Monday, December 03, 2007

EPA Penalizes DOE and Contractor for Violations at Landfill on Hanford Site

EPA Press Release
(Richland, Wash. – Nov. 20, 2007) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) have reached an agreement to address violations of the Hanford Federal Facility Agreement and Consent Order (commonly referred to as the Tri-Party Agreement or TPA). The violations by DOE and its contractor, Washington Closure Hanford, LLC (WCH), occurred at the Environmental Restoration Disposal Facility or ERDF landfill at the Hanford Superfund site, located in eastern Washington.


The violations included failure to perform weekly inspections of the landfill’s leachate collection and removal system. Inspections are necessary to determine if the ERDF’s leachate collection and removal systems are properly functioning. In addition, DOE failed to comply with waste compaction testing requirements as outlined in the Waste Material Management Plan. “With this enforcement action we sent DOE a message that they and their contractors have taken to heart,” said EPA’s Miller, “they have made changes to ensure that these types of violations don’t occur again at ERDF.” Under the terms of the agreement, DOE, with its ERDF contractor WCH, will perform two Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEPs) which will directly benefit the Hanford environment, as well as pay a penalty amount of $285,000. “DOE and WCH’s willingness to implement these two important projects sends a very positive signal and will benefit the local community and the environment long after the projects are completed,” said EPA’s Miller.


The ERDF landfill site serves as the primary repository for contaminated soils, debris and other hazardous and radioactive waste from cleanup operations across the site. ERDF is designed to meet stringent requirements for hazardous and radioactive waste landfills.