Higgins Announces Approval of Bill Authorizing Risk Assessment of Proposed Nuclear Waste Transport across the Peace Bridge
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) announced the House of Representatives has approved H.R. 677 the Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Intelligence and Information Sharing Act of 2017. The bill, introduced by Rep. Martha McSally, includes language included by Rep. Higgins requiring the Department of Homeland Security to conduct a risk assessment prior to the transport of nuclear materials including the Department of Energy’s (DOE) planned transport of highly enriched liquid nuclear uranium across the Peace Bridge. A similar bill was approved last session but was not considered in the Senate.
Approval of the legislation comes as a ruling on a related court case is imminent. Last summer a coalition of organizations filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Energy seeking judgement related to the requirement of an Environmental Impact Statement prior to authorization of the shipment of highly enriched liquid nuclear waste. As a result the court directed and parties on both sides agreed no shipments would take place prior to a decision which is expected on or before February 15, 2017.
“We continue to fight for appropriate environmental and safety assessments as the Department of Energy plans, for the first time, to move this hazardous material through our community,” said Higgins, who has repeatedly expressed concern and taken action following the DOE’s announcement that it will proceed with the transport of waste from the Chalk River Research reactor in Ontario over the Peace Bridge, through Western New York and other states en route to the Savannah River site without conducting a full environmental review. A summary of some of Congressman Higgins’ actions on this issue is below:
September 30, 2016: Senator Gillibrand & Congressman Higgins Urge US Dept. of Energy to Conduct New Environmental Impact Statement Prior to Transport of Radioactive Liquid Material Via the Peace Bridge Through WNY