Making Democracy Work

Hazardous Waste Advocacy Group

LWV positions and actions

LWVUS on Hazardous Waste

The League of Women Voters of the United States (LWVUS) began its work on hazardous wastes in the late 1970's and worked for passage of both the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 and the Toxic Substance Control Act of 1976 (TSCA). In 1980, the League helped to pass the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) also known as the Superfund. The League has worked to ensure continuation of the funding for these acts.

The League has done extensive work and study on all nuclear issues. Paramount to these policies are public participation and involvement and promotion of the maximum protection of public health and safety and the environment.

The entire history and position statements can be found in the LWVUS Impact on Issues, 2014-2016.

LWVTN on Hazardous Waste

The League of Women Voters of Tennessee (LWVTN) does not currently have toxic and low-level nuclear waste disposal as a priority for its 2015 LWVTN Priority Issues.

LWVOR on Hazardous Waste

Information About the Uranium Processing Facility to be Built near Oak Ridge

On January 24, 2018, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) sponsored a public meeting to discuss the upcoming construction of an Uranium Processing Facility near Oak Ridge. Dr. Ray Wymer attended and prepared a report of the UPF public meeting.

LWVOR Action Group

The League of Women Voters of Oak Ridge (LWVOR) has an action group, based on the national position, for nuclear and toxic disposal sites. This is due to the proposed (40 acre) Environmental Management Disposal site by the U.S. Department of Energy on the Oak Ridge Reservation.

The LWVOR is studying the proposed Department of Energy Environmental Management Disposal Facility. This study is being done for informational purposes only. It is not intended (at this time) to be a local League consensus background study item. The LWVOR may use the LWVUS position to provide action.

Kick-Off Meeting for an Oak Ridge Community Impact Assessment

On September 9, 2015 the LWVOR attended a kick-off meeting between the City of Oak Ridge and its selected consulting team, The Ferguson Group, LLC. This contractor to the City has the responsibility to develop a draft community impact assessment imposed by this facility.

Development of Information Paper on the Environmental Management Disposal Facility

In October 2015, League Member Dr. Ray Wymer developed an informational paper on the Environmental Management Disposal Facility: Information for the Oak Ridge League of Women Voters on Radioactive and Hazardous Wastes on the Oak Ridge Reservation and Location and Suitability of an Additional Department of Energy On-Site Waste Disposal Facility.

Environmental Community School

The LWVOR developed an environmental Community School using funds from a grant of the New Mexico Community Fund grant. These multi night sessions (held in mid September 2015), which included supper, childcare, and simultaneous interpretation, focused on current Oak Ridge waste management and environmental management issues. Topics included the issues regarding the Environmental Management Disposal Facility.

Meeting with Local Officials

On October 21, 2015, League members and members of the Scarboro community met with Mr. Mike Koentop, Executive Officer for the Oak Ridge Office of EM, and Mr. David Adler, environmental scientist for EM. Discussions were held regarding the lack of information that DOE has been providing the community - in particular the potential encroachment of the site on the Scarboro community - an historic, black community.

Lunch with the League

The Lunch with the League program on November 17, 2015, focused on this issue again. Ms. Laura Wilkerson, Portfolio Federal Project Director for the DOE was the presenter. A prior presentation by Ms. Wilkerson can be viewed at

Oak Ridge Leadership

Ray Wymer Raymond G. Wymer, PhD, is former Director of the Chemical Technology Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Currently he is a consultant for Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the National Nuclear Security Agency. He serves on DOE program review and awards committees. He is an Associate Member of the National Academies. He served on a United Nations UNSCOM team to Iraq in the mid-1990s evaluating Iraq's uranium enrichment capability by chemical exchange and has been on numerous U.S. Department of State nuclear non-proliferation reviews. He is co-author of a book "Chemistry in Nuclear Technology" and co-edited a book on "Light Water Reactor Fuel Reprocessing." He was an editor of the journal Radiochimica Acta for more than ten years until his retirement. Dr. Wymer is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering of Vanderbilt University. He has received recognition for his contributions in the nuclear area, including the Robert E. Wilson Award in Nuclear Chemical Engineering from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers for Outstanding Work on the Nuclear Fuel Cycle and the Glenn T. Seaborg Actinide Separations Award. He received a B.A. from Memphis State University and M.A. and PhD degrees from Vanderbilt University.