up to now, or for that matter up to December 31, 1980, is not affected by this legislation. Any disputes or potential litigation will go on and that contractors are fully responsible for everything they have done up to this point.

But what we do try to do is isolate the Federal Government from getting into a dispute in the future as to responsibilities. Therefore, we provide that the State or the contractor, whoever is determined to be liable, will be responsible for the 10 percent, but that the Federal Government can look to New York State to pay that. It is really that simple, and we are not relieving the commercial contractors from any legal responsibility or other responsibility that they have up to the end of this year.

Mr. OTTINGER. All right. I thank the gentleman, and thank him for his fine efforts again. He has really labored assiduously on this, and I know it is a matter of great concern to all of us, particularly to the people who live in that area who have already suffered a great deal of apprehension, and I thank the Chair.

Mr. SWIFT. The time of the gentleman has expired.

The Chair recognizes counsel.

Mr. WARD. What is the basis for the 10-percent State contribution?

Mr. LUNDINE. As I said, the Federal study done by DOE, without any input, without any direction on this point from Congress, came up with degrees of responsibility for the different problems. At West Valley they said the most urgent problem was the high level liquid wastes. They said that had a high degree of Federal responsibility, which range from 80 to 100 percent in their analysis. That is No. 1, I would say.

No. 2 is that when we first were looking at the provisions of this bill, of course, when I first put it in, I made it all Federal responsibility, and when last year the various committees were negotiating over the terms of this bill, Interior as well as Science, and this committee, all agreed on provisions to go into the fiscal year 1980 DOE authorization bill. The 90-10 cost share is how those negotiations came out.

I was certainly consulted about those negotiations. I didn't directly participate but I guess you would call it something of a congressional determination between the three committees that we all agreed on, and it was passed by the House as a part of the DOE authorization bill last year.

Mr. WARD. Under your bill, who would make the final decisions as to what actions are to be taken at the site?


Mr. WARD. What role would the State of New York have in that? Mr. LUNDINE. They have the final responsibility. They would retain legal responsibility for the rest of the site not covered by the project. I assume that they would be consulted to some degree, but given that they don't have the necessary technical competence, I would not foresee that they would have any direct part in making the determinations as to what the project should entail.

Mr. WARD. So they would not have the right to veto any actions of the State or of the Department of Energy?

Mr. LUNDINE. That is correct. That would be my interpretation. Mr. WARD. And the Department would not have to obtain their prior approval before initiating any actions?

Mr. LUNDINE. That would be my interpretation.

Mr. WARD. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. SWIFT. I want to point out, just for the record, that the 10percent figure which was negotiated between the three committees was at really the staff level; it was not the considered judgment of the committee members.

Mr. LUNDINE. Mr. Chairman, while that is true, having been negotiated at the staff level, we then adopted a substitute bill which was cosponsored by the chairman of the subcommittee, Mr. Udall of Arizona, and I don't recall whether it was Mr. McCormack

or Mr. Fuqua from the Science Committee, which became the House-passed Department of Energy authorization bill last year. It was subject to some debate by Mr. Fithian of Indiana, although I don't think there was any amendment where the House had to take a record position on it. By the approval of the entire bill, the House did approve the West Valley project as part of the 1980 Department of Energy authorization bill.

Mr. SwIFT. Mr. Lundine, the subcommittee thanks you very much for your testimony. We would like for you to join us at the rostrum for the remainder of the hearing.

The Chair would now like to call as our next witness, the Honorable Hugh Carey, Governor of the State of New York. He is a former Member of the House whom I know well, though he doesn't know me. I was here in a different capacity prior to 1974 when he ran for Governor and know him well by watching him and by reputation, and he is certainly most welcome here in the capacity of Governor of New York. The subcommittee welcomes you.


Governor CAREY. Thank you Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee, I ask that the subcommittee allow James Larocca, who is commissioner of the Energy Office of New York State to join me at the witness table. Jim is most knowledgeable on the West Valley situation.

I thank the Chair for the opportunity to appear before you today and express my admiration for the leadership of the committee, particularly that of Harley Staggers of West Virginia, the chairman of the full committee, and my colleague John Dingell, with whom I served many long, effective years in the field of energy and matters that deal with vexing problems we face in the nuclear fuel cycle including the back end of the cycle.

We in New York are determined to work effectively with the Federal Government, and the Department of Energy, to resolve the critical condition at West Valley. I urge and support the passage of the Lundine bill and second everything that Congressman Lundine has said here on behalf of the State and district he represents and the people of our country.

This legislation, which begins the important task of cleaning up West Valley, serves the interests of the Nation, the interests of the State of New York, and the interests of the citizens of western New York who live within the vicinity of the site. For too long, their concerns have been aroused by the uncertainty and the controversy surrounding this facility.

The failure of the United States to develop a comprehensive program for dealing with nuclear wastes-from the routine low level wastes to high level liquid wastes and spent fuel-has become a major impediment to the further development of nuclear power throughout the country.

The national interest requires that we act to resolve the problems of the back end of the nuclear fuel cycle, in order that we may again consider additional nuclear power generating facilities

as part of the national energy plan for reducing our destructive dependence on OPEC oil.

I might say parenthetically, Mr. Chairman, we have five working nuclear generating sites on line in New York, and one to come into operation within the 1981-82 time frame.

The West Valley solidification project can be a key element of a comprehensive national program. The United States has never demonstrated the solidification of alkaline wastes on the scale proposed for West Valley. Substantial, needed knowledge can be obtained from this project. It can provide valuable information not now attainable from small-scale or limited radioactive tests, nor from full-scale cold tests.

The West Valley project represents the next logical step toward the larger facility which the Federal Government is planning I understand, for immobilizing the defense wastes at Savannah River.

Moreover, successful accomplishment of this project as part of a national program can help maintain the United States as the premier provider of commercial nuclear technology for the world. I cannot help but wonder if failure to fully develop back end technology now will make it necessary for us to purchase such technology from abroad in the years ahead, particularly with what is going on in France. We should not surrender our technological future to others.

In addition to the engineering value of the project to the country as a whole, the proposed West Valley solidification project would provide information valuable to the national waste management program in a different regard. Because the project would be a visible, independent, nondefense project, it could also provide DOE and Congress with practical institutional experience for proceeding with the much larger task of solidifying the high-level defense wastes in this country. As a Federal, State, commercial effort, much would be learned about the respective roles of each.

The interests of New York are served as well by this legislation. While we were a participant in this commercialization venture, it must be recognized that the technical and financial requirements of this project are well beyond our resources and ability and outside our regulatory authority.

This is not to say we are not prepared to do our part. We will meet our responsibilities and play our appropriate role, including cost sharing. But we cannot carry this alone. It was never contemplated by any of the parties, including the United States, that the State alone would bear the costs and burdens of a failure in this risky adventure. Clearly, overall support, direction and management resonsibility must be housed with the only original partner— the Federal Government-capable of carrying and managing a successful demonstration project. New York will benefit from having the problem resolved, but its benefits will be concurrent with those of the Nation.

The people of the West Valley area and western New York will benefit as well. They will have the benefit of having a potential threat to their health and safety reduced and ultimately eliminated. Their homes and farms and businesses will cease to suffer threats to their value as a result of uncertainty surrounding this

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