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Scoping the Environmental Assessment Process for a MRS

Reaching negotiated agreement with a state or Indian tribe and preparing of the environmental assessment (EA) required by Section 404 of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act, as amended (NWPAA), are the first steps in a process intended to result in the acceptance of radioactive waste at a monitored retrievable storage (MRS) facility starting in 1998. This paper examines requirements for the EA, the first environmental document to be prepared for siting an MRS facility, and discusses the process used to develop that document.  The EA process can be conducted in an efficient manner to produce a high-quality product, with full public involvement, that meets all Department of Energy (DOE) objectives and schedules for the civilian high-level radioactive waste management program.