May 01, 2020

N.M. Delegation Request For Holtec Public Comment Period Extension Granted

In March, the N.M. delegation requested NRC delay public meetings and extend EIS public comment period amid COVID-19 outbreak

WASHINGTON– U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, and U.S. Representatives Xochitl Torres Small, Ben Ray Luján, andDeb Haaland are welcoming an announcement from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) that their March 20 request has been met and a 60-day extension on the public comment period will be implemented for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Holtec's proposed spent nuclear fuel storage facility in Southeast New Mexico.

“Allowing for full public participation, as NEPA requires, is particularly important for projects involving nuclear waste,” the delegation said. “Any proposal to store commercial spent nuclear fuel raises a number of health, safety and environmental issues, including potential impacts on local agriculture and industry, issues related to the transportation of nuclear waste, and disproportionate impacts on Native American communities.”

The delegation added, “We appreciate the NRC and Chairwoman Svinicki for heeding our request and their careful consideration of the impacts that the COVID-19 pandemic will have on an essential, open and transparent review process for Holtec’s proposal. As we continue to address and work to contain the spread of COVID-19, we look forward to working with the NRC to monitor COVID-19 guidance and further modify the timing and schedule of public meetings if warranted.”

Read the full response from NRC Chairwoman Kristine L. Svinicki here.