The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on Friday that it is withdrawing the pending rulemaking for uranium mining and thorium mill tailings.
“In a rush to regulate during the waning hours of the previous administration, the agency proposed a regulation that would have imposed significant burdens on uranium miners and the communities they support,” Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler said in the press release announcing the decision.
“The Nuclear Regulatory Commission – our nation’s principal nuclear regulator – has said there is no health or safety justification for EPA’s midnight rule.”
The proposed rule expressed concerns from federal partners, including the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and stakeholders, about the agency’s legal authority under the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act of 1978.
“Today’s action underscores that EPA believes existing regulatory structures are sufficient at this time to ensure the protection of human health and the environment at current uranium in-situ recovery (ISR) activities,” the press release stated.