1982 Scorecard Vote
Nuclear Waste Policy Act (H.R. 3809). The vote is on the Markey (D-MA) amendment to make military nuclear waste subject to the same environmental, health and safety regulations that apply to civilian nuclear waste under the Act. The Act was supposed to provide a comprehensive solution to the nuclear waste disposal problem, but it did not cover about 90% of the wastes, which are military and are now unregulated. Residents living near a defense nuclear facility will suffer the same health consequences as those living near a civilian facility if there is an accident or leakage of radioactive material. Letting the military and the Congressional Armed Services Committee set the rules for this waste would probably not solve the problem, since the military has been extremely lax in its handling of nuclear wastes in the past. At Hanford, Washington, high level military nuclear wastes have a history of leaking into the ground water and the Columbia River. The DOE Inspector General reported that the practices at Hanford needed "wholesale overhaul." The Markey amendment would still have allowed the military to develop and run their own waste sites separate from civilian waste sites, but the federal standards to protect the public and the environment would be the same. Amendment rejected 105-281; December 2, 1982. YES is the pro-environmental vote. The final Act to pass Congress said that military and civilian wastes would be disposed of at the same site, unless the President decided otherwise.