(a) In general
Upon the request of the Negotiator, the Secretary shall prepare an environmental assessment of any site that is the subject of negotiations under section 10243(a) of this title.
(1) Each environmental assessment prepared for a repository site shall include a detailed statement of the probable impacts of characterizing such site and the construction and operation of a repository at such site.
(2) Each environmental assessment prepared for a monitored retrievable storage facility site shall include a detailed statement of the probable impacts of construction and operation of such a facility at such site.
(c) Judicial review
The issuance of an environmental assessment under subsection (a) shall be considered to be a final agency action subject to judicial review in accordance with the provisions of chapter 7 of title 5 and section 10139 of this title.
(d) Public hearings
(1) In preparing an environmental assessment for any repository or monitored retrievable storage facility site, the Secretary shall hold public hearings in the vicinity of such site to inform the residents of the area in which such site is located that such site is being considered and to receive their comments.
(2) At such hearings, the Secretary shall solicit and receive any recommendations of such residents with respect to issues that should be addressed in the environmental assessment required under subsection (a) and the site characterization plan described in section 10133(b)(1) of this title.
(e) Public availability
Each environmental assessment prepared under subsection (a) shall be made available to the public.
(f) Evaluation of sites
(1) In preparing an environmental assessment under subsection (a), the Secretary shall use available geophysical, geologic, geochemical and hydrologic, and other information and shall not conduct any preliminary borings or excavations at any site that is the subject of such assessment unless—
(A) such preliminary boring or excavation activities were in progress on or before December 22, 1987; or
(B) the Secretary certifies that, in the absence of preliminary borings or excavations, adequate information will not be available to satisfy the requirements of this chapter or any other law.
(2) No preliminary boring or excavation conducted under this section shall exceed a diameter of 40 inches.
Pub. L. 100–202 and Pub. L. 100–203 added identical sections.