Congress of the United States
Washington, DC 20513

November 19, 1999

Michael, R. Turnipseed
Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
Water Resources Division
123 Nye Lane Carson City, NV 89706-0818

Dear Mr. Turnipseed:

As public officials, elected by the citizens of Nevada, we urge you to deny the U.S. Department of Energy a permit for the appropriation of water for the Yucca Mountain high-level nuclear waste project.

Water permits should only be granted for purposes that are of beneficial use and in the public interest The Yucca Mountain project clearly fails to meet these standards; in fact, the project, if completed, would create au unacceptable risk to the health and welfare of Nevada residents.

Yucca Mountain clearly is not a safe place for high-level nuclear waste. It is in a highly active earthquake zone. Water migrates through the area much more rapidly than is safe for the long term containment of radiation. These factors and others have forced the Department of Energy to admit that Yucca Mountain, if it were selected as a high level nuclear waste repository, would emit radiation at levels far above any currently recognized safety standard.

The Nevada Legislature, along with city and county governments across the state, have approved numerous resolutions opposing the disposal of high level nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain. In addition, state law prohibits the storage of high-level nuclear waste in Nevada. Clearly, it is well established that Nevadans strongly believe the Yucca Mountain project serves no beneficial use and is dangerous to the public interest.

We therefore urge, in the strongest terms, that the application of the Department of Energy to appropriate the waters of Nevada be denied.

Sincerely,

Richard H. Bryan
United States Senator

Harry Reid
United States Senator

Shelley Berkley
Member of Congress

Jim Gibbons
Member of Congress