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Victory for South Carolina

Dear Conservation Voters,

Yesterday’s court decision to require more stringent disposal procedures at the Barnwell nuclear waste dump was long in the making. We congratulate our friends at the Sierra Club and the South Carolina Environmental Law Project for “sticking to their guns” in this case. It was filed way before our involvement in the issue but I remember well the shock of legislators when they saw the open trenches on a tour of the site in 2007. We were in the middle of fighting a bill that would have let the nation continue sending its commercial, nuclear waste there. Not long afterwards, the House Agriculture Committee unanimously voted NO, and the Atlantic Compact went into effect. Although the Compact now allows only waste from South Carolina, Connecticut and New Jersey, it’s important that all reasonable measures are taken to safely handle it.

Susan Corbett, Chair of the South Carolina Chapter of the Sierra Club, said in The State: “We must do a better job of dealing with this waste…We as citizens have to be vigilant and make sure the rules are actually being followed and the best practices are being practiced.’’ There are consequences of taking nuclear waste from around the country—and from around the world—and South Carolina voters should hold elected officials accountable for those consequences.

Yesterday’s decision will compel Chem-Nuclear to use best practices. As Amy Armstrong, Executive Director of the South Carolina Environmental Law Project, said, “It’s about time they start doing things better down there.’’ This victory by Sierra Club and South Carolina Environmental Law Project is truly a win for all South Carolinians.

Ann Timberlake, Executive Director

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