Utah Issues Licensing and Rulemaking Actions for Public Comment

Byproduct License Renewal and Source Material Distribution

During the last week of August 2017, the Utah Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Division of Waste Management and Radiation Control (DWMRC), announced that it is currently accepting public comment on the following licensing and rulemaking actions:

  • renewal of the EnergySolutions’ 11e.(2) byproduct radioactive materials license (UT2300478) for the licensee’s site near Clive (Tooele County), Utah; and,
  •   changes to the state’s radiation control rules to incorporate the federal regulatory changes promulgated by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) related to 10 CFR Parts 30, 40 and 70

In addition, on August 18, 2017, the DWMRC notified stakeholders that it had approved the final adoption of rule changes to incorporate the following into Title R315 of the Utah Administrative Code (UAC):

  •   the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) final Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule (HWGIR) as published on November 28, 2016 at 81 Federal Register 85,732;
  •   addition of a used oil generator as defined under Mixed Mode Transit System (NAICS code of 485111) to the list of used oil transporters considered to have a permit by rule to transport their own used oil to a permitted used oil recycler; and,
  •   selected corrections and clarifications.

Renewal of EnergySolutions’ 11e.(2) Byproduct Radioactive Materials License  On May 3, 2012, EnergySolutions submitted an application to the DWMRC Director to renew the Clive facility’s 11e.(2) byproduct radioactive materials license.  On August 16, 2017, the DWMRC commenced a forty-five day public comment period for the proposed licensing action.  The public comment period will end on October 2, 2017.

A public hearing will be scheduled if requested, by any citizen, by September 5, 2017.  If requested, the hearing will be held from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on September 26, 2017.  The purpose of the public hearing, if held, will be to take comments from the public and to provide an opportunity for questions and answers relating to the renewal of the 11e.(2) license.

Written comments will be accepted if received by 5:00 p.m. on October 2, 2017.  Comments can sent by electronic mail to dwmrcpublic@utah.gov.  Comments sent in electronic format should be identified by putting the following in the subject line: Public Comment on EnergySolutions’ 11e.(2) license UT2300478 Renewal.  All documents included in comments should be submitted as ASCII (text) files or in pdf format.

The draft license and Technical Review and Environmental Assessment Report are available on the Division website at https://deq.utah.gov/NewsNotices/notices/waste/index.htm#phacp or by using EZ Records Search http://eqedocs.utah.gov/. 

For further information, please contact David Esser of the Division of Waste Management and Radiation Control at (801) 536-0079.

Changes to the State’s Radiation Control Rules to Incorporate Federal Regulatory Changes re 10 CFR Parts 30, 40 and 70  On May 29, 2013, the NRC adopted changes to 10 CFR Parts 30, 40, and 70.  These rule changes require the initial distribution of source material to exempt persons or to general licensees be explicitly authorized by a specific license, including new reporting requirements.  Changes to corresponding Utah radiation control rules are required to maintain regulatory compatibility with NRC rules and Utah’s status as an Agreement State with the NRC.

The rule is intended to provide timely information on the types and quantities of source material distributed for use either under exemption or by general licensees.  In addition, the rule modifies the existing possession and use requirements of the general license for small quantities of source material to better align the requirements with current health and safety standards.

The rule also revises, clarifies, or deletes certain source material exemptions from licensing to make the exemptions more risk informed.  This rule affects manufacturers and distributors of certain products and materials containing source material and certain persons using source material under a general license and under exemptions from licensing.

Comments may be submitted by email to dwmrcpublic@utah.gov.  The public comment period will end on September 15, 2017.

For additional information and the specific proposed rule changes, please see the August 15, 2017 issue (Volume 2017, Number 16) of the Utah State Bulletin at https://rules.utah.gov/publications/utah-state-bull/.

Final Adoption of Rule Changes to Incorporate Hazard Waste Generators Improvements Rule  The effective date for the final adoption of rule changes to, amongst other things, incorporate HWGIR became effective on August 31, 2017.

For additional information and the specific proposed rule changes, please see the June 1, 2017 issue (Volume 2017, Number 11) of the Utah State Bulletin at https://rules.utah.gov/publications/utah-state-bull/ or the DWMRC Board meeting packet for August 10, 2017 at https://utah.gov/pmn/files/319799.pdf. 

For additional information, please contact Rusty Lundberg, Deputy Director of the Division of Waste Management and Radiation Control at the Utah Department of Environmental Quality, at (801) 536-4257 or at rlundberg@utah.gov.

Final Rule Signed re Revisions to NESHAP Subpart W of 40 Part 61

On December 20, 2016, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy signed a final rule that revised “National Emission Standards for Radon Emissions from Operating Mill Tailings,” Subpart W of 40 CFR Part 61, which was last issued in 1989.

Subpart W is a radon emission standard for operating uranium mill tailings.  (Tailings are the remaining portion of a metal-bearing ore after some or all of a metal, such as uranium, has been extracted.)  In accordance with the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, EPA formed a work group to review the standard.

Interested stakeholders can view a pre-publication copy of the final rule and a fact sheet at



EPA’s mission is to protect human health and natural resources from pollution.  The Agency sets limits on the amount of radioactivity that can be released into the environment.

Based on a review and assessment of available, effective and affordable pollution control approaches, EPA determined that the revised Subpart W standards protect human health and the environment by limiting the amount of radon emitted by uranium byproduct material or tailings being managed at uranium recovery facilities.


EPA limits emissions of hazardous air pollutants under the authority of the Clean Air Act.  As found in 40 CFR Part 61, EPA’s National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) set limits on hazardous air pollutants from different activities and facilities.  Subpart W of 40 CFR Part 61, National Emission Standards for Operating Mill Tailings, limits radon emissions from uranium byproduct material or tailings at operating uranium recovery facilities.  EPA originally issued Subpart W in December 1989, as found at 54 Federal Register 51,703, and then updated Subpart W in 2016.

The Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 required EPA to review and, if appropriate, revise the standards in Subpart W.  After completing the review and soliciting public comment, EPA concluded that revisions were needed to clarify definitions and to be more specific about what kind of uranium byproduct material or tailings management is subject to the standard.  EPA also concluded that requirements for generally available control technology (GACT) management practices are an appropriate means to control radon emissions from uranium byproduct material or tailings.  GACT consists of commercially available methods, practices and techniques for operation and maintenance of emissions control systems.

Although EPA enforces the Clean Air Act at Subpart W, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has regulatory responsibility for licensing and operation of uranium extraction facilities and other commercial facilities that use radioactive materials.  The revised Subpart W does not relieve the owner or operator of the uranium recovery facility of the monitoring and maintenance requirements specified in the operating license issued by the NRC or its Agreement State.

For additional information, please contact Dan Schultheisz, Office of Radiation and Indoor Air, Radiation Protection Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, at (202) 443- 9290 or at schultheisz.daniel@epa.gov.  Interested stakeholders may also access the EPA website to find information related to this rulemaking at https://www.epa.gov/radiation/.

MOU Signed re Unlicensed Radioactive Material Cleanup at Military Bases

In early May 2016, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) announced the that they had finalized a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) describing roles in the cleanup of radium and other unlicensed radioactive materials at military sites.  The MOU, which culminates several years of discussions between the parties, can be found on the NRC’s web site at www.nrc.gov.


Until the 1960’s, Luminescent radium paint was widely used in vehicle instrumentation and other military applications.  Given that exposure to radium can increase the risk of adverse health effects, the military has a program to control or remediate legacy radium contamination and store and decontaminate equipment containing radium.  The military is also cleaning up other unlicensed radiological material.

Pursuant to legislation that was passed in 2005, Congress gave the NRC jurisdiction over radium and radium contamination.  In the addition, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) oversees cleanup work at some military sites under Superfund, which is more formally known as the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA).  As documented in the MOU, the NRC also has an independent federal oversight role at the other sites where the military is cleaning up radioactive materials.


The MOU provides two ways in which the NRC will be involved in military cleanup projects.

The first way is to stay informed of remediation activities.  At sites where the EPA has oversight under Superfund, NRC staff would limit its involvement to staying informed about remedial actions, oversight activities and issues.  This approach could involve document reviews, site visits and meetings with the Army, Air Force, Navy, Defense Logistics Agency, EPA and state agencies.

The second way is to monitor remediation activities.  At sites without EPA oversight, the NRC will monitor the cleanup of unlicensed radiological material, which could include document review and comment, site observations, and confirmatory radiological surveys.  This monitoring will provide independent federal oversight to confirm the remediation adequately protects public health and safety and the environment.

For additional information, please contact Maureen Conley of the NRC at (301) 415-8200.