DOE Policies in Connection With Construction and Operation of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant at Carlsbad, New Mexico

B-192999: Published: Sep 7, 1979. Publicly Released: Jun 4, 1985.

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Concern was expressed about certain Department of Energy (DOE) policies in connection with construction and operation of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. DOE has stated publicly that it will terminate federal activities at any stage of construction or operation in the absence of concurrence by the State of New Mexico. On two previous occasions, GAO considered the legality of DOE policy to permit the host state to, in effect, veto the establishment of federal nuclear waste repositories. A review of applicable law and regulations failed to uncover any authority for DOE to delegate or share with a state the right to select or prevent the selection a particular site as a nuclear waste repository by agreeing to be bound by state disapproval.

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