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Nebraska v. Central Interstate Low-Level Radioactive Waste Comm'n

Citation: 30 ELR 20455
No. No. 99-1275, 207 F.3d 1021/(8th Cir., 04/04/2000)

The court holds that Nebraska, a host state for a regional disposal facility, does not have a unilateral right under the Central Interstate Low-Level Radioactive Waste Compact to veto low-level radioactive waste export permits issued by the Central Interstate Low-Level Radioactive Waste Commission. The court first holds that permits to export waste from the compact region do not fall within the narrow veto provision of the compact and, thus, are subject to majority vote. The compact's veto provision grants host states veto power over agreements that grant the right of access to facilities outside the compact region. Export permits, however, do not confer the right of access to facilities outside the region. An export permit is a right to remove, not a right of access to anything. In addition, the veto provision only covers agreements between the commission and persons outside the compact region while exportpermits involve the commission and persons inside the compact region. Because the commission only confers export permits to persons inside the compact region and the veto provision refers only to agreements between the commission and persons outside the compact region, export permits are not within the terms of the veto provision. Consequently, the court affirms the district court's holding that host states do not have a veto power over export permits. The court also affirms the district court's holding that the question of whether host states have a veto power over import permits does not present a justiciable dispute sufficient to satisfy the "actual controversy" requirement of the Declaratory Judgment Act.

Counsel for Appellant
William M. Lamson Jr.
Lamson & Dugan
10306 Regency Parkway Dr., Omaha NE 68114
(402) 397-0203

Counsel for Appellee
Alan E. Peterson
Cline & Williams
1900 U.S. Bank Bldg.
233 S. 13th St., Lincoln NE 68508
(402) 474-6900

Before Murphy and Smith,* JJ.