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The Rocky Mountain Low-Level Radioactive Waste Board (Board) is an interstate government agency that administers the Rocky Mountain Low-Level Radioactive Waste Compact (Compact).  The Compact was created by legislation passed by the member states:  Colorado, Nevada, and New Mexico.  The Compact is an independent regulatory organization that is not an agency of any of its member states.  The Compact received Congressional approval via the Omnibus Low-Level Radioactive Waste Interstate Compact Consent Act, P.L. 99-240.  Thus, the Compact is authorized by both federal and state law.  The main purposes of the Compact are to provide for the disposal of low-level radioactive waste (LLW) produced within the member states and to regulate the interstate commerce aspects of LLW.  The Board was established in 1983.  The Board consists of one member appointed by the governor of each member state. 

The Compact regulates certain aspects of LLW management.  LLW regulated by the Compact includes radioactive waste other than: high-level radioactive waste, transuranic waste, nuclear weapons waste, uranium and thorium tailings, and wastes from mining, milling, smelting, or similar processing of ores and mineral-bearing material primarily for minerals other than radium.

Generators of LLW in the member states have access, with certain restrictions, to a number of LLW disposal facilities, including the following: the Benton County facility in Washington; the Energy Solutions facility in Utah; the US Ecology facility in Idaho (permitted under state law to accept only “exempt” radioactive waste); the LOTUS facility in Texas; and the WCS facility in Texas.  Generators have access to additional disposal and management/processing facilities.  Because of the interstate commerce powers delegated to the Compact by Congress, LLW (as defined in the Board’s rules) can not be brought into the member states or be removed from the member states without approval of the Board.

The Compact has procedures for establishing and approving regional facilities.  With certain exceptions, LLW that is disposed within the member states must be disposed of at regional facilities.  The Board has no authority to address the health or safety aspects of LLW management and disposal.

In response to a request from the State of Colorado, the Board has designated the Clean Harbors Deer Trail Facility as a non-exclusive regional facility for the disposal of certain Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM), Technologically Enhanced NORM (TENORM), and radium processing wastes.  The Board’s approval allows the facility to accept the same wastes as the Radioactive Materials License issued to Clean Harbors by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

In November 2006, the Board adopted Rule 12 concerning NORM/TENORM waste that is generated within the compact region.  Under Rule 12, NORM/TENORM waste generated within the Compact region may be disposed of in the region at such facilities allowed by the policies and regulations of the state in which such disposal will occur.  Thus, in-region generated NORM/TENORM waste does not have to be disposed of at the Clean Harbors Deer Trail Facility.  The Board continues to regulate the import and export of NORM/TENORM waste.