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115th Congress     }                                 {         Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session        }                                 {         115-925

======================================================================



 
            RESPONSIBLE DISPOSAL REAUTHORIZATION ACT OF 2018

                                _______
                                

 September 7, 2018.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on 
            the State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Walden, from the Committee on Energy and Commerce, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 2278]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Energy and Commerce, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 2278) to extend the authorization of the Uranium 
Mill Tailing Radiation Control Act of 1978 relating to the 
disposal site in Mesa County, Colorado, having considered the 
same, report favorably thereon with amendments and recommend 
that the bill as amended do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Purpose and Summary..............................................     2
Background and Need for Legislation..............................     2
Committee Action.................................................     3
Committee Votes..................................................     3
Oversight Findings and Recommendations...........................     3
New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditures     3
Congressional Budget Office Estimate.............................     3
Federal Mandates Statement.......................................     4
Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives............     4
Duplication of Federal Programs..................................     4
Committee Cost Estimate..........................................     5
Earmark, Limited Tax Benefits, and Limited Tariff Benefits.......     5
Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings..............................     5
Advisory Committee Statement.....................................     5
Applicability to Legislative Branch..............................     5
Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation...................     5
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............     5

    The amendments are as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``Responsible Disposal Reauthorization 
Act of 2018''.

SEC. 2. AUTHORIZATION.

  Section 112(a)(1)(B) of the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control 
Act of 1978 (42 U.S.C. 7922(a)(1)(B)) is amended by striking 
``September 30, 2023'' and inserting ``September 30, 2048''.

    Amend the title so as to read:
    A bill to extend the authorization of the Uranium Mill 
Tailings Radiation Control Act of 1978 relating to the disposal 
site in Mesa County, Colorado.

                          Purpose and Summary

    H.R. 2278 was introduced by Rep. Scott Tipton (R-CO) on May 
1, 2017. The legislation extends the authorization to operate 
the disposal site for receiving and disposing residual 
radioactive material in Mesa County, Colorado until September 
30, 2048.

                  Background and Need for Legislation

    Uranium mill tailings are a byproduct of mining and 
processing uranium ore. which may contain residual radiation. 
Uranium production, primarily located in western states, 
throughout the development of the Federal government's atomic 
energy defense programs and during the maturation of the 
commercial nuclear industry generated significant quantities of 
mill tailings. In certain instances, mill tailings were 
subsequently used as fill for construction purposes, which 
remains embedded throughout the respective areas surrounding 
legacy uranium mills.
    To protect public health and safety from potential health 
risks, uranium mill tailings must be disposed at a site that is 
licensed and that meets standards established by the Nuclear 
Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the Environmental Protection 
Agency (EPA).
    To facilitate safe disposal of mill tailings, Congress 
enacted the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act of 
1978\1\ (UMTRCA) to provide a framework and assign authority to 
the Secretary of Energy to dispose of uranium mill tailings. 
UMTRCA established a program to regulate tailings at active 
mill sites to minimize or eliminate radiation health hazards to 
the public.\2\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act of 1978, P.L. 95-
604.
    \2\Section 2 UMTRCA.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Section 112 of UMTRCA authorized the Secretary to operate a 
disposal site known as the Cheney disposal cell, located near 
Grand Junction Colorado, until 2023 or until the disposal site 
is filled to capacity, whichever comes first.
    Since 2003, the Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of 
Legacy Management (LM) has managed the disposal site and annual 
site inspections ``to evaluate surface feature conditions, 
perform . . . necessary site maintenance, and monitor . . . 
groundwater to verify the disposal . . . site's' 
integrity.''\3\ While DOE is responsible for the long-term 
maintenance and monitoring of the Grand Junction, Colorado 
site, the NRC has an oversight role to ensure the disposal site 
meets established regulatory standards.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\For more information on the site, see: https://www.lm.doe.gov/
Grand_Junction_DP/Fact_Sheet_GJ.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The cell contains about 4.5 million cubic yards of residual 
radioactive material, receives approximately 2,700 cubic yards 
of additional waste per year, and has sufficient space to 
receive an estimated 235,000 cubic yards, which represents 86 
more years of operation at current rates.\4\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \4\Statement for the Record of Carmelo Melendez, Director, Office 
of Legacy Management, Department of Energy to Committee on Energy and 
Commerce Subcommittee on Environment. May 18, 2018.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Cheney Disposal Cell is the only operational mill 
tailings disposal site. The Colorado Department of Public 
Health and Environment states, ``given that this is the only 
[DOE] uranium mill tailings disposal site left in the country, 
it is critical that this facility remains open to receive and 
dispose of the uranium mill tailings that are discovered in our 
communities. This action will ensure the continued protection 
of human health and the environment.''\5\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \5\Statement from Martha Rudolph, Director of Environmental 
Programs, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to 
Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment members, May 15, 2018.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                            Committee Action

    On May 18, 2018, the Subcommittee on Environment held a 
hearing on H.R. 2278. The Subcommittee received testimony from:
           The Honorable Tom Reed (NY-23), Member, U.S. 
        House of Representatives;
           Mark Gilbertson, Associate Principal Deputy 
        Assistant Secretary for Regulatory and Policy Affairs, 
        Office of Environmental Management, Department of 
        Energy; and,
           Noah Shaw, General Counsel and Secretary, 
        New York State Energy Research and Development 
        Authority.
    On June 27, 2018, the Subcommittee on Environment met in 
open markup session and forwarded H.R. 2278, as amended, to the 
full Committee by a voice vote. On July 12, 2018, the full 
Committee on Energy and Commerce met in open markup session and 
ordered H.R. 2278, as amended, reported to the House by a voice 
vote.

                            Committee Votes

    Clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires the Committee to list the record votes 
on the motion to report legislation and amendments thereto. 
There were no record votes taken in connection with ordering 
H.R. 2278 reported.

                 Oversight Findings and Recommendations

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee held a hearing and made 
findings that are reflected in this report.

   New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditures

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee finds that H.R. 
2278 would result in no new or increased budget authority, 
entitlement authority, or tax expenditures or revenues.

                  Congressional Budget Office Estimate

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the following is the cost estimate 
provided by the Congressional Budget Office pursuant to section 
402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974:

H.R. 2278--Responsible Disposal Reauthorization Act of 2017

    H.R. 2278 would amend the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation 
Control Act of 1978 to extend, through September 30, 2048, the 
government's authority to operate the Cheney disposal cell in 
Mesa County, Colorado. That facility, administered by the 
Department of Energy (DOE), serves as a repository for mill 
tailings--radioactive waste generated during the conversion of 
uranium into fuel for nuclear reactors. Under current law, 
DOE's authority to operate that site is scheduled to expire on 
September 30, 2023.
    Using information from DOE, CBO estimates that the agency's 
costs to administer the Cheney disposal cell (which primarily 
involves inspecting and maintaining the facility and preparing 
certain reports) total less than $500,000 annually; such 
spending is subject to appropriation. However, because DOE is 
already authorized to operate that facility through fiscal year 
2023, CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 2278 would have no 
effect on the department's costs over the 2018-2022 period 
covered by this estimate.
    Enacting H.R. 2278 would not affect direct spending or 
revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
    CBO estimates that H.R. 2278 would not increase net direct 
spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four consecutive 
10-year periods beginning in 2029.
    H.R. 2278 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.
    On April 5, 2018, CBO transmitted a cost estimate for S. 
1059, the Responsible Disposal Reauthorization Act of 2017, as 
ordered reported by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural 
Resources on March 8, 2018. S. 1059 and H.R. 2278 are similar, 
and CBO's estimates of the budgetary effects are the same.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Megan Carroll. 
This estimate was reviewed by H. Samuel Papenfuss, Deputy 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                       Federal Mandates Statement

    The Committee adopts as its own the estimate of Federal 
mandates prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office pursuant to section 423 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform 
Act.

         Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives

    The goal and objective of H.R. 2278 is to provide a safe 
and predictable disposal path for uranium mill tailings.

                    Duplication of Federal Programs

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(5) of rule XIII, no provision of 
H.R. 2278 is known to be duplicative of another Federal 
program, including any program that was included in a report to 
Congress pursuant to section 21 of Public Law 111-139 or the 
most recent Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance.

                        Committee Cost Estimate

    The Committee adopts as its own the cost estimate prepared 
by the Director of the Congressional Budget Office pursuant to 
section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974.

       Earmark, Limited Tax Benefits, and Limited Tariff Benefits

    In compliance with clause 9(e), 9(f), and 9(g) of rule XXI 
of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the Committee 
finds that H.R. 2278 contains no earmarks, limited tax 
benefits, or limited tariff benefits.

                  Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings

    Pursuant to section 3(i) of H. Res. 5, the Committee finds 
that H.R. 2278 contains no directed rule makings.

                      Advisory Committee Statement

    No advisory committees within the meaning of section 5(b) 
of the Federal Advisory Committee Act were created by this 
legislation.

                  Applicability to Legislative Branch

    The Committee finds that the legislation does not relate to 
the terms and conditions of employment or access to public 
services or accommodations within the meaning of section 
102(b)(3) of the Congressional Accountability Act.

             Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation


Section 1. Short title

    This section provides the short title of ``Responsible 
Disposal Reauthorization Act of 2018.''

Section 2. Authorization

    This section amends section 112(a)(1)(B) of the Uranium 
Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act of 1978 to authorize the 
operation of the Cheney disposal cell until the cell has been 
filled to capacity or September 30, 2048.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italic, and existing law in which no 
change is proposed is shown in roman):

          URANIUM MILL TAILINGS RADIATION CONTROL ACT OF 1978




           *       *       *       *       *       *       *
TITLE I--REMEDIAL ACTION PROGRAM

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



                       termination; authorization

  Sec. 112. (a)(1) The authority of the Secretary to perform 
remedial action under this title shall terminate on September 
30, 1998, except that--
          (A) the authority of the Secretary to perform 
        groundwater restoration activities under this title is 
        without limitation, and
          (B) the Secretary may continue operation of the 
        disposal site in Mesa County, Colorado (known as the 
        Cheney disposal cell) for receiving and disposing of 
        residual radioactive material from processing sites and 
        of byproduct material from property in the vicinity of 
        the uranium milling site located in Monticello, Utah, 
        until the Cheney disposal cell has been filled to the 
        capacity for which it was designed, or [September 30, 
        2023] September 30, 2048, whichever comes first.
  (2) For purposes of this subsection, the term ``byproduct 
material'' has the meaning given that term in section 11e.(2) 
of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 (42 U.S.C. 2014(e)(2)).
  (b) The amounts authorized to be appropriated to carry out 
the purposes of this title by the Secretary, the Administrator, 
the Commission, and the Secretary of the Interior shall not 
exceed such amounts as are established in annual authorization 
Acts for fiscal year 1979 and each fiscal year thereafter 
applicable to the Department of Energy. Any sums appropriated 
for the purposes of this title shall be available until 
expended.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


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