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Appeal of Envirocare Expansion Will Be Heard

Appeal of Envirocare Expansion Will Be Heard



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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- An environmental group's appeal to block the proposed expansion of a low-level radiation and hazardous waste site will move forward, the state Radiation Control Board decided Wednesday.

The board met to determine if the Healthy Environment Alliance of Utah had legal standing to challenge the Division of Radiation Control's decision to allow Envirocare to double the size of its waste site.

"They voted for HEAL Utah to have standing before the board," said Dane Finerfrock director of the division.

The board will meet again on Nov. 4 and a hearing will likely be scheduled then, he said.

Envirocare, located about 80 miles west of Salt Lake City, received preliminary permission to increase its site from 543 acres to 1,079 from the division.

The Legislature and Gov. Jon Huntsman must also give their approval before construction of the expansion can begin.

"This (decision) is an important victory for the citizens of Utah because locking our state into 50 more years as the nation's nuclear waste dump will have long term impacts on public health and the image of our state," said Jason Groenewold, director of HEAL Utah.

Envirocare spokesman Mark Walker said, "We appreciate the board taking the time to hear both sides. We respect their decision and look forward to the next in the process."

Envirocare has said it has adequate capacity at the landfill to accept low-level radioactive and hazardous waste for up to 20 years.

Envirocare is one of three U.S. sites licensed to take commercial low-level radioactive waste. Envirocare handles much of the commercial radioactive waste that comes from nuclear power plants, as well as from medical and research facilities. The Utah site also counts on federal cleanup waste for about half of its revenue.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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