DOE awards oversight grant

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The Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded a grant for an estimated $1.6 million to the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED).
The five-year grant funds an agreement for NMED to conduct non-regulatory environmental oversight and monitoring to evaluate activities conducted at DOE’s Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) near Carlsbad.   
NMED evaluates DOE activities related to WIPP’s environmental monitoring and cleanup.  This award is made in accordance with the Department of Energy Organization Act, Public Law 95-91.
The DOE WIPP facility is designed to safely isolate defense-generated transuranic (TRU) waste from people and the environment. Waste temporarily stored at sites around the country is shipped to WIPP and permanently disposed in rooms mined out of an ancient salt formation 2,150 feet below the surface.  
WIPP began waste disposal operations in 1999.  The facility is located 26 miles outside of Carlsbad.