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Sen. Domenici Fights to Restrict NM Nuclear Waste Regs.

By Michael Olson

Las Cruces, NM – When politicians talk about state-rights in regards to environmental protection, it typically is a way to get around federal laws. But a current debate in New Mexico turns this rationale upside down.

New Mexico's senior Senator Pete Domenici has been a longtime advocate for state autonomy. But the Senator has proposed legislation leading some to question his commitment to this principle.

Domenici's bill would restrict the ability of New Mexico to conduct tests to determine exactly what kind of radioactive waste will be transported across the state and stored at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad.

Senator Jeff Bingaman (D) and State Attorney General Patricia Madrid are among those opposed to Domenici's efforts to limit the state's radioactive regulatory ability. Domenici says that the tests are dangerous and a waste of money.