Tag Archives: Hazardous waste

Trump calls for slashing funding for toxic Superfund cleanup

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President Donald Trump is calling for slashing funding for the country’s Superfund hazardous waste clean-ups

WASHINGTON —
President Donald Trump called Monday for slashing funding for the Superfund hazardous waste program, even as the backlog of clean-ups has grown around the country for lack of money.

The $113 million in Superfund clean-up cuts are part of Trump’s proposal for a $2.4 billion, or 26%, cut in overall funding for the Environmental Protection Agency. That’s in line with the president’s vow as a candidate to cut all but “little tidbits” of the environmental agency in a push to cut regulations he sees as unnecessarily burdensome to business.

Monday marked the fourth year where Trump has called for cuts nearing one-third of the environmental agency’s budget. Republicans and Democrats in Congress annually have overridden his proposal, keeping funding for the agency’s environmental and public health oversight roughly even.

Other major cuts for the EPA in Trump’s latest proposal include eliminating $66 million in funding for the Energy Star program — a popular program that lets consumers compare the energy efficiency of appliances — and for voluntary climate programs.

“These programs are not essential to EPA’s core mission and can be implemented by the private sector,” the budget says.

Trump and his EPA administrators have stressed Superfund clean-ups as one of their top environmental priorities.

However, as The Associated Press reported in January, the Trump administration has built up the biggest backlog of unfunded toxic Superfund clean-up projects in at least 15 years, nearly triple the number that were stalled for lack of money in the Obama era, agency figures show.

The four-decade-old Superfund program is meant to tackle some of the most heavily contaminated sites in the U.S., which threaten the residents, wildlife and habitat around the sites with dangerous industry pollutants.

Trump’s proposal says the cut reflects that his administration is running the Superfund program more efficiently, and “challenges the agency to optimize the use of settlement funds for the cleanup actions” at those Superfund sites where a responsible company has been found to pay for the work.

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Company may maintain Three Mile Island nuclear particles in Idaho

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The partially melted reactor core from the worst nuclear accident in U.S. historical past may stay in Idaho for an additional 20 years if regulators finalize a license extension sought by the U.S. Vitality Division, officers mentioned Monday.

The core from Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania partially melted in 1979, an occasion that modified the way in which Individuals view nuclear expertise.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Fee has decided there can be no important affect from extending the license to retailer the core on the 890-square-mile (2,305-square-kilometer) web site that features Idaho Nationwide Laboratory.

“No important radiological or non-radiological impacts are anticipated from continued regular operations,” the fee mentioned about its discovering.

The company would even have to finish a security analysis report earlier than renewing the license. Fee spokesman David McIntyre mentioned that can probably occur within the subsequent a number of days.

Holly Harris, govt director of the Idaho-based nuclear watchdog group Snake River Alliance, wasn’t instantly out there to remark.

The Vitality Division web site sits atop the Jap Snake Plain Aquifer, a Lake Erie-size underground physique of water that provides cities and farms within the area with water.

The brand new license can be good by means of 2039, 4 years previous a deadline the Vitality Division initially set with Idaho to take away the radioactive waste.

State and federal officers say the waste may nonetheless be shipped out of Idaho forward of the 2035 deadline and wouldn’t have an effect on the 1995 settlement that accommodates penalties for missed deadlines.

Idaho is already fining the Vitality Division for lacking a deadline involving radioactive liquid waste saved on the web site.

It isn’t clear the place the Three Mile Island waste could possibly be moved, because the U.S. would not have a delegated repository.

The U.S. Vitality Data Administration says there’s some 77,000 tons (70,000 metric tons) of spent nuclear gasoline saved at business nuclear websites across the nation as a result of there is no place else to place it.

The Division of Vitality mentioned no further materials can be added to the waste storage web site in Idaho.

The earlier license expired in March. It mentioned the utmost quantity of Three Mile Island particles that could possibly be saved on the Idaho web site was 183,000 kilos (83,000 kilograms) of broken nuclear gasoline assemblies and 308,000 kilos (140,000 kilograms) of fabric faraway from the reactor vessel.

Court docket battles between Idaho and the federal authorities culminated with the 1995 settlement requiring the Vitality Division to wash up the Idaho web site in addition to stop the world from changing into the nation’s nuclear waste dump.

Exelon Technology, the corporate that owns the remaining nuclear energy plant at Three Mile Island, has mentioned it should shut down the power by the top of this month.

The corporate blamed financial challenges and what it mentioned are market flaws that fail to acknowledge the worth of nuclear crops.

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The Newest: Officers raise evacuations for Arizona wildfire

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The Newest on wildfires within the U.S. West (all instances native):

12:45 a.m.

Residents ordered to evacuate greater than two dozen properties due to an Arizona wildfire can return.

Authorities stated Wednesday that the hearth is not an imminent risk. The residents of the forested metropolis of Flagstaff have been instructed to go away Monday night in order that firefighters may work to starve the hearth of gas.

Rain, larger humidity and cooler climate have helped firefighters assault the blaze. It has burned practically three sq. miles (eight sq. kilometers) within the mountains overlooking Flagstaff.

The Coconino County Sheriff’s Workplace says the evacuated residents can return dwelling Wednesday afternoon. They’re going to be required to verify in with deputies and present identification.

About 5,000 folks stay on discover they could must flee.

Officers say the hearth is human-caused however do not know precisely the way it began.

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11:40 a.m.

Officers with the nation’s main nuclear analysis facility say no buildings containing nuclear materials are threatened by a large Idaho wildfire.

Idaho Nationwide Laboratory spokeswoman Kerry Martin stated Wednesday that the flames had earlier pushed near a number of amenities on the sprawling web site, together with one constructing the place high-level radioactive supplies are studied and one other the place an older nuclear reactor is saved.

However Martin stated a change in wind course is now pushing the flames away from buildings with nuclear materials.

The sprawling lab web site in southeastern Idaho sits on desert property that is practically the dimensions of Rhode Island. The wildfire ignited by lightning Monday is estimated to have burned about 172 sq. miles (445 sq. kilometers).

Martin says air high quality and radiological monitoring reveals radiation stays at regular ranges.

An evacuation order for non-essential laboratory staff is in place for a second day.

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9:30 a.m.

Officers say a wildfire burning on the sprawling grounds of the distant Idaho Nationwide Laboratory nuclear analysis web site has grown and pushed nearer to buildings.

Officers with the Nationwide Interagency Hearth Middle stated Wednesday that some buildings are threatened by the hearth, which grew to an estimated 155 sq. miles (401 sq. kilometers). That is up from 140 sq. miles (362 kilometers) on Tuesday.

Laboratory spokeswoman Kerry Martin was unable to supply details about how shut the hearth was to the threatened buildings or precisely which buildings have been threatened. Due to that, it was not instantly recognized what the threatened buildings contained.

Martin says air high quality and radiological monitoring reveals the quantity of radiation stays at regular ranges on the nation’s main federal nuclear analysis laboratory.

The location contains nuclear reactors and analysis supplies, in addition to amenities for processing high-level nuclear waste and different radioactive waste. Martin says the hearth will not be at present close to the waste processing amenities.

Wildfires are frequent on the excessive desert web site and the Martin stated the hearth gave the impression to be “in good condition” Wednesday morning.

An evacuation order for non-essential laboratory staff that went into impact Tuesday was nonetheless in place on Wednesday.

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7:15 a.m.

Authorities say gentle rain will assist firefighters battle a wildfire in mountains overlooking the northern Arizona metropolis of Flagstaff.

Hearth administration workforce spokesman Steve Kleist stated Wednesday that as much as 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) of rain had fallen within the hearth space since Tuesday.

He says that can enable floor firefighting crews to straight assault the hearth, extinguishing flames and constructing containment traces.

The hearth has burned just below three sq. miles (7.6 sq. kilometers) because it began Sunday, with containment standing at about 10 p.c of its perimeter. The trigger is beneath investigation.

Nationwide Climate Service forecasters warned of thunderstorms and doable flooding from thunderstorm runoff within the area that features the hearth.

Kliest stated Wednesday morning there have been no preliminary studies of lighting within the hearth zone and that winds have been gentle.

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7:10 a.m.

Authorities are warning of doable flooding as thunderstorms are anticipated to drench a forested Arizona metropolis the place a wildfire has scarred a mountainous space overlooking it and prompted anxious residents to pack up prized possessions.

The Nationwide Climate Service stated in an announcement that quite a few thunderstorms have been anticipated within the Flagstaff space Wednesday and Thursday that would produce heavy rain, lightning and gusty winds.

The hearth has charred about 2 sq. miles (5.four sq. kilometers) in a mountain move that is a main recreation space close to Flagstaff.

About two dozen properties have been evacuated and residents of 5,000 properties have been beforehand instructed they may have to go away.

Gov. Doug Ducey declared a state of emergency, liberating $200,000 in state funding for the trouble to battle the blaze in Coconino Nationwide Forest.

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