News From U.S. Representative
Shelley Berkley (NV-01)

www.house.gov/berkley

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For Immediate Release                       Contact: David Cherry (202) 226 7578

BUSH MAKES YUCCA MOUNTAIN WATER GRAB

Berkley: "Vicious Assault on Nevadans"

(April 5, 2006 -- Washington, D.C.)  Congresswoman Shelley Berkley (D-NV) today said that the Bush Administration's new plan to speed the opening of Yucca Mountain will destroy Nevada's ability to protect its water resources and limit the ability of the State to fight the proposed nuclear garbage dump.      

"The Bush Administration's Yucca Mountain bill tramples all over Nevada's right to determine how water is used to benefit the families of our State.  If President Bush and his allies succeed in passing this bill, Nevada will be unable to block the Department of Energy from using unlimited amounts of water for burying nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain," said Berkley.    

"The State of Nevada has determined that Yucca Mountain threatens to pollute vital water sources and has denied DOE the ability to tap local water reserves.  The Bush plan calls on Congress to take away Nevada's ability to block water from going to Yucca Mountain and would set a terrible precedent for destroying long-standing local control over one of our State's most important natural resources," Berkley said.    

"The entire Yucca Mountain process has shown that President Bush and his Republican allies have absolutely no respect for Nevada's rights as a state, our laws, or the health and safety of our families," said Berkley.        

"This is but one of the vicious assaults on Nevadans included in the Bush Yucca Mountain package, which also eliminates all restrictions on how much waste can be sent to Nevada and limits local challenges against the proposed dump and dangerous shipments to the facility," Berkley said.        

SUMMARY OF WATER RIGHTS PROVISIONS:

The State of Nevada has determined that it is not in Nevada's public interest to allow the water to be used for the development of Yucca Mountain. This provision would give the Department of Energy access to the water it says is needed to run Yucca Mountain. The provision also would authorize the Secretary to obtain water rights, by purchase or otherwise, to carry out the Department's functions under the Nuclear Waste Policy Act.  This provision also bars Nevada from enacting laws to block DOE's use of water at the proposed dump site.    

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