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Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, questioned officials from the Department of Energy Wednesday on their plans to move millions of gallons of highly radioactive waste from the Hanford site in Washington State to New Mexico for storage at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant.
The Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee hearing, which focused on the recent security breakdown at the Y-12 National Security Complex, provided Luján with an opportunity to question high-ranking DOE officials on their plans to transport and store the waste in New Mexico.
During Luján’s questioning, it was revealed that federal officials have been engaged in dialogue with representatives from the State of New Mexico.
Luján sought a commitment from the agency to work closely with local officials and concerned citizens, in addition to state officials and the New Mexico federal delegation, as it explores whether such a transfer will take place and under what conditions.
“While DOE has said it is interested in working with the committee and members of Congress, it is vital that the people of New Mexico also have an opportunity to express their views and make their voices heard,” Luján said.