Keep fees on radioactive waste moving through Missouri
The Kansas City Star
For good reasons, Missouri several years ago began charging companies that wanted to drive truckloads of radioactive materials across its highways. Before then, shipments were being diverted to Missouri to avoid fees in other states.
Now, however, with little discussion, the state legislature is poised to cancel the fee and related inspections for a Canadian company that plans to transport shipments of cobalt-60, a radioactive material used to sterilize medical devices.
That would be a mistake. Missouri should not back away from safety precautions dealing with extremely hazardous materials.
The company seeking a reprieve from fees, Nordion Inc. of Ontario, contends its shipments are “extremely safe” and notes that there has never been an incident arising from transportation of cobalt-60.
That’s good. And inspections at Missouri’s border plus Highway Patrol escorts on its highways should help to keep it that way. The current state fees pay for those services.
The proposed change in protocol for shipping radioactive materials was never discussed in committee or a public hearing. Rather, it was slipped into a sales tax bill at the behest of a Jefferson City lobbyist.
The legislature should put the brakes on this favor to an out-of-state company. The safety of Missouri’s highways is too important to be compromised.