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House Passes Bipartisan Bills to Clean Up Hazardous Waste

Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) and Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee Chairman Paul Tonko (D-NY) released the following statement today on the passage of the Responsible Disposal Reauthorization Act of 2019 (H.R. 347) and the Reauthorization of the West Valley Demonstration Project (H.R. 1138):

“Our government’s first responsibility is to protect the health and safety of its citizens, which is precisely why we take hazardous waste cleanup and disposal seriously,” said Pallone and Tonko. “Together, these two bipartisan bills will help ensure that residents of New York and Colorado are not exposed to harmful substances.”

The Responsible Disposal Reauthorization Act, introduced by Rep. Scott Tipton (R-CO), extends the closure of the Cheney waste disposal cell in Grand Junction, Colorado from September 2023 to September 2031. The Cheney cell is the last waste disposal site in the U.S. that processes uranium mill tailings, a radioactive material that was once used in the construction of homes, roads, parks and schools, making the Cheney disposal site critically important for ongoing cleanup efforts.

The Reauthorization of the West Valley Demonstration Project, introduced by Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY), requires that the Government Accountability Office issue a report clarifying the origins of and disposal pathways for the Western New York Service Center’s nuclear fuel waste, which has been a source of debate for decades.

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