In early June 2016, the Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact Commission (Texas Compact Commission) announced that it had initiated a rulemaking process to develop its management rules. As part of the process, the Texas Compact Commission’s Rules Committee sought input prior to the development of a draft rule proposal for publication in the Texas Register.
In particular, the Texas Compact Commission sought comments on an outline for rulemaking for the development of a concept paper for Rule 675.24 relating to the importation of low-level radioactive waste that is below the criteria applicable for disposal in the Compact Waste Disposal Facility.
The concept paper for the management rule has been posted to the Rules Page of the Texas Compact Commission’s website at http://www.tllrwdcc.org/rules/.
The Texas Compact Commission is authorized by Section 3.05(3), (4) and (6) of the Texas Compact to promulgate rules relating to the importation of material into the compact that is not to be shipped for disposal to the Compact Waste Disposal Facility.
In this regard, Section 3.05(6) of the Texas Compact reads as follows:
Section 3.05. The commission may:
(6) Enter into an agreement with any person, state, regional body, or group of states for the importation of low-level radioactive waste into the compact for management or disposal provided that the agreement receives a majority vote of the commission. The commission may adopt such conditions and restrictions in the agreement as it deems advisable.
The outline for rulemaking states that the Texas Compact Commission “finds that it is important to the public health and safety in the party states that there be a process that provides a record of all low-level radioactive waste that is shipped into the Compact.”
Accordingly, the Texas Compact Commission proposes to adopt a rule that
- requires that all low-level radioactive waste (other than such waste that is shipped to the Compact Waste Disposal Facility for disposal pursuant to rules of the Texas Compact Commission) shipped into the Texas Compact utilizing NRC Form 540 (Uniform Low-Level Radioactive Waste Manifest Shipping Paper) be subject to the following reporting process:
- such waste may only be shipped to a site that has an agreement (“an agreement site) with the Texas Compact Commission and is licensed by the appropriate licensing entity in a party state; and,
- inter alia, the agreement site will agree to report shipments to its site to the Texas Compact Commission by volume and radiation activity not more than a set number of days after the end of each quarter of the Texas Compact Commission’s fiscal year;
- contains enforcement criteria for failure of an entity to ship to an agreement site; and,
- contains criteria for the agreement that will be entered into by the Texas Compact Commission with agreement sites within a party state.
Questions for Comment
In addition to seeking comments on the outline for rulemaking for the development of a concept paper for Rule 675.24 relating to the importation of low-level radioactive waste that is below the criteria applicable for disposal in the Compact Waste Disposal Facility, the Texas Compact Commission requested that stakeholders submit specific comments on the following matters:
- Is the scope of the rule appropriate in that “any person, state, regional body, or group of states” must enter into an agreement with the Texas Compact for importation into Texas or Vermont of low-level radioactive waste for management? Is the scope too broad? Is the scope too narrow?
- Is it appropriate for all waste shipped into the Texas Compact under an NRC Form 540, 541 and 542 to be covered by this rule? What would be potential exemptions or exclusions that the Texas Compact Commission should consider? And why?
- The Texas Compact is considering requiring the following information to be reported quarterly:
- activity (in curies);
- low-level radioactive waste generator;
- the low-level radioactive waste compact, unaffiliated state, territory or possession of the waste generator;
- ultimate disposition of the waste;
- does the waste contain disused sources; and,
- how is the waste stored, processed or otherwise managed once imported;
The Texas Compact Commission sought comment on the above information that would be required to be reported quarterly. Is there additional information that should be requested? Is any of the above-listed information unnecessary to report? Should the Texas Compact Commission choose weight, instead of volume? Are curies the correct unit?
- Is quarterly reporting an appropriate reporting timeframe?
Interested stakeholders were instructed to submit comments to the Texas Compact Commission’s Rules Committee. Comments received will be reviewed to develop rules for proposal in the Texas Register.
The comment period deadline ended on June 27, 2016. No stakeholder meetings have yet been scheduled.
For additional information, please contact Texas Compact Commission Consulting Supervisory Director Leigh Ing at (512) 217-8045 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.