DOE halts assessment for park

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The U.S. Energy Department has halted its plan to conduct an Environmental Assessment involving the proposed lease of 2,700 acres at Savannah River Site for an energy park.

The assessment was to be the first step in the process of determining the suitability of allowing the SRS Community Reuse Or­gan­ization to use the land for economic development purposes that critics fear could bring additional nuclear waste to South Carolina.

Jim Giusti, a DOE spokesman at the site, said halting the assessment will allow time for more dialogue and discussion before any binding decisions are made.

“We’re going to reset the clock, and first start it with public discussions about what an energy park is, and what it would look like, and what the stakeholders have to say about something like this,” he said.

The department has scheduled a workshop from 1 to 5 p.m. Tuesday at the North Augusta Municipal Center to discuss the concepts and objectives of such a project.

With so many unanswered questions, the planned environmental assessment would be better conducted later, Mr. Giusti said. “It makes no sense to proceed with a document when we don’t have enough information to do an environmental study at this point.”

The assessment is part of the process required under the Na­tional Environmental Policy Act and would help determine whether a full environmental impact statement is needed.

Tom Clements, the Southeast campaign director for Friends of the Earth, complained in a June 21 letter to Energy Secretary Steven Chu that more public involvement and transparency were needed in discussions about the project.

The community reuse organi­zation’s proposal lists a host of potential uses, including nuclear waste processing. Mr. Clements said much more needs to be known about the plans for the property before the Energy Depart­ment could relinquish it for other purposes.

Mr. Giusti said such questions are likely topics for Tuesday's workshop.

“Part of the idea of the workshop is to let everyone know what our concept of an energy park is, to take questions and answers and to take stakeholder input. From there we will move forward to the next phase and come up with a document people can comment on,” he said.

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SCEagle Eye
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SCEagle Eye 08/17/09 - 10:16 pm
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Now's the time for all good

Now's the time for all good people to speak up for clean projects in the future at SRS. If some special interests get their way, there will be a huge quantity of nuclear waste coming our way and more threat of environmental contamination and squandered tax payer money. Folks around here are tired of the nuclear threat at SRS; it's time to go for clean, green jobs.

Reindeargirl
49
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Reindeargirl 08/18/09 - 08:39 am
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We want clean, green jobs and

We want clean, green jobs and clean green energy. There is NOTHING clean or green about nuclear. Every step of the process from uranium mining to waste handling produces deadly long term radioactive waste for which there is no solution. LEts really move into the 21st century by using our brains and science to find new sources that do not leave toxic waste materials in their wake. SC does not any more nuclear waste. NO to Reprocessing, NO to hydrogen from nuclear, NO to all NUCLEAR technologies. Move beyond it NOW!

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