Newspaper Archive of
Hells Canyon Journal
Halfway, Oregon
October 15, 1986     Hells Canyon Journal
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October 15, 1986

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Fifth of a Series tS Is waste transportation the next nuclear gamble? Last Sunday evening, Oc- tober 12, 5:15 p.m. a semi- truck carrying radio-active material to the Hanford Res- ervation rear ended another semi-truck and a combine tractor on a bridge at Mile- post 216 westbound on Inter- state 84 in the Burleigh- Rupert, Idaho area. The semi and its load of nuclear material entered the Snake River. "There is no leakage and therefore no danger to public safety," a spokesperson at the Idaho State Police in Twin Falls told the Hells Canyon Journal Monday, October 13. "A Twin Falls firm is pulling it out today; it is expected to take all day." "Transportation through- out Oregon is very safe," Baker County Judge Smith, who is a member of the Interagency Hazard Com- munication Council, said. "Very few accidents are associated with tad/waste, but we are always vulner- able." It is the constant vulnera- bility, the "worse scene" scenario that haunts state and local officials and anti- nuclear proponents. The feeling that, even though the odds are very small, some- -where, someday it's going to happen.., and maybe here, that torments awareness from the man on the farm to Senator Mark Hatfield. What if Sunday's accident had involved leakage? Temporarily delegating radioactive waste storage to the recesses of conscience, the next bone to mentally chew is how to transport it, what in, from wherever, however, safely. Over 1.5 billion tons of hazardous materials were transported by land, sea and air in the United States in 1982, according to "Trans- portation of Hazardous Ma- terials" a 1986 publication of the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA). Truck transport, by a fleet of 467,000 trucks, accounts for more than half of the 'shipments. Thirty-five thou- sand loads are shipped an- nually through Baker Coun- ty, according to Judge Larry Smith, who believes 10 per- cent of these shipments are radioactive waste. How well prepared are local governments, who will accident includes tennis shoes and binoculars . . . tennis shoes to run away and binoculars to read the haz, ardous materials placard from a distance before call- for expert help. He also not know that state enforcement records show that between 25 and 50 percent of trilcks are incor- rectly placarded so if he must respond to a truck accident, sccurate identifica- tion may be difficult and time consuming." The spokesperson at ISP Monday did not know if the semi in the Snake River be first on the accident carried low or high level scene? According to OTA, nuclear material. "The public safety person is likely to be one of the nation's one million largely untrained volunteer fire- fighters who . . . probably has not heard that the sim- plest equipment for dealing with a hazardous materials Basic regulatory struc- tures have been developed over the last I00 years, largely by industry and mostly before public aware- ness of the dangers o _toxic. substances and understand- ing of the complex measures The (H)Ours at Home Trio, featuring Leona Thorn- burg, Amy Crocker and Lau-, ra Nastri, will present a fall concert sponsored by Cornu- Copia Arts Council Friday, October 17, 7:00 p.m. at the Presbyterian Church in Half- way. Since late 1985, the trio has performed in school programs, grange lunch- eons, church services, at E.O.S.C. and in concert. (H)Ours at Home brings a technically polished program of varied classical and con- temporary music into an informal setting. Appealing to both the inexperienced and the discriminating lis- tener, their personal ap- proach makes the music of the masters accessible to everyone. General admission is $3 for adults, $2 for school-age children and seniors. Laura Nastri, violinist in the (H)Ours at Home Trio is expecting Ron and Brian Lloyd of the Ron Lloyd Band from Sisters and Jennifer Goodenberger and Stevan- nah Mercer from Portland for the trio concert. Hunter's Special Double Cheese Burger, Fries and Medium Drink omy$259 iiiim| m "2915 10th St., Baker 523-5595 De .S necessary to protect public health and the environment reached their present levels. There have been no "far- reaching regulatory reforms and no strategic changes., to help the system cope with late 20th Century technolo- gies. For instance, changes in container regulations have addressed indi dual con- tainer designs and specific situations, rather than re- cognizing that the interac- tion between container and carrying vehicle has an enormous hnpact on safety. Sixty-two percent of reported (and OTA finds that Federal accident records suffer from significant under reporting) hazardous spills are caused by lmman error. "-OTA has identified four paramount policy issues for Congressional consideration: { 1) Training-- development of a national strategy to provide training for state and local emergency response and enforcement personnel. (2) Greater consistency in federal, state and local regu- lations and enforcement, in- cluding reporting require- ments for hazardous materi- al releases. (3) Increased availability of i,fformation to the public, including national guidelines for community right-to-know legislation. (4) Better Federal coordina- tion in setting container reg- ulations, including those for spent nuclear fuels. Paid for by Steve Bogart for County Commissioner Mary M Hansen, Treas. 1000 Park St Baker, OR 97814 If you're wise, you 7l Winterize Tune-ups Engine Heaters Installed Parts 10% under list Anti-Freeze $4.00 gal. Plus Installation "TO ' 2 Pine Valley Industrial Park XFJF Logging Shop 742"7303