CARSON CITY — Nevada is appealing a federal judge’s ruling to allow the future transfer of nuclear material from South Carolina to a federal site in Nye County.
The state filed a request for a preliminary injunction to stop the Department of Energy from shipping a metric-ton of weapons grade plutonium from South Carolina into the state in November, but a judge last week denied that injunction.
On the day of the judge’s ruling, the Energy Department disclosed that it had delivered half a metric ton of the material, which is used as the core material in nuclear weapons, into the state before the initial lawsuit was filed.
After learning this past week that the Department of Energy had secretly shipped a thousand pounds of weapons-grade plutonium to the Nevada National Security Site in Nye County before the state had filed a federal lawsuit in November seeking to block such shipments, Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak and the state’s entire Democratic delegation to D.C. flew into paroxysms of apoplexy, accusing the Trump administration of deception and dealing unfairly with the state.
Sisolak put out a statement declaring, “I am beyond outraged by this completely unacceptable deception from the U.S. Department of Energy. The Department led the State of Nevada to believe that they were engaging in good-faith negotiations with us regarding a potential shipment of weapons-grade plutonium, only to reveal that those negotiations were a sham all along. They lied to the State of Nevada, misled a federal court, and jeopardized the safety of Nevada’s families and environment.”
WASHINGTON — Nevada has filed a federal lawsuit seeking a halt a court-ordered shipment of military-grade plutonium from South Carolina to a temporary storage facility in Nye County.
The state cited health, environmental and transportation in its filing with the federal district court in Nevada.
“I don’t want Interstate 11 to become the plutonium expressway,” Robert Halstead, executive director for the Nevada governor’s Agency for Nuclear Projects and Nuclear Waste Project Office, said Tuesday, referring to the planned north-south freeway that would bisect the state.
The state’s motion, filed Nov. 30, seeks to prevent the Trump administration from shipping a metric ton of weapons-grade plutonium from the Department of Energy’s Savannah River site in South Carolina to the Nevada National Security Site, about 100 miles northwest of Las Vegas., in Nye County.
But while Bundy’s battle with BLM over grazing fees appears to be dormant, his fight with federal prosecutors may not be over.
Although Chief U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro barred federal prosecutors from seeking a new trial against Bundy and his sons, the government filed a “protective notice of appeal” in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals this summer.
Federal prosecutors are required to file their opening brief in that case by Jan. 2, with a response from Bundy and his sons by Feb. 1.
The 71-year-old rancher has become the focus of a legal effort by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Spokane, which is asking a federal judge to sanction Riley for “trespass, encroachment, damages” and make him pay the legal costs incurred by forcing Riley to abide by the rules on ground purchased by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers some 53 years ago.
“The government just has too many employees and too much money,” said Riley’s nephew, Chad Lindgren, who works Riley’s River Ranch. “They are not going to back down. They are not going to give in unless we make them give in.”
And, he noted, the yearslong dispute is being funded by taxpayers: “We are basically paying those people to be a pain in our ass.”
Head ’em up, move ’em out.
There has been a lot of talk since the Trump administration has taken over about where to locate the national headquarters of some of the nation’s federal land agencies. One land agency, the Bureau of Land Management, controls 11 percent of the nation’s lands, but 99 percent of that land is in the West.
Fully 85 percent of the land in Nevada is controlled by those federal land agencies, the highest percentage of any state, with 66 percent of the state lying under the purview of the BLM, while the rest of the public land is controlled by agencies such as the Forest Service, National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, the Department of Defense and the Bureau of Reclamation.
In a unanimous ruling by The Supreme Court this week, it was determined that challenges to the “Waters of the United States” or WOTUS Rule must be filed in federal district courts. This is significant in that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) attempted to limit their victims chance for appeal or redress.
It was reported that the Obama administration asked the Supreme Court not to take the case, and argued that the Sixth Circuit should be allowed to consider it.
The written opinion, delivered by Justice Sotomayor, states that challenges must be filed in federal district courts.