S-1929.1          _______________________________________________


                            SUBSTITUTE SENATE BILL 5645



State of Washington              52nd Legislature             1991 Regular Session


By Senate Committee on Energy & Utilities (originally sponsored by Senators Thorsness and Williams).


Read first time March 6, 1991.Changing liability of handlers of low-level waste.

     AN ACT Relating to liability of handlers of low-level radioactive waste; and creating a new section.




     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1.      (1) The low-level radioactive materials task force is created, consisting of the directors of the department of general administration, department of ecology, and office of financial management, or their designees; the secretary of the department of health, or his or her designee; the chief of the Washington state patrol, or his or her designee; and the chair of the utilities and transportation commission, or his or her designee.  The department of general administration shall serve as the lead agency of the task force.

     (2) The task force shall create a working group that includes representatives of a broad range of affected interests in the use, handling, packaging, transporting, and disposal of low-level radioactive materials and waste, including licensees and permittees of state agencies involved in the regulation of such activities, such as hospitals, industrial radiographers, manufacturers, transporters, and insurers.  The working group shall provide information, advice, and technical assistance to the task force.

     (3) The task force shall report to the energy and utilities committees of the senate and the house of representatives by December 15, 1991, on its findings and recommendations as to liability insurance for the state's licensees and permittees, and an assessment of the risk and risk management for the state with regard to damages arising out of the activities of the licensees, including requirements for indemnifying and holding the state harmless for such damage.  The task force shall utilize, to the maximum extent possible, recent reports to the legislature from the department of ecology and the department of health on these and related topics.  The report of the task force shall, at a minimum, address the following:

     (a) The risk to the state from the activities engaged in by the licensees and permittees;

     (b) Possible modifications to existing requirements under state law for regulated persons to indemnify and hold the state harmless from damage arising from their activities, including limitations on the amounts of such requirements, limitations on the extent of liability to reflect the degree of fault, and exemptions from such requirements for certain categories of licensees or permittees;

     (c) The availability and cost of liability insurance for the activities of licensees and permittees;

     (d) The availability and cost of, and the potential for an active role by the state in obtaining from licensees or permittees, forms of financial assurance or guarantees other than liability insurance; and

     (e) Existing or anticipated federal insurance requirements for such activities.

     The report shall contain recommendations or alternatives for legislative action.