Texas Compact Commission Publishes Final Waste Management Rule

On March 23, 2018, the Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact Commission (Texas Compact Commission) published a final rule regarding the management of low-level radioactive waste within the Texas Compact in the Texas Register.  (See 43 Texas Register 1,871 dated March 23, 2018.) In particular, the Texas Compact Commission adopted a new §675.24 titled, “Requirement to Report on the Importation of Certain Low-Level Radioactive Waste for Management or Disposal that is not Required to be Disposed of in the Compact Facility.”  The final rule incorporates changes to the text as originally published in the Texas Register on November 3, 2017.  (See 42 Texas Register 6,123 dated November 3, 217). Copies of the proposed rule can be obtained from the Texas Compact Commission’s website at http://www.tllrwdcc.org/rules/.  Summary of the Factual Basis for the Adoption of the New Rule In order to fulfill its responsibilities with respect to 42 United States Code §§2021(b) – 2021(j) and the Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact §3.04(9) and §3.05(6), as set out in Texas Health and Safety Code (THSC), Chapter 403, the Texas Compact Commission has determined that it is in the public interest to gather information regarding low-level radioactive waste that enters the host state irrespective of whether it requires an agreement for importation for disposal at the Compact Facility. Pursuant to the Commission’s authority set out in THSC §403.006, the Commission adopts a new §675.24 to facilitate the gathering of that information by way of reporting requirements after the entry of the low-level radioactive waste into the state rather than requiring approval for the importation of certain categories of low-level radioactive waste into the host state. Summary of Changes made in the Proposed Rules after Comments After reviewing comments received during the public comment period, the Texas Compact Commission:

  •   revised the rule to require semi-annual rather than quarterly reporting;
  •   added language to sub-section (b)(4) to exclude waste that is regulated under §675.23 titled, “Importation of Waste from a Non-Party Generator for Disposal;
  •   revised subsection (b)(4) to clarify that the Texas Compact Commission seeks gross volume or weight of reported waste;
  •   added language to subsection (b)(4) to reflect that waste disposed of in the same reporting period which it was received should not be reported;
  •   revised subsection (c)(2) to clarify the source attributes of waste;
  •   removed subsection (c)(6) and combined information sought regarding location of management or the date and location of disposal of waste into subsection (c)(5);
  •   added language to subsection (d) to set forth the term of the Texas Compact Commission’s fiscal year;
  •   added language to subsection (d) to note that entities with a reporting obligation may do so on their own forms so long as the Texas Compact Commission provides prior authorization of the forms; and,
  •   added language to note that new entrants that import waste into the host state must enter into an agreement with a reporting requirement within 30 days of commencement of operations.
Public Comment and Commission Responses The public comment period on the proposed new rule opened on November 3, 2017 and closed at midnight on December 8, 2017.  On January 29, 2015, the Rules Committee of the Texas Compact Commission conducted a meeting to consider comments on the proposed rule in the Office of the Attorney General of Texas. During the public comment period, the Commission received written comments from EnergySolutions, Nuclear Sources & Services (NSSI), and Waste Control Specialists LLC (WCS).  EnergySolutions supports adoption of the rule.  WCS does not oppose adoption of the rule.  NSSI believes the rule is inapplicable to its operations based on other law. Concise Restatement of Statutory Authority A new §675.24 is adopted pursuant to Public Law 105-236 and the Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact as set out in THSC Chapter 403.
  •   Texas Compact §3.05(4) grants the Texas Compact Commission the rulemaking authority to carry out the terms of the Texas Compact.
  •   Texas Compact §3.04(9) authorizes the Texas Compact Commission to assemble and make public information concerning low-level radioactive waste management needs, technologies and problems.
  •   Texas Compact §3.05(6) authorizes the Texas Compact Commission to enter into agreements regarding the management and disposal of low-level radioactive waste.
The Texas Compact Commission interprets the foregoing provisions as authority to require reporting of information on NCFW.  A new §675.24 will further the public interest by gathering and monitoring information regarding low-level radioactive waste that enters the host state irrespective of whether it requires an agreement for importation for disposal at the Compact Facility. Background On November 3, 2017, the Texas Compact Commission published a proposed rule regarding the management of low-level radioactive waste within the Texas Compact in the Texas Register.  (See LLW Notes, November/December 2017, pp. 11-13.)  Comments on the proposed rule were due no later than the close of business on December 8, 2017. The proposed new §675.24 related to a requirement to report on the importation of certain low-level radioactive waste for management or disposal that is not required to be disposed in the Texas Compact Facility.  In order to fulfill its responsibilities, the Texas Compact Commission determined that it is in the public interest that it gathers information regarding low-level radioactive waste that enters the host state irrespective of whether it requires an agreement for importation for disposal at the Texas Compact facility. The proposed new §675.24 sought to facilitate the gathering of that information by the way of reporting requirements after the entry of the low-level radioactive waste into the state rather than requiring approval for the importation of certain categories of low-level radioactive waste into the host state. For additional information, please contact Texas Compact Commission Executive Director Leigh Ing at (512) 217-8045 or at (leigh.ing (at) tllrwdcc (dot) org) leigh.ing (at) tllrwdcc (dot) org