H.P. 1666 - L.D. 2171
An Act to Withdraw from the Texas Low-level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact
Emergency preamble. Whereas, Acts of the Legislature do not become effective until 90 days after adjournment unless enacted as emergencies; and
Whereas, prior action of the Maine Legislature and the Congress of the United States calls for payment to the State of Texas by Maine of $25,000,000 in 2 or more payments, all of which are initially to be paid by the customers of the State's only nuclear-generating unit pursuant to Maine law and federal regulation; and
Whereas, the Legislature in 1993 enacted Public Law 1993, chapter 400, "An Act Authorizing a Referendum to Ratify the Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact with Maine and Vermont and Approving the Compact's Terms," which was subsequently signed by the Governor of this State; and
Whereas, in November 1993 the voters of the State approved Maine's entrance into a low-level radioactive waste compact with Texas and Vermont; and
Whereas, action in the Legislatures of Texas and Vermont and subsequent approval of the Congress of the United States of the "Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact Consent Act" (Public Law 105-236) in 1998 caused the Texas Low-level Radioactive Waste Compact to come into existence under both federal and state law; and
Whereas, the State's only nuclear-generating unit ceased operations permanently in 1997 and began the process of physical dismantlement and decommissioning in 1998; and
Whereas, the State's only nuclear-generating unit has completed more than 50% of that decommissioning process and has entered into contractual relationships for the disposal of low-level radioactive waste at commercial facilities in the states of South Carolina and Utah; and
Whereas, the State of Texas has made no progress in siting, licensing, constructing or opening for commercial operation a low-level waste disposal facility as had been contemplated by the compact members; and
Whereas, no other generator of low-level radioactive waste in this State continues to have a need for disposal capacity in Texas in view of the facilities currently accepting such waste in South Carolina and Utah; and
Whereas, in the judgment of the Legislature, these facts create an emergency within the meaning of the Constitution of Maine and require the following legislation as immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety; now, therefore,
Be it enacted by the People of the State of Maine as follows:
Sec. 1. 35-A MRSA §4301, sub-§2, as enacted by PL 1987, c. 141, Pt. A, §6, is amended to read:
2. Costs. The Legislature finds that there are many uncertain future costs associated with nuclear power plants, including the costs of low-level and high-level waste disposal, decommissioning and long-term care. These costs will be borne by the consumers and reductions in these costs will serve to benefit consumers.
Sec. 2. 38 MRSA c. 14-C, as enacted by PL 1993, c. 664, §20 and 1995, c. 333, §6, is repealed.
Sec. 3. PL 1993, c. 400, §§3 and 4 are repealed.
Sec. 4. Withdrawal from Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact. Pursuant to Sections 7.03 and 7.05 of the Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact, the State of Maine hereby unilaterally and irrevocably withdraws from and terminates its agreements under that compact. The State of Maine takes this step due to:
1. The closure of the State's largest generator of low-level radioactive waste in 1997, obviating the need for Maine's membership in the compact; and
2. The inability to date of the State of Texas to cause a facility to be built in a timely manner pursuant to Section 4.04 of the compact and in recognition of the remedies provided under Section 7.04 of the compact for such inaction.
Emergency clause. In view of the emergency cited in the preamble, this Act takes effect when approved.
Effective April 5, 2002.
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