Politicians promise battle on Goshute Band nuclear waste facility
All five members of Utah's Congressional delegation said they will do whatever it takes to stop the the Skull Valley Band of Goshute Indians from storing nuclear waste on the reservation.

"The plain simple fact is that we will never allow this facility to be built," Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said in a press release.

In 2006, Hatch took credit for lobbying the Bush administration to kill the project. But Judge David M. Ebel issued a decision this week said that the Interior Department acted in an "arbitrary and capricious" manner when it rejected a lease for the facility and a rail line to the reservation.

Ebel, who was appointed to the bench by former president Ronald Reagan and was elevated to an appellate court by former president George W. Bush, ordered DOI to reconsider its decision. The Department of Justice hasn't decided whether to appeal.

“No determinations have been made at this stage," DOJ spokesperson Charles Miller told The Salt Lake Tribune.

The tribe signed a lease with Private Fuel Storage to store up to 44,000 tons of nuclear waste on a 100-acre site on the 18,000-acre reservation. The waste would be restricted to an 18-acre portion of the site.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved a license for the project. But DOI officials tried to get the tribe to drop its plans and, at one point, former deputy secretary J. Steven Griles offered to add land to the reservation and expand hunting and fishing rights.

Get the Story:
Utah leaders protest pro-nuke waste ruling (The Salt Lake Tribune 7/28)

District Court Decision:
Skull Valley Band of Goshute Indians v. DOI (July 26, 2010)

Interior Decision Documents:
Skull Valley Band Nuclear Waste Repository

Related Stories:
Judge blasts Bush decision on Goshute Band nuclear waste facility (7/27)
Judge holds hearing over rejected Goshute nuclear dump (3/23)
Skull Valley Goshutes sue DOI over lease rejection (7/18)
Court puts off challenge to Goshute nuclear (6/27)
Interior called Goshute chairman on cell phone (09/14)
Goshute chairman blasts Interior on waste deal (9/13)
Editorial: Interior, the imprudent trustee (9/11)
Interior rejects Skull Valley nuclear waste dump (9/8)
Goshute Tribe rejects Griles deal as 'disingenuous' (4/24)