Environment: Waste Dump Wanted

California's reputation as a trendsetter has been enhanced: while most states fight to keep nuclear-waste dumps out, three Mojave Desert towns are fighting to get one. The wastes are "low level" -- contaminated lab glassware, protective clothing and the like, rather than power-plant residues. What appeals to the depressed towns of Needles, Baker and Trona is the potential economic fallout: about 40 jobs and $2 million a year in taxes and fees.

Under federal law, all states must establish low-level waste sites or have access to regional dumps by 1992. So far, only the Californians are enthusiastic, but that may change...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!