The Federal Government has for many years been striving to develop a national policy and program to deal with the long-standing need to establish a permanent solution for high-level nuclear wastes. It is vitally important that any such program deal with state interests and concerns and include a workable system for full state and public participation.
Because the state of Washington, the Federal government, public and private utilities, and other organizations have been involved for many years in numerous civilian and defense nuclear programs and activities on the Hanford Reservation, Washington State has become a prime candidate for eventual designation as a national waste repository. The U.S. Department of Energy is exploring the feasibility of various geologic media in several states for use as a repository, including the basalt formations in Washington State. That department is developing a site characterization study for the Hanford site which will be submitted to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for review. That step makes it mandatory that the state become more involved in the site review and potential licensing process. Formal licensing actions will be taken by the NRC at a later time, should the site be selected by the Federal government. It is therefore essential that Washington state and its citizens be fully aware of all Federal activity currently underway to develop a national high-level radioactive waste management program so that a careful examination can be made of the impacts of such a program on the state of Washington.NOW, THEREFORE, I, John Spellman, Governor of the state of Washington, by virtue of the power vested in me, do hereby establish a State High-Level Nuclear Waste Management Task Force.
Membership of the Task Force shall include:
Commissioner of Public Lands;
Chairman, Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council;
Secretary, Department of Social and Health Services;
Director, Department of Ecology; Director, State Energy Office;
Director, Planning and Community Affairs Agency; and
Representative from the Office of the Governor.
Four members of the Washington State Legislature, two from each house, appropriately designated by the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House, will be invited to attend the meetings and join the activities of the Task Force.
The Chairman of the Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council is hereby designated as the Chairman of the Task Force. Directors serving on the Task Force may designate representatives to work with them and the Chairman on Task Force activities.
The Task Force is charged with the following responsibilities:
1. Reviewing, monitoring, and evaluating all Federal activities and programs to isolate high-level nuclear waste from the biosphere to insure public health and safety.
2. Gathering and disseminating pertinent information about proposals, site identification, and selection processes.
3. Examining the appropriate relationships between the state and the Federal government concerning high-level waste management policies and programs.
4. Undertaking essential and needed cooperation and coordination with all involved Federal agencies.
5. Reviewing and refining state policies on high-level nuclear waste management in a manner that fully identifies state interests and concerns.
6. Holding public meetings or forums to solicit public input on the subject of high-level nuclear waste management.
7. Reporting its activities to the Governor and legislature as necessary but no less than every six months, and submitting any proposals it feels necessary to the Governor and legislature for needed legislative or administrative actions that will strengthen the state's ability to deal with nuclear waste management issues.
The Task Force shall continue in existence during the period in which the state is considered as a candidate site for the location of a repository.
Advisory Council on High-Level Radioactive Waste Management
For the purpose of assisting the Task Force, I also hereby establish an Advisory Council on High-Level Radioactive Waste Management. The Advisory Council, to be appointed by me, shall be composed of:
A County Commissioner from Benton County
A city official from the Tri-Cities
A representative from the Benton-Franklin Governmental Conference
A representative from the Yakima Indian tribe
Five private citizens, at least two of whom shall be from the Tri-Cities area
Technical Advisory Group
A Technical Advisory Group is hereby established in order to provide insights relative to the many technical aspects of the nuclear wastes issue. The Technical Advisory Group, to be appointed by me, shall be composed of representatives from the engineering, geological, geochemical, geophysical, hydrological, environmental, and health sciences and from other disciplines that can aid in an independent assessment of the consequences of a designation of Washington State as a repository.
The Advisory Council and Technical Advisory Group are directed to provide on-going assessments, advice, and comment to the Task Force on all aspects of the national efforts concerning the development of a national repository system and the possible designation of a site in the state of Washington.
Each participating state agency is called on to provide whatever staff support is necessary in carrying out the tasks assigned to the Task Force, Advisory Council, and Technical Advisory Group. The Chairman shall coordinate tasks as well as the staff that agencies provide. The Task Force is authorized to explore funding sources with appropriate Federal agencies for the support of the activities as outlined in this Order.
have hereunto set
my hand and caused the seal of the State of
Washington to be affixed at Olympia this
16th day of August A.D., Nineteen hundred and eighty-two.
Secretary of State