Group protests land lease at SRS

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An environmental group says it will challenge the U.S. Energy Department's plan to lease 2,700 acres within Savannah River Site to a nonprofit economic development group working to lure jobs and new missions to the area.

"At this point they haven't said what the land would be used for," said Tom Clements, the Southeastern nuclear campaign coordinator with Friends of the Earth. "By leaving it vague, this is a foot in the door for missions that could be very detrimental to the states of South Carolina and Georgia."

The department announced last week that it would prepare an environmental assessment "to evaluate the potential environmental consequences" of the proposed lease to the SRS Community Reuse Organization for an energy park.

Mr. Clements said the proposed park could attract expensive nuclear reprocessing facilities that could burden taxpayers and endanger the environment.

The Energy Department's plan to prepare an environmental assessment -- rather than a more detailed environmental impact statement -- will give the public less opportunity for input, he said.

But the notice of the study does point out that an environmental impact statement can be done on specific facilities that might be proposed for the site in the future.

Rick Toole, the Community Reuse Organization's chairman, said it is far too early to define specific projects for the site -- or to conduct specific studies as to their suitability.

"At this point, all we have is what we'd like to see happen," he said. "But the general idea is to provide our economic development people in both states an opportunity for facilities that are not readily locatable in a regular industrial park."

Such facilities, he said, could include nuclear reactors or facilities for reprocessing spent nuclear fuels. Any reactors brought to the park would likely be research oriented, rather than energy producers, he said.


ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT: A concise document that briefly provides sufficient evidence and analysis for determining whether to prepare an environmental impact statement or a finding of no significant impact. A draft EA is made available to host and interested states, and to the public, for comment prior to an agency decision to prepare an EIS or issue a finding of no significant impact.

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT: Prepared on a major federal action significantly affecting the human environment, and it includes the environmental impact of the proposed action, a description of impacts that cannot be avoided should the project be implemented and alternatives to the proposed action and their impacts.

Source: U.S. Department of Energy

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ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts 04/21/09 - 06:22 am
If the protesters jobs went

If the protesters jobs went away I'll bet their tune would change drastically!

SCEagle Eye
SCEagle Eye 04/21/09 - 07:02 am
A big thanks to those who are

A big thanks to those who are working to stop our community from being the nation's dumping ground for the nation's nuclear waste. A few jobs for special interests aren't worth the huge risk to us who live here nor costs to tax payers. Thanks and keep at it!

Reindeargirl 04/21/09 - 10:14 am
I bet the same people who

I bet the same people who were at the Tax Rallies demanding better accountability for their tax money are the same ones with their hands out looking for more Federal Pork for more SRS missions. Its amazing how many pork-funded ideas they can come up with! These people are the Kings of Pork! Got to keep those Federal jobs funded, don't we. . .never mind they haven't made good use of the billions they've already stolen from the taxpayer. . .still millions of gallons of radioactive waste not cleaned up, and no where to go . . .tons of Plutonium dumped in our state for a MOX program with no buyers, . . . and NOW they want to take the nation's burden of spent reactor fuel. How much more radioactive waste do these pork vendors want our state to swallow? Clean up the mess you've made, then we can talk about giving you more of our tax dollars! ! And NO, reprocessing is NOT an option!

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