New Mexico’s legal challenge to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s decision to grant a license to store nuclear waste in the state was thrown out by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver.
A three-judge panel ruled New Mexico had no legal standing or jurisdiction to bring its lawsuit under the Hobbs Act and Atomic Energy Act.
U.S. District Judge Robert E. Bacharach, writing for the panel said New Mexico did not take part in the licensing proceeding or quality as an aggrieved party.
“New Mexico just commented to the Commission about its draft environmental impact statement. Commenting on the environmental impact statement didn’t create status as an aggrieved party, so jurisdiction isn’t triggered under the combination of the Hobbs Act and Atomic Energy Act,” wrote the Judge.
New Mexico challenged the granting of the license to store nuclear waste at a site in far West Texas next to the state line. It used the Administrative Procedure Act and the National environmental Policy Act in making the challenge. It also contended it had jurisdiction under the combination of the Hobbs Act and the Atomic Energy Act.