The plan to bury nuclear waste at a San Onofre beach came under fire Thursday from a Southern California congresswoman and candidate for the U.S. Senate, the former San Diego city attorney and a consumer advocate, who called for a federal investigation into the closure of the San Onofre nuclear power plant.

Kamala Harris and Loretta Sanchez in polar opposite pearls and attire, keep notes during debate. Photo by Ken Stone
Kamala Harris (left) and Loretta Sanchez during U.S. Senate debate in San Diego. Photo by Ken Stone

Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Garden Grove, criticized California Attorney General Kamala Harris’ defense of Southern California Edison’s plan to bury radioactive nuclear waste at the beach, saying the plan ignores both the safety of the people of Southern California and known risks to the coastal environment.

If elected to the U.S. Senate, Sanchez said she would convene a joint federal-state task force to remove the radioactive waste from the beach and transport it to safer facilities that do not threaten California’s coastal habitats.

Former San Diego City Attorney Mike Aquirre, attorney and consumer advocate Maria Severson, joined Sanchez and other community leaders to call upon the U.S. Attorney to investigate the mishandling related to the closure of the San Onofre nuclear plant and subsequent California Public Utilities Commission decision to make ratepayers pay $3.3 billion for its closure.

“Federal intervention is needed because of the inexcusable delays and questionable handling of this case by Attorney General Harris,” Sanchez said.

Nathan Click, communications director for the Harris U.S Senate campaign, issued a statement.

“Representative Sanchez today is embarking on a deeply dishonest and negative campaign, falsely attacking and politicizing an ongoing criminal investigation,” Click said. “It’s what Californians have come to expect from Sanchez, who has been repeatedly criticized for her divisive attacks against Muslims, Native Americans and even President Obama.”

— City News Service