Local Self-Reliance: Prohibiting Transport of Nuclear Materials in New York

The local self-reliance column shares information on the legal fight between the federal government against New York prohibiting transport of nuclear materials in New York.

| November/December 1982

The latest local self-reliance column covers the legal battle between the federal government suing New York on prohibiting transport of nuclear materials in New York. 

The Institute for Local Self-Reliance works to help urban residents gain greater control ever their lives through the use of low-technology, decentralist tools and concepts. Because we believe that city dwellers and country folks alike can profit from the institute's admirable efforts, we've made this "what's happening where" report by the ILSR staffers one of MOTHER's regular features. If you would like to know more, you can have a free catalog of ILSR's selection of books and pamphlets by ending the institute a self-addressed, stamped envelope . . . or become an associate member or a tax-deductible $35 per year ($50 for institutions) and receive both a periodic report on the institute's work and a 20% discount on all the group's publications. Write to ILSR, Dept. TMEN, Washngton, D.C. 

Ironically, the same administration that claims to support local self-reliance—and he delegation of authority from federal to state and community levels—is actually centralizing authority and preventing local self-reliance when it comes to such issues as nuclear energy.

Recently, New York City enacted legislation prohibiting transport of nuclear materials in New York. Concerned over the possibly disastrous effects of—and he potential for—accidents involving vehicles carrying such substances on local thoroughfares, the city council believed that it was exercising a clear right.

But the federal government disagreed . . . and so the United States Department of Transportation sued the city, arguing that nuclear power is a national issue, and therefore the federal government alone has authority to regulate operations (including the transport of materials). Fortunately, the courts decided otherwise . . . and upheld the Big Apple's legislation.

Recent battles over the issue of nuclear waste storage serve as yet further examples of the current administration's "forked tongue" when it comes to conflicts between local self-determination and nuclear power.

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