SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – A bill moving its way through the Roundhouse aims to prevent radioactive waste from being stored in the state without residents’ consent. The House Government Elections, and Indian Affairs Committee passed Senate Bill 53.
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It would amend the Radioactive and Hazardous Materials Act by establishing a task force that would negotiate with the federal government when it comes to storing the materials in the state. It would also ban the federal government from creating new disposal facilities unless the state gives permission.
Supporters of the bill say protections need to be put in place for New Mexicans. “Let’s be clear, this is an opportunity for them to make money on the back of New Mexicans that have already suffered with storing nuclear waste in our state and other abandonments,” said one supporter. “Let’s not let them have their way.”
The task force would be required to meet at least once a year. Senate Bill 53 passed the committee 6 to 3. It now heads to the House Judiciary Committee. The bill would go into effect immediately after it is signed into law.