Washington State doesn’t have the right to refuse more dumping of radioactive waste at the nation’s most contaminated nuclear site, an appeals court ruled Wednesday. In 2004, nearly 70 percent of Washingtonians voted to keep the federal government from disposing of more toxic waste at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation until the highly polluted Superfund site is cleaned up. The Bush administration immediately sued, and the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has found that “although the desire to take action against further environmental contamination and to protect the health and welfare of the community is understandable,” Washington’s law is preempted by federal law. Radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel have contaminated 80 square miles of groundwater near Hanford. The state may appeal to the Supreme Court.
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