This attachment highlights certain mitigation measures that would be required if the U.S. Department of Energy were to implement the proposed shipments of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste through Eureka County. For a complete discussion of mitigation measures, see the final Impact Assessment Report (Eureka County, August 2001). Also, the reader is reminded that all mitigation descriptions are tentative and preliminary until the DOE has completed the required disclosure of environmental impacts of the proposed action, including its transportation elements.
REQUIRED MITIGATION MEASURES
The mitigation program must include rigorous monitoring and follow-up during construction and operations. These efforts must be under State and local control, at the DOE's expense.
MITIGATION OF NATURAL RESOURCE IMPACTS
Mitigation for water resources must include complete mitigation for the water resource impacts of a severe accident involving the release of radioactivity, including the possibility of a release to the waters of the Humboldt River, and including a fully-funded account to compensate owners of any water rights rendered useless, without the need for subsequent Congressional action.
Mitigation for noxious weeds must include a weed coordinator for the construction phase, who would be a Eureka County employee or contractor, paid for by the DOE, and responsible for weed mapping, construction scheduling, and weed spraying, in cooperation with the BLM, County road crews, and DOE contractors.
MITIGATION OF IMPACTS ON THE HUMAN ENVIRONMENT
Mitigation related to land ownership and the County's economy must address the conversion of private land to public ownership, and must incorporate transfers of federal lands to Eureka County, the Eureka County School District, and private property owners to offset the loss of property taxes and disruption of working ranches.
Mitigation related to land ownership must also include a fully-funded account, not dependent upon subsequent Congressional action, to compensate all property owners for: (1) private property and property rights taken by the DOE or any other party associated with the action and (2) property rights that are taken by devaluation of real property, during accident-free operations and as the result of an accident
Mitigation for housing must provide for the relocation, at the DOE's expense, of all persons temporarily or permanently displaced by the proposed action.
Mitigation for the direct and indirect effects of the proposed rail terminal facilities at Beowawe must address: (1) additional demand for housing, utilities, and infrastructure, (2) impacts on school enrollment and county services, (3) capital expenditures for water and wastewater service, and (4) required public revenues for all of these impacts.
Mitigation specifically related to solid waste must include the permitting and construction, at the DOE's expense, of a landfill in northern Eureka County, to become County property upon completion of the construction phase, free from all liability, with remaining capacity.
Mitigation for impacts on public finances must: (1) cover Eureka County, the Eureka County School District, the towns of Eureka and Crescent Valley, and all special districts, (2) include a definite determination of who is liable for a transportation accident, (3) address the County's costs of emergency response and preparedness; the loss of tax revenues; increased public facility maintenance costs; and costs of increases in public facility capacity, and (4) include up-front payments of all project-related costs for the accident-free and severe-accident scenarios.
Mitigation for public health and safety must include a special escrow fund for prompt and complete compensation of persons affected by routine shipments of SNF and HLW and by transportation accidents. Upon initiation of the proposed action, the DOE must pay for a baseline health assessment by the affected local governments, and establish a fully-funded account of $1 billion, to be administered by an independent third party, for compensation to citizens exposed to radioactivity. Affected communities must also be granted the authority and resources necessary to conduct independent oversight of all activities during the construction phase, during accident-free operations, and in response to accidents.
Mitigation for emergency response and management must address: (1) the lack of local emergency response capability, (2) the need for dedicated emergency response teams with immediate availability, not staffed by volunteers, (3) funding for a regional strike force, housed at Beowawe, and controlled by the affected local governments, (4) funding of all necessary facilities, and ownership by the local governments of those facilities, free of all liability, (5) technical and financial assistance for all phases of emergency management, and (6) elimination of all foreseeable hazards from operation of the proposed rail line, including hazards at rail crossings, during switching, when shipments are parked, and from train derailments.
Mitigation related to environmental justice must address impacts on those members of the Eureka County community--including children, the elderly, and low-income persons--who would be least able to avoid or adjust to the impacts of a severe accident and a subsequent economic downturn.