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Committe gives green light to new Montana radioactive waste disposal rules

Posted at 8:51 AM, May 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-30 10:51:18-04

A legislative committee pulled an about face this week and withdrew its objection to new rules that govern the disposal of radioactive oil field waste in Montana.

Last month, after six years of work on the issue, the Environmental Quality Council voted to sidetrack the new rules.

But Wednesday, on a vote of 12-2, the council withdrew its objection. That means the new rules will go into effect by the end of July.

The new rules determine the level of radioactivity that landfills are allowed to accept.

Proponents wanted Montana's rules to be identical to those in North Dakota to protect the state from becoming a dumping ground for such oil waste.

Montana has two waste facilities in Missoula and Glendive certified to handle such radioactive waste. Three other facilities - all planned for eastern Montana- have been permitted by the state, but are not yet open.