Eureka County
Yucca Mountain Information Office
P.O. Box 714
Eureka, Nevada 89316
Phone (775) 237-5372 FAX (775) 237-5708

November 16, 2000

Bureau of Land Management
U.S. Department of Interior
4765 Vegas Drive
Las Vegas, NV 89108

RE: U.S. Department of Energy Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Office, Applications to Extend Right-Of-Way Reservations N-48602 and N-47748 until January, 2008

To Whom It May Concern:

Eureka County, Nevada is an "affected unit of local government" under Section 116 of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, as amended. As such, Eureka County conducts oversight activities of the Yucca Mountain project, and provides comments on repository-related matters.

Regarding the applications by DOE to extend right-of-way reservations, we have two main concerns. It is our understanding that the original applications relied on an environmental assessment from 1986. So much has happened since 1986 with Yucca Mountain itself, and with the repository project that a new environmental analysis is needed, in conformance with the National Environmental Policy Act, in order for BLM to consider the applications.

We also have a concern about the need for the extension. In its public information materials, DOE asserts that, "The renewal will allow the DOE to continue the studies that must precede a decision whether to construct a repository." DOE expects the decision on whether to construct a repository to be made by the DOE in 2001, and by the NRC in 2005. However, according to DOE's own time line (see attached), by the year 2008, construction of the repository will be nearly completed. If that is the case, then the right-of-way extensions through 2008 are unnecessary.

Thank you for considering our comments.


Abigail C. Johnson
Nuclear Waste Advisor
Eureka County

cc: Leonard Fiorenzi
Attachment (DOE Schedule)

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