Wyoming a step closer to self-regulating uranium industry

Wyoming a step closer to self-regulating uranium industry

Uranium drilling in Willow Creek, Wyoming. Uranium One.

Wyoming, the largest uranium producing state in the U.S., likely to begin regulating its own industry instead of leaving it in the federal government’s hands, after a legislative committee endorsed the proposal Monday.

The legislators voted to introduce a bill that would allow the Department of Environmental Quality to take over from the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

"Those high costs and the length of time it takes to get a permit, or to get anything done, is quite burdensome to the uranium industry," Bob Tarantola, a representative of the Wyoming Mining Association told Associated Press.

He added that transferring the regulatory responsibilities to the state —a move estimated to cost $4 million— doesn't mean the standards will be lower. “It will still be as high as always, but it means we have better access. Timing should be a lot faster to get things done, and the cost is going to be much less," he was quoted as saying.

The bill will be discussed again during the Legislative session in January.