New Mexico wants to end federal breaches of reporting rules for dangerous substances at a nuclear dump near Carlsbad, the Albuquerque Journal reports.
The state’s environmental agency this week formally ordered the Energy Department to explain how it will fall back in line with rules requiring weekly declarations on levels of methane, hydrogen and other hazardous substances at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, the newspaper reported on Thursday. Federal officials began running afoul of the requirements after an escape of radioactive contaminants forced workers to vacate underground portions of the site in February.
A New Mexico Environment Department mandate also demands that more extensive supplementary assessments be issued on a biweekly basis. The state’s action applies to the Energy Department as well as the burial site’s managing contractor, Nuclear Waste Partnership.
At a public meeting last week, a top state oversight official responded angrily to a site administrator for deflecting a journalist’s inquiry about waste casks suspected of having caused the February contamination incident. New Mexico Environment Secretary Ryan Flynn called the move “a really good example … of some of the frustration that I’ve had since I was notified about this event.”
“If you have information, you need to disclose that information to the public immediately,” Flynn said.
Another New Mexico official said the nuclear dump’s management stepped up contacts with the state as a probe on the radiation incident unfolded.
Now, though, “we know on the record, in an enforceable order, we’re going to get this information regularly,” said Jeff Kendall, general counsel for the state’s environmental agency. “Noncompliance with the order has certain consequences.”
According to the Energy Department’s Carlsbad outpost, the new state mandate subjects subterranean areas of the facility to rules already in force at its surface.
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The Hollywood Reporter takes a look at a little-known intersection of politics and entertainment, in which Trump campaign CEO Steve Bannon is still raking in residuals from Seinfeld. Here's the digest version: When Seinfeld was in its infancy, Ted Turner was in the process of acquiring its production company, Castle Rock, but he was under-capitalized. Bannon's fledgling media company put up the remaining funds, and he agreed to "participation rights" instead of a fee. "Seinfeld has reaped more than $3 billion in its post-network afterlife through syndication deals." Meanwhile, Bannon is "still cashing checks from Seinfeld, and observers say he has made nearly 25 times more off the Castle Rock deal than he had anticipated."
Donald Trump's "transition team will meet next week with representatives of the tech industry, multiple sources confirmed, even as their candidate largely has been largely shunned by Silicon Valley. The meeting, scheduled for next Thursday at the offices of law and lobbying firm BakerHostetler, will include trade groups like the Information Technology Industry Council and the Internet Association that represent major Silicon Valley companies."
Today in bad news for Donald Trump:
- Newsweek found that a company he controlled did business with Cuba under Fidel Castro "despite strict American trade bans that made such undertakings illegal, according to interviews with former Trump executives, internal company records and court filings." In 1998, he spent at least $68,000 there, which was funneled through a consluting company "to make it appear legal."
- The Los Angeles Times reports that at a golf club he owns in California, Trump ordered that unattractive female staff be fired and replaced with prettier women.