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State: Too Early
To Set Aside
Cash To Buy
BY SUSAN USHER
No money towards public purchase to conserve
Bird Island will be included in the state budget legisla
tors are now working to complete, but inclusion in a fu
ture budget is likely.
"It's too early yet, without some willingness to sell.
"It's hard to get money now when there are other pro
jects ready to go," said Rep. E. David Redwine (D
Brunswick). He introduced the bill calling for $1 mil
lion to be set aside in a reserve fund in case the oppor
tunity arose to purchase the island during the coming
year. Redwine said the Bird Island legislation has won
h:~. mere "positive 'nuuKk" and interest within the
legislature and in the state media "than about anything
else" he's done.
While the money isn't there now, Redwine said he's
been assured that when the time is right, money will be
The Bird Island project is far from "ready to go," as
its owner continues to pursue permits necessary for the
barrier island's possible development, a process also
expected to help determine a realistic market price for
the property, no matter how it might be used.
With state and federal agencies requiring extensive
environmental studies as part of the application
process, it could be one or several years before Price
and others have answers to their questions.
Straddling the North Carolina-South Carolina state
line between Sunset Beach and Little River Inlet, Bird
Island is one of the last undeveloped barrier islands off
North Carolina's southern coast and the Bird Island
Preservation Society would like it to remain that way.
The society organized nearly two years ago, after own
er Janic Pace Price began seeking permits to develop
Price's attorney. Glen Dunn of Raleigh, is tentative
ly tfjvdijM tn mwt July 19 with Sunset Beach Town
Council to discuss, again, an earlier request to relax
zoning of the Island to allow greater overall density and
The deadline for appealing the zoning decision is
past; however, Dunn is cxpected to reiterate a request
to the town council to reconsider its action.
Price's plans for the island are evolving, from an
initial proposal for a small family compound to a larger
scale project that consultants say would make develop
ment more economically feasible. Price hasn't ruled out
the possibility of selling Bird Island for conservation
purposes if an acceptable offer is made.
Recently another of the agencies that will review
Price's plans for the island has called for a complete en
In December, after plans for access to the island
were modified to eliminate a causeway, removing the
project from the jurisdiction of the U.S. Army Coips of
Engineers, which had said it would need an environ
mental review before considering the permit applica
In April, the Division of Coastal Management ad
vised Price the state would require an environmental
study, since results of that federally -required study
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have potential impact on public trust waters, wetlands
On June 6, the new lead federal review agency, the
U.S. Coast Guard, announced that it will require a full
environmental impact statement or EIS.
"An EIS is designed to look at the entire project,"
said Linda Gilliam, project director with the U.S. Coast
Guard 5th District Bridge Section in Portsmouth, Va.
It is being required in part because the property is a
sensitive barrier island and possible home to at least
one endangered species, and also "to cover all the bases
so no one will say later, 'You should have done one,'"
said Gilliam. "It saves all that time and is a simpler
process. It avoids delays, covers everything and makes
The Coast Guard is accepting comments on its deci
sion through July 19. Written comments may be sent to
Commander (OB), 5th Coast Guard District. 431 Craw
ford Street, Portsmouth, Va. 23704.
John Parker, permitting coordinator for the N.C.
Division of Coastal Management, said that since a fed
eral agency is now requiring an environmental study,
the state isn't likely to require a separate study unless
the federal study excludes consideration of the uplands
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"We don't want to put them through it twice; it
would not be fair to them," he said.
The proposed private bridge to Bird Island from
Sunset Beach would be 5,000 feet long. "This is going
to be quite an exercise," said Parker. "We've never had
one that long."
The Bird Island Protection Society, meanwhile, is
continuing its efforts to educate the public on the
fragility and beauty of the island through regular walks
on its public beach and boat tours of the surrounding
marsh. Schedules are posted on public accessways on
More Spent Fuel
Shipments To Local
Under 40-Year Plan
BY SUSAN USHER
Continuing shipments of spent
nuclear fuel from foreign research
reactors through the U.S. Army's
Sunny Point Military Ocean Term
inal near Southport and/or the North
Carolina State Port ai Wilmington
would be a possibility under several
alternatives being considered by the
U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)
for long-term management of spent
A draft Environmental Impact
Statement issued last week exam
ines a series of alternatives that in
clude taking no action, decentraliza
tion, regional izaton or centralization
of all spent nuclear fuel handling.
Spent fuel is nudear fuel that has
been removed from a reactor after
' The purpose of DOE's spent fuel
management program is to provide
interim storage and management of
fuel until its ultimate disposition;
stabilize the fuel as needed for safe
storage and to protect human health;
increase storage capacity by replac
ing facilities that cannot meet stan
dards and provide additional capaci
ty for newly generated spent nuclear
fuel; conduct research and develop
ment to support safet storage or ulti
mate disposition; and examine fuel
generated by the Naval Nuclear
The department is responsible for
fuel generated by DOE facilities,
naval reactors, university and for
eign research reactors using tuel
generated in this country, several
special-case commercial reactors
arid miscellaneous generators.
Its goal is to reduce risk of acci
dent during transport or storage and
to minimize release of radionuclides
to the environment
Moat DOE spent fuel is stored at
three locations. Hanford Site in
Washington State, Idaho National
Engineering Laboratory and Savan
nah River Site near Aiken, S.C
Small quantities are stored at almost
SO other sites.
The environmental assessment
will help the department determine
whether to leave the fuel where it is
or to consolidate its storage at fewer
sites, perhaps even a single site, to
improve management efficiency.
According to the draft E1S, cur
rent spent fuel storage locations in
North Carolina include a university,
and potentially Sunny Point and the
State Pott at Wilmington. They are
among fivr ports designated 25 pc
tential ports of entry for shipments
from foreign reactors under the de
partment's current "urgent relief"
program. The other ports are Char
leston, S.C., Savannah, Ga., and
Under several of DOE's options
for the 40-year period in question,
shipments from the Wilmington
Southport area to Savannah River
Site would continue beyond the two
year urgent return shipping window,
and in some scenarios, increase:
Decentralized or 1992-93 Plan
ning Basis: If storage were decen
tralized, 320 shipments of spent fuel
from foreign reactors is anticipated
through up to six East Coast ports,
including the two Cape Fear River
ports. Most generators would only
ship spent nuclear fuel in limited
amounts to permit their continued
would depend on whether fuel was
distributed based on fuel type or ge
ography. If by type, then all alumi
rr.um-clad fuel iiOu-dcfcusc produc
tion spent fuel would be shipped to
the Savannah River Site. The East
Coast ports of entry would handle
up io 5SG shipments from foreign re
If by geography, shipment activity
through a specific East Coast port of
entry could depend on whether Oak
Ridge Reservation in Tennessee, or
Savannah River Site in South
Carolina were chosen as the eastern
Centralintkm: All spent nuclear
fuel from all sites would be shipped
to a central DOE facility for storage,
stabilization as needed for storage.
The number of shipments from ex
isting DOE and other storage sites
would be highest (5,600 plus 580
U.S. Navy fuel shipments), and the
risk of accident highest, though very
slight, if Savannah River were cho
sen for the central site.
In addition to D.H. Hill Library at
NCSU in Raleigh, complete drafts
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A penalty may br impowd lor r?h withdrawal
of the EIS are available for review at
Department of Energy Reading
Rooms at DOE Headquarters in
Washington, D.C., and at the DOE
Savannah River Operations Office,
Aiken, S.C. Copies of the draft EIS,
summary document or reference
documents are available by calling
1-800-682-5583 between 6 a.m. and
1 1 p.m. Mountain Daylight Tune.
Public comments on the draft EIS
will be encorpo rated in the final en
vironmental impact statement,
which is expected to be issued by
April 30, 1995. No decisions, will
be made until the final EIS is issued
and a 30-day waiting period has
elapsed. Then a formal record of de
pision will be issued.
Public comments will be accepted
through Sept. 30. Written comments
should be sent to: Public Comments
on SNF EIS, Attention: Thomas L.
Wichmann, U.S. Depart, of Energy,
Idaho Operations Officc, P.O. Box
3189, Idaho Falls, ID 83403-3189.
Comments may also be stated
? A I
over the telephone or transmitted by
facsimile by calling 1-800-682
5583, or presented at any of 20 pub
lic hearings scheduled nationwide.
None are scheduled in North Caro
lina. A hearing will be held in New
port News, Va., and Portsmouth.
Va., on July 18; in Savannah, Ga..
Aug. 23; and in North Augusta.
S.C., /\ug. 25. More information on
the hearings is available by calling
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Junior Short Sets $7.50
Boys' Shirts or Shorts $4.75
Ladies' Blouses $4.50 & up * Women's Blouses $6 & up
EMBROIDERED BEACH T S (L & XL) $9.98
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