Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Facility Siting Act (Siting
Act), N.J.S.A. 13:1E-177 et seq., in 1987, authorized the New
Jersey Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Facility Siting
Board to site and oversee the development, operation and closure
of a disposal facility for low-level radioactive waste (LLRW)
generated in New Jersey. As established in the Siting Act, the
11-member volunteer Board was responsible for developing a disposal
plan, siting criteria and public information program, establishing
a siting process, siting, and overseeing the construction, operation
and closure of the LLRW disposal facility. The 13-member volunteer
Advisory Committee, also established by the Act, was responsible
for advising on disposal facility site designation and making
recommendations for action on application for construction of
the disposal facility. Both groups were composed of volunteers
nominated by the Governor and confirmed by the State Senate,
with the Siting Board also including representatives of the
Commissioners of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) and Health.
1991, the Legislature and Governor amended the Siting Act giving
the Board authority to assess and collect fees from the generators
of LLRW in New Jersey for the cost of implementing the Siting
Act, the Northeast Interstate Low-Level Radioactive Waste Management
Compact Act, N.J.S.A. 32:31-1 et seq., and the Federal Low-Level
Radioactive Waste Policy Amendments Act 42 U.S.C. 2021b et seq.
Since that time, the Siting Board has received no funds from
the State budget.
1995 and 1998 the Siting Board implemented a voluntary approach
to find a site in New Jersey. During this time, many individuals
sought information to help them determine whether or not hosting
the disposal facility might be a good idea for their municipality.
In sixteen towns, the possibility gained enough interest to
inspire attention in the local and regional press. In fourteen
of those communities, local officials began to publicly explore
whether or not they should volunteer to host the disposal facility.
1998 the Siting Board voted to suspend the active siting process
due to on-site storage capacity by New Jersey facilities, potential
expansion of out-of-state disposal options, and a dramatic reduction
in volume of LLRW generated in New Jersey. The Siting Board
continued to ensure disposal options for New Jersey generators
by monitoring New Jersey's generation of LLRW and by continued
discussions with out-of-state disposal entities. The Siting
Board also continued their efforts with public education on
the use and disposal of radioactive materials.
Siting Act, the NJDEP was responsible for providing technical
support to the Board in the siting and development of the LLRW
disposal facility. Since the Board suspended in-state siting
activities and the Board no longer maintained its own staff,
NJDEP staff provided the professional and clerical support to
As of July
1, 2000, New Jersey and Connecticut, the member states of the
Northeast LLRW Compact, admitted South Carolina into membership.
The Compact is now known as the Atlantic
Compact. The agreement to join the Compact included access
to the LLRW disposal facility in Barnwell, South Carolina for
the generators of LLRW in New Jersey, Connecticut and South
Carolina until all of the waste from the nuclear reactor decommissioning
is disposed. Thus, the necessity for the Board to monitor, as
well as to develop, disposal alternatives in the nation becomes
diminished since LLRW disposal for NJ generators is assured
for approximately the next 50 years.
public education efforts, the Board presented one Teacher Workshop
in July 2000 and two Teachers Workshops both in July 2001
and July 2002. At these workshops, middle school science teachers
developed curricula and lesson plans to teach their students
about radioactive materials in everyday life and in the environment.
Each year there has been an increase in content quality and
teacher participation. Plans are underway for additional workshops
in the summer of 2003.
2001, $2 million of the Disposal Fund monies were returned to
generators of LLRW in New Jersey in the same proportion as each
contributed to the Disposal Fund from the assessments of FY-1992-1993,
FY-1994 and FY-1998.
December 2, 2002 Governor McGreevey signed the bills S1688 and A2435
which repealed sections of the LLRW Siting Act that effectively
dissolved the Siting Board. Since forming the Atlantic Compact
on July 1, 2000 New Jersey LLRW generators have long-term access
to the disposal facility in Barnwell, South Carolina. Therefore,
there was no longer a reason to continue looking for a site
in New Jersey.
a few activities which will continue: monitoring the LLRW developments
in the rest of the nation, assisting the Atlantic Compact commissioners
in protecting the interests of the New Jersey generators, and
providing educational opportunities for science teachers to
include radioactivity in their curricula. The Radiation Protection
Program in NJDEP will perform these activities.
and the citizens of New Jersey thank the members of the Siting
Board and the Advisory Committee for their accomplishments in
ensuring the safe, dependable, long-term disposal for LLRW generated
in our State.
Radiation Protection Programs