Tuesday, July 27, 2010

/Overview: EPA’s Review of Uranium and Thorium Environmental Regulations / Subpart W Rulemaking Activity

Cotter Uranium Mill in CO!

Comment:  Please submit your comments or ideas to SubpartW@epa.gov about the problems of uranium milling!  No to uranium mining and milling!

Overview: EPA’s Review of Uranium and Thorium Environmental Regulations (40 CFR Part 192)

EPA issued regulations for uranium and thorium milling under the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act (UMTRCA). The regulations at 40 CFR 192 set standards for the protection of public health, safety and the environment from radiological and other hazards from the processing of uranium and thorium ores and disposal of associated wastes. They apply to both operating and inactive facilities.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and their Agreement States use EPA’s standards in their oversight of uranium and thorium facility operations and in issuing licenses for source material. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) uses them in their management of closed uranium mills and in the cleanup of contaminated soil and buildings.

EPA last revised these regulations in 1995, and is currently reviewing them to determine if additional changes are needed. We invite you to participate in the review and provide your thoughts in this discussion forum.

Review of Related Regulations

EPA also sets environmental standards for uranium extraction facilities under the Clean Air Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, and Clean Water Act. The regulations issued under the Clean Air Act are under review. You can learn about and participate in this review at the Subpart W Rulemaking Activity web page.

At this time, EPA is not reviewing regulations that implement the Safe Drinking Water Act’s Underground Injection Control program that covers In Situ Leaching. Clean Water Act standards for uranium extraction facilities are not under review

Read more:

Subpart W Rulemaking Activity

NESHAP Subpart W is a radon emission standard for operating uranium mill tailings. In accordance with the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, EPA has formed a workgroup to review, and possibly revise the standard. EPA invites and encourages the public to provide comments on our review of Subpart W.

As the Workgroup on Subpart W develops its tentative rulemaking, we will provide up-to-date information on recent or upcoming conference calls, resource documents, and contact information. Please check back regularly, as more items will be added.

On this page:

Public Participation by E-Mail

EPA welcomes public participation in the review of Subpart W. We are interested in hearing about issues that you think EPA should address in the rule, as well as any thoughts you may have on the review process. Please submit your thoughts to SubpartW@epa.gov

The body of your messages will be posted to the website periodically during regular business hours, Monday through Friday. Please note that EPA will not be able to reply to all messages submitted here.

Messages should pertain to the specifics of Subpart W, and meet the expectations of polite public discourse. We reserve the discretion not to post comments that: contain obscene, indecent, or profane language;
contain threats or defamatory statements; contain hate speech directed at race, color, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, ethnicity, age, religion, or disability; or  promote or endorse services or products. (Note that non-commercial links that are relevant to the topic or another comment are acceptable.)

By posting your comments or other work, you grant EPA and anyone viewing the EPA Web site irrevocable permission to copy, distribute, make derivatives, display or perform the commenter’s work publicly and free-of-charge. Do not submit copyrighted or other proprietary material in any form unless you clearly indicate that you have permission to do so.

All messages will become part of the Public Docket if EPA proceeds with a rulemaking to revise Subpart W.

To protect your privacy, please do not include information (e.g., an e-mail address or phone number) in the text of your comment that identifies you. You can find additional guidance as to how EPA regards privacy issues within the privacy policy provided on EPA’s main Web site.

EPA welcomes public participation in the review of Subpart W. We are interested in hearing about issues that you think EPA should address in the rule, as well as any thoughts you may have on the review and rulemaking process.You may submit your thoughts and read what others have submitted on our message page.

Click here to send EPA your ideas:  SubpartW@epa.gov

Conference Call Information

EPA will hold quarterly conference calls with interested stakeholders. The next conference call will occur on Tuesday October 5, 2010 at 11am EDT, 10am CDT, 9am MDT and 8am PDT. The call in number is 1-866-299-3188. You will be prompted for a conference code, which will be 2023439563. After entering the conference code press the # key and you will then be placed into the conference call.

Minutes from December 3, 2009 conference call.
Minutes from January 5, 2010 conference call.
Minutes from April 6, 2010 conference call.
Mintues from July 6, 2010 conference call.

Tentative Completion Estimate

EPA plans to propose a decision on Subpart W in late winter of 2011. After allowing for public comment and or hearings we plan to have a final decision in late winter of 2012. This estimate will be revised as needed.