Yucca Mountain Information Office
P.O. Box 714
Eureka, Nevada 89316
Phone (775) 237-5372 FAX (775) 237-5708
September 28, 2001
Mr. Lake Barrett, Acting Director
U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management
1000 Independence Avenue SW, Room #5A085
Washington DC 20585
RE: Request for Yucca Mountain "Consideration Hearing" in Crescent Valley, Eureka County, Nevada
Dear Mr. Barrett:
Eureka County, Nevada is an affected unit of local government under Section 116 of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act as amended.
In the letter that County Commission Chairman Pete Goicoechea wrote to you on May 21, 2001, we requested a public "consideration hearing" in Crescent Valley, Nevada to solicit public comments regarding the idea of locating a nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada, as directed in Section 114 (a) (1) of the Act.
We recently became aware that DOE officials are planning two "public availability sessions" in Crescent Valley in lieu of official public hearings.
We are writing again to request an official hearing in Crescent Valley, Eureka County, Nevada. Even if a senior DC-based official from DOE is not in attendance, we expect a hearing officer, and the same procedures as the announced hearings in Amargosa Valley and Pahrump.
As we indicated in our May 21 letter, there is a high degree of interest in Crescent Valley regarding the DOE's proposal. Over 70 people attended a standing-room-only draft environmental impact statement hearing in December of 1999.
In light of recent unsettling events, it is incumbent upon the DOE to listen to the citizens of Nevada, and important that citizens hear each other. This is why a real hearing is essential.
We understand that "public availability sessions" might be scheduled as early as next Wednesday October 3 in rural Nevada counties. We are concerned about the public having sufficient notice to participate. We are also under the impression that the comment period for consideration and PSSE ends on October 5. These are all questions that we are fielding from residents who want to know what's going on.
We urge you to rethink the consideration hearing process, to extend the written comment deadline by 90 days, and to hold consideration hearings in the affected units of local government counties, including Crescent Valley, Eureka County, Nevada.
If you have questions or wish to discuss this further, please contact our nuclear waste advisor Abby Johnson at 775/882-0296 or me at 775/237-5372.
We look forward to your reply.
Leonard J. Fiorenzi