Ward Valley compromise could be testy

WASHINGTON - The opening of a low-level radioactive waste disposal facility at Ward Valley, Calif., moved a step closer last week when Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt signaled his intention to negotiate the transfer of 1,000 acres of federal land to the state for the facility.

Although Babbitt's announcement committed the federal government to work toward turning the site over to California, it also contained suggestions that Interior will attempt to dictate terms of the transfer that California Gov. Pete Wilson has vowed to resist.