Legislation before the Missouri House would make it easier and cheaper for a Canadian company to ship radioactive material through the state.
If the bill becomes law, Ontario-based Nordion Inc. would not have to pay fees or have shipments of colbat-60 undergo mandatory inspections in Missouri. The company sells colbat-60 for use sterilizing medical devices.
After years of drought, barge operators along the Missouri River got more rain than they had hoped for this year.
The industry had grown optimistic when rising river levels appeared to promise an increase in barge traffic this year. The Missouri Department of Transportation even projected a 15 percent to 20 percent increase.
But then the rains started, causing flooding along the 675-mile stretch from Sioux City, Iowa, to St. Louis. That prompted the U.S. Coast Guard to close the river between Gavins Point Dam in South Dakota and Glasgow, Mo.