Environment News Service

SOUTH CAROLINA ACCEPTS LIMITED RADIOACTIVE WASTE SHIPMENTS

BARNWELL, South Carolina, June 14, 2000 (ENS) - A disposal site in Barnwell will continue to accept low level radioactive waste from Connecticut and New Jersey, after the state of South Carolina was added to the Atlantic Compact agreement between the two states. South Carolina has been trying to reduce the amount of waste it accepts from nuclear power plants, hospitals and industrial sites around the country. The new arrangement allows only the two other Atlantic Compact states to ship wastes to Barnwell. "It dramatically reduces the amount of nuclear waste coming into our state," said Morton Brilliant, spokesman for South Carolina Governor Jim Hodges, a Democrat. "Our priority was to end South Carolina's status as the nation's nuclear dumping ground."

Connecticut and New Jersey will each pay a one time fee of $5 million to participate in the pact, using funds paid by waste generators. The fees represent a small fraction of what the states would have to pay to build their own disposal facilities. "Now we have a guarantee," said Kevin McCarthy, chairman of the commission. "We will have stable pricing." Opponents say the arrangement directs wastes into low income communities.

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