because the Ministry of the Environment cares about free competition.
The Ministry of the Environment put out a notice asking for public comments, for 6 days instead of the normal 30 days, on the proposed revisions of the Special Law to deal with the contamination from radioactive materials.
What are the revisions proposed? The Ministry wants to allow waste disposal companies to dispose debris that is inside the 20-kilometer radius no-entry zone and planned evacuation zone (in Namie-machi, Iitate-mura for example) around Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant, instead of the national government doing it.
Their reasoning? Reading the Ministry's press release (translated below), they must be thinking like this:
20-kilometer radius no-entry zone and planned evacuation zone around Fukushima I Nuke Plant are being reorganized.
In many areas inside these zones, the government is about to allow people and/or businesses back in. The huge debris cleanup operations need to be done.
However, if the government does all these cleanup operations, it's just not fair to the private businesses outside the areas who would otherwise get the business of cleanup.
Since the Ministry cares deeply about free competition, it will allow the private waste disposal companies to clean up the debris inside the no-entry zone and the planned evacuation zone.
Industrial waste disposal companies have been regularly sending industrial wastes all over Japan for disposal for years.
Moving the non-industrial waste outside the area where the waste is generated needs a consent from a municipality on the receiving end, but with the Miyagi/Iwate disaster debris wide-area disposal scheme - the disaster debris is treated as "non-industrial waste" - now there are ways for the non-industrial debris inside the zones in Fukushima to reach the municipalities who have agreed to receiving the Miyagi/Iwate debris.
From the Ministry of the Environment press release on April 3, 2012 (h/t @tsunamiwaste for finding it):
The Ministry of the Environment is soliciting comments from the Japanese citizens on the revisions of the special law to deal with the contamination from radioactive materials, between Tuesday April 3 to Monday April 9, 2012. This is a procedure based on the Administrative Procedure Act.
1. About the revision of the speical law to deal with the contamination from radioactive materials
Based on the decision by the Nuclear Disaster Response Headquarters on December 26, 2011, the no-entry zone and the planned evacuation zone (hereafter called "no-entry zone etc.") will be re-classified. Business activities are expected to commence in the areas with low air radiation levels inside the no-entry zone etc. even before the lifting of the designations of the no-entry zone etc., and a significant amount of waste may be generated.
If the national government disposes the waste resulting from the business activities, it may result in competitive disadvantage for the waste disposal businesses outside the area where the government is responsible for disposal of contaminated waste. Therefore, a measure is necessary to avoid such disadvantage.
Specific revisions are as follows:
The waste generated by business activities will be excluded from the waste that the government is responsible for disposing; instead, the businesses that generate such waste will dispose as regular [non-industrial] waste or industrial waste.
However, the disaster recovery projects (such as road repairs) by the national or local governments need to be carried out as quickly as possible. Therefore the waste generated by such disaster recovery projects will be disposed by the national government.
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