Judge cites EPA, former chief over lack of radiation norms

A federal judge found the Environmental Protection Agency and former EPA administrator William Ruckelshaus in contempt of court yesterday for failing to set nationwide standards limiting radiation emissions.

The judge ordered the EPA to set emission standards within 30 days for nuclear power plants, weapons laboratories, and elemental phosphorous plants and within 120 days for uranium mines, considered the major source of emissions. As an alternative, the agency could declare that radioactive emissions were ''clearly not a hazardous pollutant,'' a conclusion it has refused to reach in the past.

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