Friday, July 9, 2021

NRC Begins Environmental Justice Review of Agency Programs

 Nuclear Regulatory Commission - News Release

No: 21-027 July 8, 2021
CONTACT: David McIntyre, 301-415-8200

NRC Begins Environmental Justice Review of Agency Programs

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is conducting a systematic review of how the agency’s programs, policies and activities address environmental justice. As part of the review, agency staff will seek public comment related to how the NRC addresses environmental justice, given its mission of protecting people and the environment.

“We anticipate that these meetings will invite a wide range of useful perspectives, from community groups, non-governmental organizations, labor unions, and nuclear power plant operators,” said NRC Chairman Christopher T. Hanson. “What we learn will help enhance the staff’s reviews of license applications and other activities that we regulate.”

The Commission directed the review in a staff requirements memorandum dated April 23, giving the staff nine months to conduct the review. An Environmental Justice Review Team has been established within the NRC Office of the Executive Director for Operations and has begun reviewing recent Executive Orders and assessing practices of other federal, state and tribal governments. The team will also review the adequacy of the NRC’s 2004 Policy Statement on the Treatment of Environmental Justice Matters in NRC Regulatory and Licensing Actions. The team will evaluate whether the NRC should incorporate environmental justice beyond implementation through the National Environmental Policy Act, as set out in the policy statement, and consider whether there may be benefits from establishing formal mechanisms to gather external stakeholder input.

The Environmental Justice Review Team will hold two public meetings by webinar July 15 to provide an overview of its review and receive public comment. The webinars will be held from 1:30-3p.m. and 8-9:30p.m., both Eastern Time. Details for accessing the webinars are available in the public meetings notices linked above.

A notice will be published on July 9 in the Federal Register asking specific questions to inform the team’s review and describing other means to provide public comment.

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