When NIMBYs win, expect developers to try, try again somewhere else

The Saint ReportEnergy, Environmental Planning, NIMBY, saintblogLeave a Comment

angry_neighborsBy P. Michael Saint,
Chairman and CEO, The Saint Consulting Group

Sometimes a successful NIMBY fight in one backyard leads to another NIMBY fight somewhere else.
In Nevada, the NIMBY Nevadans successfully stopped a move to make a cave deep inside Yucca Mountain into a permanent storage receptacle for spent nuclear fuel rods from some of the 104 nuclear power plants now operating around the country.

Since the spent fuel rods need storage, each of the plants, and presumably future nuclear plants that are now in the planning stage, will have to store the waste locally. So it is no surprise that a new NIMBY fight has broken out.

According to the Miami Herald: “After more than two million pounds of nuclear waste has piled up in South Dade over 35 years, Florida Power & Light is quietly seeking a zoning change to allow six acres of its Turkey Point site to be used for new above-ground storage casks.
….FPL’s problem is that it’s running out of space to store waste at Turkey Point, and there is no place in the country to send it. For more than a decade, the feds have been trying to create a national nuclear waste facility under Yucca Mountain in the Nevada desert, but it’s been stopped by vehement opposition from environmentalists and local residents.
…..Environmentalists emphatically want a hearing. ”There are very important issues here,” said Reynolds. “Because this site is so close to the water, we’re concerned about rising water levels with global warming and storm surges from hurricanes.’”

This fight is not the only example where NIMBYs winning a battle in one place have simply pushed the fight to another location. Think of all the cases where after losing the quest to build a land fill or a big box retail store in one location, the developer has simply moved it to someplace else.

Mike Saint is chairman and founder of The Saint Consulting Group, email: msaint@tscg.biz

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