Texas/Fasken’s 5th Circuit ISP petition granted and license vacated

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In a major legal victory for opponents to Interim Storage Partners’ (ISP) proposed high-level radioactive waste dump targeted at Andrews County, Texas, on August 25, 2023 the 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in New Orleans, Louisiana granted the State of Texas and Fasken Land and Minerals, Ltd.’s petition, and vacated the license for construction and operation of a consolidated interim storage facility (CISF) issued by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to ISP in September, 2021.

Permian Basin Land and Royalty Owners (PBLRO) joined with Fasken and Texas in challenging NRC’s license approval for ISP’s CISF.

See the 5th Circuit ruling here.

Beyond Nuclear and environmental allies, as well as Fasken/PBLRO, had challenged the legality of ISP’s CISF in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit for several long years. But on January 25, 2023, the D.C. Circuit rejected all challenges, and let NRC’s ISP CISF license stand.

Click on links below to read media coverage about this major ruling (certain articles are partly or entirely behind pay walls):

Bloomberg Law; Midland Reporter-Telegram; NewsWest9 (Part 1); NewsWest9 (Part 2); NucNet; Nuclear Engineering International; Reuters; SourceNM (Beyond Nuclear quoted); The Texan; UtilityDive (Beyond Nuclear quoted); World Nuclear News.

Vox also reported on this story, stating “Realistically, the Supreme Court is likely to hear this case and reverse Ho’s decision.” But this assumes the U.S. Supreme Court will reverse its own West Viriginia versus EPA ruling issued just last year — cited as a basis for this 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling — which does not seem realistic.

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