February 16, 2015
A Senate bill heard by the Kansas Natural Resources Committee would amend the definition of low-level radioactive materials, which would allow waste containing them to be buried in landfills.
Members of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment spoke before the committee in support of Senate Bill 125, saying that the current law’s definition was too broad and should not include naturally occurring radioactive materials, also known by the acronym “NORM.”
William Bider, director of waste management for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, said that NORM is already in natural materials such as rocks. Bider said the current law, which was put in place in the 1980s, does not allow burial of low-level radioactive waste, and that the definition of NORM needs to be changed so these materials are not lumped into a group with materials that have high levels of radioactive waste.