Utah Governor Gary Herbert has appointed Dan Shrum, a senior vice-president of EnergySolutions, to the state's new Radiation Control Board. EnergySolutions runs a mile-square landfill in Tooele County for low-level radioactive waste. The law authorizing the board requires an industry representative to be on it. Company spokesperson Mark Walker says Shrum is the right guy.
"He's a very fair and balanced man, has been involved in environmental issues his entire career, not only in Utah but around the country" Walker tells KUER. "And there's absolutely no conflict of interest."
Matt Pacenza of the environmental watchdog group HEAL Utah takes exception.
"We think it's appalling," he says, "that Governor Herbert thinks its appropriate to literally appoint the fox to guard the henhouse."
Pacenza says there were others from industry who could have been appointed rather than someone from the biggest company handling radioactive waste in Utah. Walker points out that HEAL Utah was invited to nominate its own representative to the board, but Pacenza says Sara Fields of Uranium Watch in Moab will do a good job representing the environmental community.
The Utah Senate needs to confirm the appointments to the Radiation Control Board. It will meet on Wednesday, August 15th.
EnergySolutions is trying to recover from a dramatic drop in its stock price that followed a management shakeup earlier this year. This morning, the company reported pre-tax earnings of $32.5 million dollars for the 2nd quarter.