Utah politicians urge appeal on Skull Valley Goshute nuclear waste
All five members of Utah's Congressional delegation are urging the Obama administration to appeal a decision over a nuclear waste facility on the Skull Valley Goshute Reservation.

The delegation wrote a letter to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, who is in Utah today for meetings on an unrelated issue. They said the Interior Department was right to reject the project in 2006.

“It could not be clearer that the [Interior] department acted in good faith and made a reasoned decision based upon the facts,” the letter stated, according to 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. During the Bush administration, 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.

In September 2006, former associate deputy secretary Jim Cason and another official ended up rejecting a lease for the project and a rail line to the reservation.

Get the Story:
Utah leaders to Salazar: Fight Skull Valley N-waste (The Salt Lake Tribune 8/3)

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:
Politicians promise battle on Goshute Band nuclear waste facility (7/28)
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)