In Situ Leach Rulemaking

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has initiated a rulemaking effort, which is specifically tailored to ground water protection programs in the well-field production zone at in situ leach (ISL) uranium recovery facilities (commonly known as in situ recovery facilities, or ISRs). The NRC is working with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and appropriate States to establish standards to protect the health and safety of the public and the environment, while reducing (and preferably eliminating) dual regulation. The ISL rule is not expected to significantly alter the licensing requirements for these facilities, but will clarify the requirements for ISRs and provide the industry and the public with more predictability during the licensing process. For additional information, see the following topics on this page:

Rulemaking Information

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  • In 2010, EPA informed the NRC staff that EPA was planning to develop generally applicable standards for ISR ground water protection under their authority provided by the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act of 1978.  As a result, the NRC is deferring further action on this rulemaking until EPA completes its rulemaking on 40 CFR 192, "Health and Environmental Protection Standards for Uranium and Thorium Mill Tailings."  More information on EPA's rulemaking can be found on EPA's website.
  • Summary of Public Comments (not yet solicited)

Public Involvement

The NRC considers public involvement in the agency's activities to be a cornerstone of strong, fair regulation of the nuclear industry. Toward that end, our regulatory process provides a variety of opportunities for citizens to be heard. For example, we announce upcoming public meetings on our Web site to enable interested members of the public to participate. We also encourage public involvement in rulemaking, and we provide related information on our Rulemaking Dockets page. In addition, we provide opportunities for public involvement in hearings, as well as public information on hearing opportunities and license applications.

Project Manager for In Situ Leach Rulemaking

The NRC's Rulemaking Lead for the ISL rule is Gary Comfort, and the Technical Leads is Elise Striz. For additional information, please Contact a Public Affairs Officer.

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Friday, July 14, 2017