Natural Resources and Federal Facilities
The Nye County Natural Resources and Federal Facilities Department (NRFF) interacts with a variety of county, state, and federal agencies to carry out the Board of County Commissioners’ policies regarding the use of public lands and natural resources within Nye County. The Director advises the County Manager and Board of Commissioners on the status of agency actions and plans and recommends actions relative thereto.
The department oversees and maximizes the potential of public lands within the county. With a keen focus on responsible land management and sustainable utilization, the department strives to harness public lands' economic and recreational opportunities while respecting their unique characteristics. Monitoring actions, including waste disposal, within federal facilities ensures the safety and well-being of the county's citizens.
The department fosters the use of public lands and federal facility activities through land management oversight, resource utilization, stakeholder engagement, environmental stewardship, economic development opportunities, policy development, public outreach, and data analysis. The department's goal is to balance economic development and responsible land management while engaging with communities to ensure the sustainable use of public lands within the county.
The Nye County Natural Resources and Federal Facilities (NRFF) serves to protect the interests of the citizens of Nye County regarding the federal government's Yucca Mountain Project.
In Nye County, Yucca Mountain is the sole candidate site for the nation's first high-level civilian nuclear waste repository. Although Nye County did not request such status, it is federally mandated as the candidate site for the Yucca Mountain repository.
Because Nye is the host county for the project, it has legal standing as the unit of local government with limited jurisdiction over the site. Based on this fact, Nye County has certain rights of participation, funding, and on-site representation related to Yucca Mountain policies and activities.
Consent-Based Siting Process
The Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy released an updated version of its consent-based siting process on April 25, 2023. The DOE will use the process to engage with willing communities to site one or more consolidated interim storage facilities for commercial spent nuclear fuel, reducing the number of locations where spent fuel is stored and easing the burden on U.S. taxpayers.
The updated document revises and improves upon the draft consent-based siting process the DOE issued in 2017. According to the DOE, it reflects public input provided in response to the department’s request for public comment on the draft consent-based siting process, a 2021 request for information, several expert reports, and lessons learned from decades of siting experience with nuclear waste management and other types of facilities in the United States and abroad.