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Regulatory Issues - USA (1995 - 1997)   flag

(last updated 8 May 1999)

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> for more recent issues, see Regulatory Issues - USA: Current · (1998 - 1999)

EPA Announces Stakeholder Meeting on Possible Revisions to National Primary Drinking Water Regulations for Radionuclides

from Federal Register, Nov.7, 1997 (Vol. 62, No. 216) p. 60242-60243 (download full notice ):
"SUMMARY: On December 11 and 12, 1997, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will hold a public meeting in Washington, D.C., to discuss issues concerning development and revisions of National Primary Drinking Water Regulations (NPDWRs) for radionuclides. The radionuclides, for purposes of this meeting, include alpha emitters, beta and photon emitters, radium and uranium, but do not include radon. Under a court order on stipulated agreement by the parties, EPA agreed to publish final regulations for uranium, and revise as necessary the current alpha, beta and photon emitters, and radium NPDWRs by November 2000. The Agency is in the process of reviewing current scientific information, new technologies, cost factors, implementation issues, and other considerations relating to these contaminants in light of the Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments of 1996. Before deciding on any course of action, EPA is interested in obtaining the views of individuals, agencies, and organizations, who have a stake in possible revisions to the drinking water regulations for radionuclides. The meeting is open to all members of the public at no cost."


ATSDR releases Draft Toxicological Profiles for Uranium

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR ) announces the availabilty of new draft toxicological profiles for uranium and a number of compounds and materials containing uranium.

From Federal Register October 28, 1997 (Vol. 62, No. 208), Page 55817-55818 (download full notice ):

"SUMMARY: This notice announces the availability of two new draft toxicological profiles, comprising the 1st set developed for the Department of Energy, prepared by ATSDR for review and comment.

DATES: To ensure consideration, comments on these draft toxicological profiles must be received on or before February 17, 1998." [...]


NRC Presents Draft Standard Review Plan For In Situ Uranium Extraction License Applications

from Federal Register October 22, 1997 (Vol. 62, No. 204), Page 54885 (download full notice ):
"SUMMARY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is soliciting comments on a Draft Standard Review Plan for in Situ Uranium Extraction License Applications (NUREG-1569) from interested parties. A NRC source and byproduct material license is required under the provisions of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 40 (10 CFR Part 40), Domestic Licensing of Source Material, to recover uranium by in situ leach uranium extraction mining techniques (in situ leaching)." [...]
"Opportunity to Comment: Interested parties are invited to comment on the review plan. Interested parties are also asked to comment on the level and extent that staff could rely on technical reviews performed by non-agreement states in areas where the NRC and the State have concurrent regulatory authority. These areas include land application, nonradiological soil cleanup, upper control limit, and groundwater restoration reviews. A final review plan will be prepared after the NRC staff has evaluated public comments received on the draft review plan.

DATES: Written comments must be received prior to December 8, 1997." [...]


Correction of Occupational Exposure Limit for Uranium in Air - U.S. Dept. of Labor

On August 4, 1997, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the Department of Labor published corrections to its Air Contaminants Rule in 29 CFR Part 1910:

From Federal Register, August 4, 1997 (Volume 62, Number 149), Page 42017-42018 (download full notice ):

SUMMARY: This document makes corrections to the OSHA standard on Air Contaminants. Specifically, this document corrects typographical errors in the table containing limits for air contaminants and the table on mineral dusts.

EFFECTIVE DATE: September 3, 1997.

(...)
The exposure limit for Uranium insoluble compounds is incorrectly listed as 0.05 mg/m\3\. It should be listed as 0.25 mg/m\3\.
(...)

Note: This leaves the exposure limit for soluble uranium compounds unchanged at 0.05 mg/m\3\. (Table Z-1)


Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Ground Water Project - U.S.DOE Record of decision

U.S. Department of Energy: Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Ground Water Project; Record of decision. In: Federal Register: April 28, 1997 (Vol. 62, No. 81), Notices, page 22913- 22916, (download full text )
SUMMARY: The Department of Energy (DOE) is issuing this Record of Decision regarding its programmatic decision for the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Ground Water Project. This decision enables DOE to take action under its UMTRA Ground Water Project, and is based on the environmental analyses in the Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) for the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Ground Water Project (DOE/EIS-0198), which DOE issued in December 1996. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Navajo Nation, the Hopi Tribe, the State of Colorado and the State of Texas cooperated in the preparation of the PEIS.
Under Title I of the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act of 1978 (UMTRCA), DOE is responsible for performing remedial action to bring 22 designated former uranium mill processing sites into compliance with applicable Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards for milling-related contamination (40 CFR part 192). Under DOE's UMTRA Surface Project, DOE has completed surface remediation at 20 sites and work is underway at the remaining two sites. These sites are located in nine States and are on or near four Indian Tribal lands. The shallow ground water at most of these sites has been contaminated with uranium, nitrates, and other milling-related contaminants. The purpose of the UMTRA Ground Water Project is to protect human health and the environment by meeting EPA's ground water standards, which were issued January 11, 1995.
DOE has decided to implement the Proposed Action for conducting the Ground Water Project. The Proposed Action, which was identified as DOE's preferred alternative in the final PEIS, is intended to establish a consistent risk-based framework for implementing the UMTRA Ground Water Project and determining appropriate ground water compliance strategies for complying with EPA ground water standards at the UMTRA project former processing sites. Under this preferred alternative, DOE may use active, passive, and no-remediation strategies to comply with the ground water standards as conditions warrant at specific sites.
Before making site-specific decisions to implement the preferred alternative for the Ground Water Project, DOE will prepare appropriate further National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documentation. DOE encourages affected States, tribes, local government agencies and members of the public to continue to participate in the site-specific decision making processes for the Ground Water Project.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Further information on the final PEIS can be obtained by contacting Mr. Donald R. Metzler, Grand Junction Office, Department of Energy, 2567 B 3/4 Road, Grand Junction, Colorado 81503, telephone 970-248-7612. Information about the Department of Energy National Environmental Policy Act process can be obtained by contacting Carol M. Borgstrom, Director, Office of NEPA Policy and Assistance, EH-42, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, D.C. 20585, telephone 202-586-4600, or leave a message at 800-472-2756.
[...]

See also: U.S. Department of Energy: Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Ground Water Project; Notice of availability. In: Federal Register, December 20, 1996 (Vol.61, No.246), p.67325-67326, download via GPO Access
View Final PEIS: VOLUME I · VOLUME II


National Emissions Standards for Radionuclide Emissions From Facilities Licensed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Federal Facilities not Covered by Subpart H - U.S. EPA Final Rule

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: 40 CFR Part 61 - National Emissions Standards for Radionuclide Emissions From Facilities Licensed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Federal Facilities not Covered by Subpart H, Final Rule. In: Federal Register, December 30, 1996 (Vol.61), p.68971-68981, download via GPO Access

SUMMARY: EPA is rescinding 40 CFR part 61, subpart I (subpart I) as it applies to Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) or NRC Agreement State licensed facilities other than commercial nuclear power reactors. Subpart I is a National Emission Standard for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAPs) which was published on December 15, 1989 and which limits radionuclide emissions to the ambient air from NRC-licensed facilities. As required by section 112(d)(9) of the Clean Air Act as amended in 1990, EPA has determined that the NRC regulatory program for licensed facilities other than commercial nuclear power reactors protects public health with an ample margin of safety, the same level of protection that would be afforded by continued implementation of subpart I.


Resolution of Dual Regulation of Airborne Effluents of Radioactive Materials; Clean Air Act - U.S.NRC Rule

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission: 10 CFR Part 20 - Resolution of Dual Regulation of Airborne Effluents of Radioactive Materials; Clean Air Act; Final Rule. In: Federal Register, December 10, 1996 (Vol.61, No.238), p.65119-65127, download via GPO Access

"SUMMARY: The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is amending its regulations to establish a constraint of 10 mrem (0.1 mSv) per year total effective dose equivalent (TEDE) for dose to members of the public from air emissions of radionuclides from NRC licensed facilities other than power reactors. This action is necessary to: Provide assurance to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that future emissions from NRC licensees will not exceed dose levels that EPA has determined will provide an ample margin of safety; and to provide EPA a basis upon which to rescind its Clean Air Act (CAA) regulations as defined in 40 CFR Part 61 for NRC licensed facilities (other than power reactors) and Agreement State licensees, thereby relieving these licensees from unnecessary dual regulations.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This rule will become effective January 9, 1997."
Radon-222 is not covered in this rulemaking.


Uranium Mill Facilities: Availability of Final Staff Technical Position on Alternate Concentration Limits for Title II Uranium Mills - U.S. NRC Notice of Availability

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission: Uranium Mill Facilities: Availability of Final ``Staff Technical Position on Alternate Concentration Limits for Title II Uranium Mills'' Notice of availability.
In: Federal Register, February 26, 1996 (Vol.61, No.38), Notices, p.7127, download via GPO Access

"SUMMARY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is announcing the availability of its final ``Staff Technical Position on Alternate Concentration Limits for Title II Uranium Mills.'' The purposes of this final Staff Technical Position (STP) are to provide: (1) Guidance on NRC staff's interpretation of the applicable regulations for establishing alternate concentration limits (ACLs) at uranium mills and tailings impoundment sites regulated under Title II of the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act (UMTRCA) of 1978; (2) a Standard Format and Content Guide for ACL applications; and (3) standard criteria and procedures for ACL application reviews by NRC and Agreement States.
The final STP on ACLs for Title II uranium mills represents a revised and updated version of NRC's draft final STP, which was announced in the Federal Register on March 21, 1994 (59 FR 13345). The revisions were made largely in response to comments that NRC received on the draft final STP.
The final STP on ACLs for Title II uranium mills was prepared pursuant to the regulatory requirements for ground-water protection in Criterion 5 of Appendix A to 10 CFR Part 40, and is therefore only applicable to uranium mills and mill tailings impoundment sites regulated under Title II of UMTRCA. However, NRC will use the same technical approach in reviewing ACL applications for uranium mills and mill tailings impoundment sites that are regulated under Title I of UMTRCA, with modifications to reflect differences between UMTRCA's Title I and Title II programs.
Effective immediately, the staff will use this final STP instead of the draft final STP in reviewing ACL applications on file as well as new ACL applications.

ADDRESSES: Copies of the final STP on ACLs for Title II uranium mills may be requested by writing to: Mr. Joseph J. Holonich, Chief, Uranium Recovery Branch, Division of Waste Management, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards, Mailstop T7J- 9, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555, or by calling (301) 415-7238.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Latif S. Hamdan, Uranium Recovery Branch, Division of Waste Management, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards, Mailstop T7J-9, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555. Telephone: (301) 415-6639.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Persons interested in commenting on the final STP on ACLs for Title II uranium mills may provide written comments to Chief, Uranium Recovery Branch, Division of Waste Management, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards, Mailstop T7J-9, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555. Comments received will be considered in any future revisions of the STP. There is no date set for expiration of the comment period."
[...]

The Atlantic Richfield Company's (ARCO) Bluewater Uranium Mill and Tailings Site near Grants, New Mexico was the first site, were the NRC approved ACLs according to the above mentioned Staff Technical Position.


Uranium Recovery Facilities: Availability of Staff Technical Position on Effluent Disposal at Licensed Uranium Recovery Facilities - U.S.NRC Notice of Availability

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission: Uranium Recovery Facilities: Availability of Staff Technical Position on Effluent Disposal at Licensed Uranium Recovery Facilities; Notice of availability. In: Federal Register, May 26, 1995 (Vol.60, No.102), Notices, p.27993-27994, download via GPO Access

"SUMMARY: The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is announcing the availability of ``Staff Technical Position on Effluent Disposal at Licensed Uranium Recovery Facilities.'' This Staff Technical Position (STP) is a NRC staff guidance document that provides guidance and discusses the technical and regulatory basis for review and evaluation of proposals for disposal of liquid waste at licensed uranium recovery facilities, including conventional mills and in situ leach facilities. The STP is primarily intended to guide NRC staff reviews of site-specific proposals for disposal of liquid waste, but it can also be used by licensees and applicants for preparation of such proposals.

ADDRESSES: Copies of the STP on effluent disposal at licensed uranium recovery facilities may be requested by writing to: Dr. John H. Austin, Chief, Performance Assessment and Hydrology Branch, Division of Waste Management, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards, Mailstop 7-D-13 TWFN, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington DC 20555, or by calling (301) 415-7252.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:Dr. Latif S. Hamdan, Performance Assessment and Hydrology Branch, Division of Waste Management, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards, Mailstop 7-D- 13 TWFN, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington DC 20555. Telephone: (301) 415-6639.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Persons interested in commenting on the STP on effluent disposal at licensed uranium recovery facilities may provide written comments to Chief, Performance Assessment and Hydrology Branch, Mail Stop TWFN 7-D-13, Division of Waste Management, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555. Comments received will be considered in any future revisions of the STP. There is no date set for expiration of the comment period."
[...]


Groundwater Standards for Remedial Actions at Inactive Uranium Processing Sites - U.S.EPA Final Rule

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: 40 CFR Part 192 - Groundwater Standards for Remedial Actions at Inactive Uranium Processing Sites; Final Rule. In: Federal Register Vol.60, No.7, Wednesday, January 11, 1995, p.2854-2871. (FTP-download (126k) )

The complete text of 40 CFR Part 192 - Health and Environmental Standards for Uranium and Thorium Mill Tailings as amended is also available for Download (75k, PDF format).

"SUMMARY: The Environmental Protection Agency is issuing final regulations to correct and prevent contamination of groundwater beneath and in the vicinity of inactive uranium processing sites by uranium tailings. EPA issued regulations (40 CFR part 192, subparts A, B, and C) for cleanup and disposal of tailings from these sites on January 5, 1983. These new regulations replace existing provisions at 40 CFR 192.20(a)(2) and (3) that were remanded by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit on September 3, 1985. They are promulgated pursuant to Section 275 of the Atomic Energy Act, as amended by Section 206 of the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act of 1978 (Public Law 95- 604).
The regulations apply to tailings at the 24 locations that qualify for remedial action under Title I of Public Law 95-604. They provide that tailings must be stabilized and controlled in a manner that permanently eliminates or minimizes contamination of groundwater beneath stabilized tailings, so as to protect human health and the environment. They also provide for cleanup of contamination that occurred before the tailings are stabilized."

Main points of the rule:


Final Revised Guidance on Disposal of Non-Atomic Energy Act of 1954, Section 11e.(2) Byproduct Material in Tailings Impoundments - U.S.NRC Notice of final guidance

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission: Uranium Mill Facilities, Notice of Two Guidance Documents: Final Revised Guidance on Disposal of Non-Atomic Energy Act of 1954, Section 11e.(2) Byproduct Material in Tailings Impoundments; Final Position and Guidance on the Use of Uranium Mill Feed Materials Other Than Natural Ores; Notice of final guidance. In: Federal Register: September 22, 1995 (Volume 60, Number 184), Notices, Page 49296- 49297], download via GPO Access

SUMMARY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has finalized two uranium mill licensing guidance documents after consideration of comments received in response to a request for public comment in a Federal Register notice published May 13, 1992 (57 FR 20525). Only minor changes were made to the proposed guidance documents titled, ``Revised Guidance on Disposal of Non-Atomic Energy Act of 1954, Section 11e.(2) Byproduct Material in Tailings Impoundments'' and ``Position and Guidance on the Use of Uranium Mill Feed Materials Other Than Natural Ores.''

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