(1) The Hanford nuclear reservation, through which the Columbia river flows for fifty miles, is the most contaminated area in North America. Use of Hanford as a national waste dump for radioactive and/or hazardous or toxic wastes will increase contamination and risks.
(2) Cleanup is the state of Washington's top priority at sites with hazardous waste contamination that threatens our rivers, groundwater, environment, and health. Adding more waste to contaminated sites undermines the cleanup of those sites. Cleanup is delayed and funds and resources diverted if facilities needed to treat or clean up existing waste are used for imported waste, and if larger facilities must be built to accommodate off-site wastes.
(3) The fundamental and inalienable right of each person residing in Washington state to a healthy environment has been jeopardized by pollution of air and water spreading from Hanford.
(4) The economy of Washington state, from agriculture to tourism, to fisheries, could be irreparably harmed from any accident releasing radiation or mixed radioactive and hazardous wastes.
(5) It is Washington state policy to prohibit adding more waste to a site where mixed radioactive and hazardous wastes (a) are not stored or monitored in compliance with state and federal hazardous waste laws and (b) have been dumped in unlined soil trenches which threaten to contaminate our state's resources.
(6) It is state policy to protect Washington's current and future residents, particularly children and other sensitive individuals, from the cumulative risks of cancer caused by all cancer-causing hazardous substances, including radionuclides, by ensuring that hazardous substance release and disposal sites meet the standards established pursuant to chapter 70.105D
(7) Effective public and tribal involvement is necessary for government agencies to make sound decisions that will protect human health and the environment for thousands of years. It is Washington state policy to encourage and enhance effective public and tribal involvement in the complex decisions relating to cleanup, closure, permitting, and transportation of mixed waste; and to provide effective assistance to the public and local governments in reviewing and commenting upon complex decision documents. It is appropriate that the polluter pay for necessary public participation for decisions relating to waste releases and risks from mixed waste sites.
(8) The transport of mixed radioactive and hazardous wastes is inherently dangerous, and should be minimized. Decisions involving transportation of these wastes must be made with full involvement of the potentially affected public through whose communities these wastes will pass.
[2005 c 1 § 2 (Initiative Measure No. 297, approved November 2, 2004).]
Reviser's note: Initiative Measure No. 297 was declared unconstitutional in its entirety in United States of America, et al. v. Manning, et al., U.S.D.C. No. CV-04-5128-AAM (E.D. Wash. 2006).