Bill Details - HB704 (2019)

HB 704-FN - AS INTRODUCED

 

 

2019 SESSION

19-0815

08/04

 

HOUSE BILL 704-FN

 

AN ACT relative to the storage of nuclear waste.

 

SPONSORS: Rep. Cushing, Rock. 21; Rep. Janvrin, Rock. 37; Rep. Porter, Hills. 1; Sen. Sherman, Dist 24; Sen. Fuller Clark, Dist 21; Sen. Cavanaugh, Dist 16

 

COMMITTEE: Science, Technology and Energy

 

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ANALYSIS

 

This bill:

 

I.  Prohibits the transportation, storage, and disposal of nuclear waste.

 

II.  Establishes nuclear waste policy advisory committee.

 

III.  Establishes the nuclear waste technical review council.

 

IV.  Establishes a spent nuclear fuel study commission.

 

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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

19-0815

08/04

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Nineteen

 

AN ACT relative to the storage of nuclear waste.

 

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

 

1  History and Intent.

I.  In January 1986, the United States Department of Energy announced it had identified a 78-square mile area centered in Hillsborough, New Hampshire as a potential site for the burial of the nation's high level radioactive waste.  In response to the Department of Energy announcement that the large granite formation known as the "Cardigan Pluton" might become the dump site for highly toxic radioactive spent fuel from the nation's nuclear reactors, state and local officials mobilized to oppose the project and prevent that area of our state from becoming what the federal government referred to as a "National Sacrifice Area."  Citizens at town meetings in 137 towns passed warrant articles opposing the proposed dump site.  The legislature enacted a new law, RSA 125-G, the High Level Radioactive Waste Act, which formally established state policy in opposition to the siting of a high-level radioactive waste facility in the state and established legislation to fight any efforts by the Department of Energy to use eminent domain to take property and build a nuclear waste dump in New Hampshire.  

II.  In 2011, the legislature included in the trailer bill to the budget a section that repealed the 1986 High Level Radioactive Waste Act.  It is the intent of this act to reaffirm New Hampshire's unyielding opposition to any effort of the federal government to site a nuclear waste dump anywhere in the state, and to reenact the High-Level Radioactive Waste Act.

2  New Chapter; High-Level Radioactive Waste Act.  Amend RSA by inserting after chapter 125-S the following new chapter:

CHAPTER 125-T

HIGH-LEVEL RADIOACTIVE WASTE ACT

125-T:1  Statement of Policy.  The legislature opposes the siting of a high-level radioactive waste facility in the state of New Hampshire and finds that the north-east is an unsafe and hydrogeologically and geologically inappropriate area in which to locate a site for the permanent disposal of high-level radioactive waste.  The legislature further finds that it is in the best interests of the state to establish procedures to provide advocacy for the people of the state before the federal government and for a maximum of public participation in the assessment process in order to assure that the federal Department of Energy will consider the unique features of the state and the needs of the people of the state when assessing the state as a potentially suitable location for the long-term or temporary storage or permanent disposal of high-level radioactive waste.

125-T:2  Definitions.  In this chapter:

I.  "Committee" means the nuclear waste policy advisory committee.

II.  "Consultation" means the sharing of information on planned nuclear waste programs and activities, and the right of others to review, comment, and offer recommendations on such activities.

III.  "Council" means the council on resources and development established under RSA 162-C:1 which shall serve as the nuclear waste technical review committee.

IV.  "Densely populated area" means any area in which more than 500 people are located within the proposed control area of a proposed site of a permanent repository for the disposal of radioactive waste.

V.  "Federal Department of Energy" means the United States Department of Energy or any successor agency, including its contractors or subcontractors which is assigned responsibility for the long-term or temporary storage or permanent disposal of high-level radioactive waste or any waste not classified as low-level radioactive waste by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

VI.  "High-level radioactive waste" means:

(a)  Irradiated reactor fuel;

(b)  Liquid wastes resulting from the operation of the first cycle solvent contraction system, or equivalent, and the concentrated wastes from subsequent extraction cycles, or equivalent, in a facility for reprocessing irradiated reactor fuel;

(c)  Solids into which such liquid wastes have been converted;

(d)  Other highly radioactive material that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, consistent with existing law, has determined by rule requires permanent isolation; and

(e)  Any nuclear waste not classified as low-level radioactive waste by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

VII.  "Office" means the office of strategic initiatives.

VIII.  "Nuclear" means high-level radioactive.

125-T:3  Office of Strategic Initiatives.

I.  The office of strategic initiatives shall serve as the initial agency in this state to be contacted by the federal Department of Energy or any other federal agency on any matter related to the long-term or temporary storage or permanent disposal of high-level radioactive waste.

II.  The office shall serve as the initial agency in this state to receive any report, study, document, information, or notification of proposed plans from the federal Department of Energy or any other federal agency on any matter related to the long-term or temporary storage or permanent disposal of high-level radioactive waste.  Notification of proposed plans includes notification of proposals to conduct field work, on-site evaluation, on-site testing, or any other related studies, or any activities involving federal presence in New Hampshire related to the long-term or temporary storage or permanent disposal of high-level radioactive waste.

III.  The office shall disseminate, or arrange with the federal Department of Energy or other federal agency to disseminate in a timely manner, information received under paragraph II to the council, the committee, appropriate state agencies, appropriate local units of government, and interested citizen groups and citizens.

IV.  The office, in accordance with the recommendations and advice of the council and committee, shall respond to contacts made under paragraph I and information received under paragraph II if a response is appropriate.  The office shall consult with the council, the committee, appropriate state agencies, and affected local units of government.  The council and the committee may prepare written comments for use by the office in preparing its response.

V.  The office shall provide staff and support services to the committee, as the committee may require.

VI.  The office, in consultation with the council and the committee, shall adopt rules, under RSA 541-A, relative to procedures necessary to enable it to discharge its duties and powers under this chapter and to carry out the purposes and objectives of this chapter, including but not limited to:

(a)  The definition of "related studies" in paragraph II;

(b)  The definition of the term "timely manner" in paragraph III;

(c)  The definition of "interested citizen groups" in paragraph III;

(d)  Application requirements under RSA 125-T:7, VI;

(e)  The procedures for its review of fund applications under RSA 125-T:10, including a definition of what is consistent with the state's nuclear waste policy, and what is in the best interest of the state relative to the long-term or temporary storage or permanent storage of high-level radioactive waste; and

(f)  Application and permit requirements for site studies, in addition to the requirements under RSA 125-T:13.

125-T:4  Nuclear Waste Policy Advisory Committee.

I.  The nuclear waste policy advisory committee is hereby created.  The committee shall exercise the powers and duties and discharge the responsibilities as provided in RSA 125-T:5.  The committee shall consist of the following members:

(a)  One member of the house of representatives to be appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives.

(b)  One member of the senate to be appointed by the senate president.

(c)  One public member to be appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives.

(d)  One public member to be appointed by the senate president.

(e)  Four members to be appointed by the governor, at least one of whom shall be the governor's representative and at least 2 of whom shall be public members, one of the public members to be from a county in which a proposed facility may be located.

(f)  The state geologist.

II.  The original appointments of the committee shall be made not later than January 1, 2020.  Terms of office shall begin on January 1, 2020, and shall last for a period of 2 years.  Vacancies in office shall be filled by appointment in the same manner as the original appointment to the position which becomes vacant.  An appointment to fill a vacancy other than by expiration of a term of office shall be for the balance of the unexpired term.  The committee shall elect a chairman from among its members.  The first meeting of the committee shall be called by the first-named house member not more than 45 days from the effective date of this section.

III.  The members of the committee may receive reimbursement for mileage and actual expenses incurred in the performance of their duties.  Legislative members of the committee shall receive mileage at the legislative rate when attending to the duties of the committee.  Members of the committee who are state employees shall be reimbursed for those expenses incurred which are authorized.

IV.  Subject to available funding, the members of the committee may receive per diem compensation for each day spent in the actual discharge of their duties when attending a meeting of the committee or on other authorized committee business.

125-T:5  Responsibilities and Duties of the Committee.  The responsibilities and duties of the committee shall include but not be limited to the following:

I.  To recommend state nuclear waste policy to the office of strategic planning and to advise the office on any matters relating to such policy, including matters to be addressed in memoranda of understanding and in other agreements with the federal Department of Energy.

II.  To recommend legislative proposals related to nuclear waste for consideration by the New Hampshire legislature.

III.  To review all data, plans, conclusions and other documents produced by the federal Department of Energy which relate to any phase of high-level waste programs or activities.

IV.  With the cooperation of the office, to hear and evaluate public comment and make appropriate recommendations to the office and the legislature.

V.  To advise the office on socioeconomic issues which have an impact on affected areas as a result of activities proposed or conducted under this chapter.  Socioeconomic issues shall include, but not be limited to, transportation of nuclear waste and population density, including seasonal population.

VI.  To critically review and comment on any environmental and socioeconomic impact statements, studies, or lack of such, including transportation risks and concerns.  

125-T:6  Nuclear Waste Technical Review Council.

I.  There is established the nuclear waste technical review council.  The council shall exercise the powers and duties and discharge the responsibilities as provided in RSA 125-T:7.

II.  The council shall consist of the following members:

(a)  The commissioner of the department of agriculture, markets, and food.

(b)  The commissioner of the department of education.

(c)  The executive director of the fish and game department.

(d)  The commissioner of the department of transportation.

(e)  The director of the department of environmental services, division of water.

(f)  The chairman of the water resources board.

(g)  The commissioner of the department of natural and cultural resources.

(h)  The director of the department of natural and cultural resources, division of forests and lands.

(i)  The director of the cultural resources, division of parks and recreation.

(j)  The director of the office of strategic initiatives who shall serve as the chairman.

(k)  The commissioner of the department of safety.

(l)  The commissioner of the department of health and human services.

(m)  The director of the department of environmental services, division of air resources.

(n)  The state adjutant general.

125-T:7  Responsibilities and Duties of Council; Application and Review Process.  The responsibilities and duties of the council shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

I.  To advise the office and the committee on all technical matters related to high-level nuclear waste activities within the state.

II.  To assist and to advise the office and committee in formulating studies, plans, and other implementations of the state nuclear waste program.

III.  To assist in the implementation of directives of the office and committee which relate to the state nuclear waste program.

IV.  To perform a critical review of all data and documents produced by the federal Department of Energy which relate to any phase of high-level nuclear waste activities and to submit comments on such data and documents to the office.

V.  To provide technical information to the attorney general and the legislature which will assist their efforts to assure the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of the state.

VI.  To perform initial review of all applications to conduct nuclear waste related activities within the state.  Such review, to be completed within 90 days of receipt of the application, shall determine if the application is in compliance with the requirements of this chapter.  Upon completion of such review, the council shall either:

(a)  File the application with the office for its consideration.  The office shall then deny, grant, or grant with certain conditions, requirements, or stipulations the application to conduct the proposed nuclear waste activities; or

(b)  Notify the applicant that the requirements of this chapter have not been met or satisfactorily completed and return the application for re-submittal.  Such notification to applicants shall include a listing of deficiencies in complying with application procedures; provided, however, that the applicant may reapply by submitting the original application with amendments listing provisions which satisfy previous deficiencies in the application.

125-T:8  Office, Council, and Committee as Advocates.  The office, the council, and the committee shall serve as advocates on behalf of the citizens of this state before the federal Department of Energy and other federal agencies on matters related to the long-term or temporary storage or permanent disposal of high-level radioactive waste.

125-T:9  Educational Programs.  The office shall promote and coordinate educational programs which provide information on the nature of high-level radioactive waste; the long-term or temporary storage or permanent disposal of these wastes; the activities of the office, the council, and the committee; and the activities of the federal Department of Energy and other federal agencies related to the long-term or temporary storage or permanent disposal of high-level radioactive waste.

125-T:10  Review of Fund Applications.  The office, in consultation with the council and the committee, shall review any application to the federal Department of Energy or other federal agency or its contractor, by a state agency, or any other person including the state institutions of higher learning, a local unit of government, or a regional planning commission or any other person for funds for any program related to the long-term or temporary storage or permanent disposal of high-level radioactive waste.  If the office finds that the application is not consistent with the state's nuclear waste policy or that the application is not in the best interests of the state, the office, after consultation with the council and the committee, shall forward its findings to the governor, the speaker of the house of representatives and the president of the senate, and the federal agency to which the application for funds is being made.  If the office finds that the application of a state agency is not consistent with the state's nuclear waste policy or that the application of a state agency is not in the best interests of the state, the findings forwarded to the governor shall include a recommendation that the governor take action as necessary to safeguard the interests of the state by stipulating certain conditions for the acceptance of the funds.

125-T:11  Office to Cooperate With Congress and With Other States.  The office, in consultation with the council and the committee, shall monitor activity by Congress and the federal government related to the long-term or temporary storage or permanent disposal of high-level radioactive waste.  The office, in consultation with the committee, may advise the New Hampshire congressional delegation of action which is necessary to protect the interests of the state and may work with the congressional delegations and the state governments of other affected northeastern states.

125-T:12  State to Intervene.  In appropriate cases, the office, in consultation with the committee, shall request the state attorney general to institute or intervene in judicial proceedings to protect the state's interests, enforce the state's policy, and present the state's point of view on matters related to the long-term or temporary storage or permanent disposal of high-level radioactive waste.

125-T:13  Application for Area or Site Studies.  A separate application shall be made for each stage of the process of evaluating and selecting a site for the longterm or temporary storage or permanent disposal of high-level radioactive waste.  An application to conduct area or site characterization studies or any phase of such a study which is filed pursuant to this chapter shall contain the following information and materials:

I.  A description of the proposed activities, including maps, present and proposed development, and geological, seismic, ecological, hydrological, biological, aesthetic, social, demographic and related data, as appropriate.

II.  A statement of the ownership and other financial interests in the proposed facility.

III.  An estimate of the costs of the proposed activities, if any, and the source of the funds.

IV.  A statement of the need for the proposed activities, including the source, type, and composition of the nuclear waste proposed to be received for testing, storage, or disposal at the facility.

V.  A statement of the environmental impact of the proposed action, including short-term and long-term effects, mitigation measures proposed to minimize the environmental impact, and any adverse environmental effects which could not be avoided should the facility be constructed, maintained and operated.

VI.  A statement of the socioeconomic impact of the proposed action, including the short-term and long-term effects, mitigation measures proposed to minimize the socioeconomic impact, and any adverse socioeconomic effects which could not be avoided should the facility be constructed, maintained and operated.

VII.  An assessment of the safety and adequacy of the in-state transportation system to the site for each stage including characterization, construction, operation and maintenance.  The assessment shall include mitigation measures to be employed to minimize negative impacts during transportation and actions to be taken to restore the system from any adverse impacts which could not be avoided.

VIII.  A complete resume of the applicant's expertise and experience in all other fields of study in relation to high-level radioactive waste storage and disposal, including the general conclusions, technical results, and findings of those activities.

IX.  Plans for access to land, whether privately or publicly owned, in order to conduct studies including plans for access in the event that the owner refuses access.

125-T:14  Further Requirements for Site Studies.

I.  Prior to the initiation of each and every phase of nuclear waste site characterization activities, including area characterization, the office shall require that a written agreement between the federal Department of Energy and the state shall be concluded in accordance with the provisions of RSA 125-T:13, 16 and 17.

II.  At the completion of each phase of site characterization, including area characterization, and prior to the initiation of any subsequent phase of investigation, the federal Department of Energy shall prepare and administer an oral briefing for the office, the council, the committee, interested members of the legislature, and the governor's office, collectively, in which a synopsis of the previously completed study phase is detailed.  The briefing shall include, at a minimum, the significant findings of the study, including those findings which could possibly preclude the site from being developed into a repository for the long-term or temporary storage or permanent disposal of high-level radioactive waste.  Any noted deficiencies in the data base, interpretation of the data base, or conclusions or recommendations regarding the data base, cited in writing by the technical community of the state or recorded in public hearings in the state, shall be addressed in the briefing.  The methods by which those deficiencies were resolved or are to be addressed shall be identified by the Department of Energy during the briefing.  The office in consultation with the council and the committee shall determine the adequacy of the resolution of the noted deficiencies and shall prepare a written report of their findings.  The office shall transmit the findings with a recommendation concerning a future course of action to the governor, the senate president, and the speaker of the house of representatives.  If the findings and the recommendations indicate adequate identification of deficiencies and their resolution, the governor may recommend adoption of a joint resolution authorizing initiation of additional phases of site characterization.  If the findings and the recommendations indicate inadequate identification of deficiencies or their inadequate resolution, the governor may recommend that the conflict resolution procedure outlined in the agreement be initiated.

125-T:15  Office as Agent for Agreements.

I.  The office shall serve as the agency in this state to negotiate written nuclear waste area or site characterization agreements and modifications or technical revisions to these agreements with the federal Department of Energy on any matter related to the long-term or temporary storage or permanent disposal of high-level radioactive waste.

II.  The office shall serve as the agency in this state to negotiate such written agreements and modifications or technical revisions to these agreements with any federal agency other than the federal Department of Energy on any matter related to the long-term or temporary storage or permanent disposal of high-level radioactive waste.

III.  The office shall consult with the council, the committee, and the attorney general during the negotiation of any agreement or modification or technical revisions to an agreement executed under paragraph I or II.  The council, the committee, and the attorney general shall prepare such written comments on any agreement or draft agreement being negotiated by the office as may be appropriate

IV.  The office in concert with the committee shall hold at least one public hearing within the county or counties in which the site is located on any proposed agreement or modification or technical revision to an agreement negotiated under paragraph I or II.  The office shall issue 30 days' notice of the date and location of hearings conducted under this section.  The office shall prepare a written summary of testimony presented at hearings conducted under this section and shall consider the need for modifications or technical revisions to the negotiated agreement as a result of the hearing.

125-T:16  Agreements with the Federal Department of Energy.

I.  The office of state planning shall negotiate separate agreements with the federal Department of Energy concerning different stages of the process of evaluating and selecting a site for the long-term or temporary storage or permanent disposal of high-level radioactive waste.  The office shall negotiate a separate agreement with the federal Department of Energy for the final stages of the selection of any site for the long-term or temporary storage or permanent disposal of high-level radioactive waste.  Such agreements shall be in addition to the Consultation and Cooperation Agreement required by Public Law 97-425, section 117.

II.  Any agreement negotiated by the office with the federal Department of Energy under RSA 125-T:15 shall include, but not be limited to:

(a)  A general description of the roles of the state and the federal Department of Energy in the execution of the agreement.

(b)  A compliance schedule which includes a list of significant events and stages which are expected to be reached as the federal Department of Energy assesses the suitability of the area or site for the long-term or temporary storage or permanent disposal of high-level radioactive waste and a description of the actions to be taken by the federal Department of Energy and the state at each event and stage.

(c)  The criteria that the federal Department of Energy shall use in evaluating the suitability of any area or site in the state for the long-term or temporary storage or permanent disposal of high-level radioactive waste.

(d)  A requirement that the federal Department of Energy shall comply with all federal laws, state laws and local ordinances and shall respect state sovereignty consistent with the United States Constitution and the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, regardless of the ownership of the land on which the activity takes place.

(e)  A requirement that the federal Department of Energy and any of its contractors or subcontractors shall provide the office with all reports and documents the office requests and any other relevant reports and documents in a timely manner and in accordance with any applicable law, regulation, or rule.  The requirement shall specify that the federal Department of Energy shall not charge a fee for searching for or for supplying reports and documents requested by the office.  The requirement shall specify that the federal Department of Energy shall provide the office with all reports and documents from contractors and subcontractors after the reports and documents are submitted to the federal Department of Energy, regardless of whether the reports and documents have received the final approval of the Department of Energy.

(f)  A requirement that, upon request by the office, the federal Department of Energy shall provide the date, methods and underlying assumptions used in the preparation of reports and documents in accordance with any applicable law, regulation, or rule.

(g)  A requirement that the federal Department of Energy shall notify the office of any grants related to the long-term or temporary storage or permanent disposal of high-level radioactive waste from the federal Department of Energy to any person in the state.

(h)  A requirement that the federal Department of Energy shall notify the office in a timely manner of any proposed field work, on-site evaluation, on-site testing, or similar activities it or any contractor or subcontractor intends to conduct and a requirement that the Department of Energy shall allow the office to monitor these activities by any appropriate means.

(i)  A requirement that the federal Department of Energy shall provide the office in a timely manner with a copy of any requests for proposals and final contracts issued by the Department of Energy relating to the evaluation, selection, or construction of a site for the long-term or temporary storage or permanent disposal of high-level radioactive waste in this state.

(j)  A provision that the federal Department of Energy shall agree to provide funds to be used to provide educational programs as set forth in RSA 125-T:9 and to review the activities of the Department of Energy and its contractors and subcontractors which relate to assessing the suitability of the site for the longterm or temporary storage or permanent disposal of high-level waste.

(k)  A process for resolving disputes between the office and the federal Department of Energy, including disputes concerning alleged violations of the written agreement and disputes concerning technical assessments made by the Department of Energy.  The process for resolving disputes concerning technical assessments made by the federal Department of Energy may involve a process of scientific review and mediation by an impartial and independent person.

(l)  A requirement that the federal Department of Energy and the office shall identify impacts, including, but not limited to, economic impacts associated with studies related to the characterization of an area or site for its potential as a repository or the impacts associated with the development of a site as a repository for the long-term or temporary storage or permanent disposal of high-level radioactive waste and that the Department of Energy will provide a mechanism to mitigate those impacts.

(m)  A requirement that if the federal Department of Energy selects a site in the state for construction of a repository for the long-term or temporary storage or permanent disposal of high-level radioactive waste, the Department of Energy shall prepare, prior to submission of an application to license or construct the repository, a repository plan which shall include descriptions of the Department of Energy's plans for construction of the repository, transportation of wastes to the repository, operation of the repository, closing of the repository, and post-closure activities, including monitoring of the repository.  The plan shall also include a description of methods of acquiring lands for the construction of a repository including any plans for the exercise of the power of eminent domain.

(n)  A requirement that the location of any site for the long-term or temporary storage or permanent disposal of high-level radioactive waste shall not be in a densely populated area.

(o)  A requirement that the federal Department of Energy shall develop in cooperation with state and local officials an emergency response plan which includes a federal commitment to train and equip appropriate state and local entities and maintain state and local emergency response capabilities through closure of the repository.

III.  Any agreement negotiated by the office with the federal Department of Energy under RSA 125-T:15 shall include a list of reasons for which the office may object to the selection of a site within this state for the long-term temporary storage or permanent disposal of high-level radioactive waste.  These reasons shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

(a)  The site or the transportation of waste to the site poses a danger to public health and safety or to the environment.

(b)  The federal Department of Energy fails to address to the satisfaction of the office the potential socioeconomic effects of the site or of the transportation of waste to the site.

(c)  The federal Department of Energy is violating or has violated a written agreement or revision approved under RSA 125-T:14.

(d)  In the judgment of the office, the federal Department of Energy fails to comply with criteria, regulations, or standards of other federal agencies concerning the long-term or temporary storage or permanent disposal of high-level radioactive waste, including criteria which exclude a proposed site from consideration because of previous mining or drilling of any type within the area which could be affected by the construction of the site or by the heat resulting from the long-term or temporary storage or permanent disposal of high-level radioactive waste at the site.

(e)  In the judgment of the office, the federal Department of Energy fails to use generally accepted scientific and technical practices in evaluating the suitability of a site for the long-term or temporary storage or permanent disposal of high-level radioactive waste.

IV.  Any agreement negotiated by the office with the federal Department of Energy which does not comply with the requirements or standards prescribed in this section shall be void and of no effect.

125-T:17  Agreements to Be Submitted to Governor.  The office shall submit any written agreement or modification or technical revision to an agreement negotiated under RSA 125-T:15, approved by the office, and approved by the federal Department of Energy or other federal agency to the governor.  The office shall submit with the agreement, modification, or technical revision a written summary of the hearings held under RSA 125-T:15.

125-T:18  Review of Site Selection; Recommendation.

I.  If the federal Department of Energy selects a site in the state for construction of a repository for the long-term or temporary storage or permanent disposal of high-level radioactive waste, the office shall review the adequacy of the selected site and of the repository plan prepared by the federal Department of Energy pursuant to RSA 125-T:16, II(m).  The review shall include a full scientific review of the adequacy of the selected site and the repository plan.  The office shall solicit written comments on the selected site and the repository plan from the council and the committee.  The office may utilize recognized experts in conducting its scientific review.  The office shall conduct at least one public hearing in the affected county on the repository plan and shall make available to the public arguments and evidence for and against the repository plan.  The office shall provide 30 days' notice of the date and location of the public hearing.  The office shall solicit comments from appropriate state agencies, local units of government, and interested citizen groups on the adequacy of the selected site and the repository plan.  The office shall make these comments available to the public.

II.  After completing the review, the office shall submit a recommendation, complete with supporting reasons for the recommendation, to the speaker of the house of representatives, the senate president, and the governor on the issue of the site and repository plan selected by the federal Department of Energy.  The governor, after review of the recommendation and findings of the office, may confer with the office, council, committee, representatives of state agencies, institutions of higher learning, or representatives of the affected county or locality.  The governor, thereafter, shall recommend appropriate legislation to the legislature relating to the establishment of a long-term or temporary storage or permanent storage or permanent disposal of high-level radioactive waste in the state while legislation proposed by the governor or the legislature relative to such topic is being considered by the legislature.

125-T:19  Office to Implement Agreements.  The office, in consultation with the committee and the council shall implement all agreements, modifications, and technical revisions approved pursuant to this chapter.  In doing so, the office may solicit the views of appropriate state agencies, local units of government, and interested citizen groups.

125-T:20 Finance.  The office shall attempt to finance all of its expenses from moneys received from the federal Department of Energy and other federal agencies and from other grants for which the office may apply.  Expenses of the committee members to attend meetings shall be reimbursed by the office from these funds.

125-T:21  Assistance from State Agencies.  The office shall rely on the expertise of staff in other state agencies and may utilize recognized experts to assist the office in its duties whenever possible and these other state agencies shall assist the office as much as possible in fulfilling its duties.

125-T:22  Enactment of Chapter Not Acceptance.  Nothing in this chapter shall be interpreted by the federal government of the federal Department of Energy as acceptance by the people of this state of a site for the long-term or temporary storage or permanent disposal of high-level radioactive waste.

125-T:23  Penalties.  Any person who is convicted of violating the provisions of this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and notwithstanding the provisions of title LXII, shall be punished by a fine of $1,000 for each day upon which the section, the attorney general shall institute proceedings for injunctive relief in the superior court of the county in which the violation occurred to require the immediate cessation of any testing, on-site evaluation, or any other site evaluation or selection procedure regarding possible use of any crystalline rock formation or other geologic structure within the jurisdiction of the state, the immediate cessation of transportation of high-level radioactive waste or other high-level radioactive material to the site, and the immediate removal from the state of such materials already located on the site.

125-T:24  Commission Established.  

I.  There is established a committee to study issues relating to the storage of spent nuclear fuel and high level radioactive waste in New Hampshire.  The members of the committee shall be as follows:

(a)  Four members of the house of representatives, appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives.

(b)  One member of the senate, appointed by the president of the senate.

(c)  One representative of NextEra Energy Resources, appointed by the chief executive officer of that company.

(d)  The coordinator of atomic development activities under RSA 162-B:4, or designee.

(e)  One member each from the towns of Hampton and Seabrook, appointed by the governing bodies of those towns.

(f)  Two public members, appointed by the governor.

(g)  The chairperson of the nuclear decommissioning financing committee, or designee.

(h)  A representative of the Rockingham county planning commission, appointed by that commission.

(i)  One representative of the Professional Firefighters Association of New Hampshire.

II.  Legislative members of the commission shall receive mileage at the legislative rate when attending to the duties of the commission.

III.  The commission shall:

(a)  Examine the history and current status of spent nuclear fuel and other high level radioactive waste generated and stored in the state, including spent fuel pools and dry cask storage facilities.

(b)  Review the adequacy of current policies and infrastructure to protect the environment, public health, and public safety from nuclear waste and spent fuel hazards.

(c)  Review the long term economic benefit to nuclear waste host communities as well as the state.

(d)  Study other matters relative to radioactive dangers as the commission deems appropriate.  

IV.  The members of the study commission shall elect a chairperson from among the members.  The first meeting of the commission shall be called by the first-named house member.  The first meeting of the commission shall be held within 45 days of the effective date of this section.  Seven members of the committee shall constitute a quorum.

V.  The commission shall submit an interim report of its findings and any recommendations for proposed legislation on or before November 1, 2019, and a final report on or before November 1, 2020, to the speaker of the house of representatives, the president of the senate, the house clerk, the senate clerk, the governor, and the state library.

3  States Applicable; Federal Department of Energy.  The federal Department of Energy shall be subject to the provisions of this act and subject to all other applicable state laws in effect or which may become effective, including, but not limited to, all state laws relative to mining, surface water and groundwater during all phases of any attempt to site a radioactive waste storage facility in the state, including any preliminary tests or feasibility studies to site such a facility.  Any disposal or storage within the state of New Hampshire shall be made in strict adherence to regulations established by any agency of the federal government including, but not limited to, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and the Department of Energy, and shall be in strict compliance with any rules adopted by the state radiation control agency and in strict compliance with the provisions of this chapter.

4  Severability.  If any provision of this act or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the invalidity does not affect other provisions or applications of the act which can be given effect without the invalid provisions or application, and to this end the provisions of this act are severable.

5  Repeal.  RSA 125-T:24, relative to the storage of spent nuclear fuel study commission, is repealed.

6  Effective Date.  

I.  Section 5 of this act shall take effect November 1, 2020.

II.  The remainder of this act shall take effect upon its passage.

 

LBAO

19-0815

1/17/19

 

HB 704-FN- FISCAL NOTE

AS INTRODUCED

 

AN ACT relative to the storage of nuclear waste.

 

FISCAL IMPACT:      [ X ] State              [ X ] County               [    ] Local              [    ] None

 

 

 

Estimated Increase / (Decrease)

STATE:

FY 2020

FY 2021

FY 2022

FY 2023

   Appropriation

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Revenue

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Expenditures

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Funding Source:

  [ X ] General            [    ] Education            [    ] Highway           [    ] Other

 

 

 

 

 

COUNTY:

 

 

 

 

   Revenue

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Expenditures

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

 

METHODOLOGY:

This bill establishes a new High-Level Radioactive Waste Act with the Office of Strategic Initiatives (OSI) to serve as the initial agency in this state to be contacted by the federal Department of Energy or any other federal agency on any matter related to the long-term or temporary storage or permanent disposal of high-level radioactive waste and on any matter related to the long-term or temporary storage or permanent disposal of high-level radioactive waste.  The bill creates several administrative committees and commissions to oversee and assist OSI in meeting its new duties and responsibilities including those related to advocacy, education and funding applications made to federal agencies.  

 

OSI states the bill outlines several new responsibilities for the office that would require an indeterminable amount of staff time, retention of services from other agencies, and potential retention of scientific experts, legal counsel and other services as necessary.  New duties and corresponding needs are outlined below:

  • Promotion and coordination of educational programs may require support materials and other related expenditures.  
  • Monitoring Congressional activity and identification of other fiscal impacts may require both legislative tracking and economic modeling software.  
  • Negotiating written agreements with the federal Department of Energy may require the retention of specialized legal counsel.   
  • Reviewing the adequacy of a selected site may require the retention of scientific experts.

 

The Department of Justice states the waste technical review council established in the bill would provide technical information to the Department and the legislature to assist in their efforts to assure the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of the state.  The DOJ shall be consulted during negotiations of any agreement or modification or technical revisions to an agreement.  DOJ shall also prepare written comments on any agreement or draft agreement being negotiated.   The bill establishes a misdemeanor level offense and $1,000 per day fine for violations of the chapter.  DOJ is required to initiate proceedings for injunctive relief.  DOJ anticipates the consultation, counsel, and prosecution duties can be done within the Department's current budget.

 

This bill contains penalties that may have an impact on the New Hampshire judicial and correctional systems.  There is no method to determine how many charges would be brought as a result of the changes contained in this bill to determine the fiscal impact on expenditures.  However, the entities impacted have provided the potential costs associated with these penalties below.

 

Judicial Branch

FY 2020

FY 2021

Class B Misdemeanor

$53

$54

Class A Misdemeanor

$76

$77

Appeals

Varies

Varies

 

 

 

It should be noted that average case cost estimates for FY 2020 and FY 2021 are based on data that is more than ten years old and does not reflect changes to the courts over that same period of time or the impact these changes may have on processing the various case types.  An unspecified misdemeanor can be either class A or class B, with the presumption being a class B misdemeanor.

Judicial Council

 

 

Public Defender Program

Has contract with State to provide services.

Has contract with State to provide services.

Contract Attorney – Misdemeanor

$300/Case

$300/Case

Assigned Counsel – Misdemeanor

$60/Hour up to $1,400

$60/Hour up to $1,400

It should be noted that a person needs to be found indigent and have the potential of being incarcerated to be eligible for indigent defense services. The majority of indigent cases (approximately 85%) are handled by the public defender program, with the remaining cases going to contract attorneys (14%) or assigned counsel (1%).

NH Association of Counties

 

 

County Prosecution Costs

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Estimated Average Daily Cost of Incarcerating an Individual

$105 to $120

$105 to $120

 

AGENCIES CONTACTED:

Office of Strategic Initiatives, Department of Justice, Judicial Branch, Judicial Council and New Hampshire Association of Counties

 

Docket

Date Status
Jan. 3, 2019 Introduced 01/03/2019 and referred to Science, Technology and Energy HJ 3 P. 27
Feb. 19, 2019 Public Hearing: 02/19/2019 10:00 am LOB 304
March 6, 2019 Executive Session: 03/06/2019 10:30 am LOB 304
Retained in Committee

Action Dates

Date Body Type
Feb. 19, 2019 House Hearing
March 6, 2019 House Exec Session

Bill Text Revisions

HB704 Revision: 4969 Date: Jan. 17, 2019, 2:56 p.m.