County Land Use and Radioactive Waste
In the spirit of the call by Utah Policy Daily to "blog swarm" about radioactive waste storage today and tomorrow, I'm offering some information about what has been amended into the LUDMA in recent years regarding this issue.
In the counties section of the LUDMA, there is a requirement that counties, as part of their general plan, "include specific provisions related to any areas within ... a county, which are proposed for the siting of a storage facility or transfer facility for the placement of high-level nuclear waste or greater than class C radioactive waste ... ." There are a number of requirements for issues that must be considered, and then the code states, "A county may, in lieu of complying with Subsection (3)(a), adopt an ordinance indicating that all proposals for the siting of a storage facility ... wholly or partially within the county are rejected. A county may adopt the ordinance ... at any time."
Then, in a move to encourage counties to do so free from legal threat, Section 17-27a-409 states, "If a county is challenged in a court of law regarding its decision to deny siting of a storage or transfer facility for the placement of high-level nuclear waste... the state shall indemnify, defend, and hold the county harmless from any claims or damages, including court costs and attorney fees that are assessed as a result of the county's action... ."
Pretty strong statement in the state code about storage of nuclear waste. All as it relates to the land use process, as well.