News Advisory from:
The Snake River Alliance--Idaho's nuclear watchdog

July 18, 2002
For immediate release

Judge Winmill to Hear Nuclear Waste Argument Monday

Lawyers for Idaho’s nuclear watchdog, the Snake River Alliance, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Yakama Indian tribes will be in Federal District Court in Boise on Monday to argue against a U.S. Department of Energy motion to dismiss a lawsuit claiming the DOE is violating the Nuclear Waste Policy Act by trying to leave highly radioactive waste in the ground in Idaho, Washington, and South Carolina.

Oral argument in NRDC, Yakama Nation, and Snake River Alliance vs. Spencer Abraham (Case No. 01-CV-413) will begin in the courtroom of Judge Lynn Winmill at 9 a.m., Monday, July 22, in the Federal District Court, 6th and Fort Streets, Boise. In the past week both the Washington and Idaho attorneys general have petitioned to join the case as friends of the court. The Shoshone-Bannock Tribes have petitioned to intervene.

"At issue in the case is whether the Department of Energy can use its own rules to avoid proper disposal of highly radioactive waste—some of the most dangerous material ever created by man,” said Gary Richardson, executive director of the Snake River Alliance, Idaho’s nuclear watchdog. "In essence, the DOE wants to reclassify the high-level waste in tanks at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Lab, Hanford and Savannah River. They want to call it something else and leave it in the ground above the Snake River aquiver in Idaho, next to the Columbia River in Washington, and actually in the groundwater at South Carolina.”

Court documents in the case are available at www.id.uscourts.gov --"Case files/Queries”—"district”—"Remote access to court electronic records”— "01-413”

Contact: Gary Richardson
(208) 344-9161 (days)
(208) 336-2128 (eves)