WIPP receives recertification

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On March 24, 2009, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) officially submitted the second Compliance Recertification Application (CRA) to EPA, initiating the recertification process for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant required by Congress.
Recertification is not a reconsideration of the decision to open WIPP, but rather a process to verify that changes at the facility in the preceding five-year period comply with EPA’s disposal standards for radioactive waste.
EPA issued its second recertification decision for WIPP on Nov. 18. EPA determined that the U.S. Department of Energy facility continues to comply with the Agency’s waste disposal regulations and compliance criteria.
In the WIPP Land Withdrawal Act, Congress required EPA to “recertify” the facility every five years following the initial receipt of transuranic (TRU) waste until the end of its operational activities. WIPP first received TRU waste on March 26, 1999, and this action represents the second of EPA’s periodic evaluations of the facility’s continued compliance.
DOE’s first recertification application was received on March 26, 2004, and EPA’s first recertification decision was issued on March 29, 2006.
Recertification is a process that evaluates changes at WIPP, to determine whether the facility continues to meet all the requirements of EPA’s disposal regulations. The recertification process helps ensure WIPP’s continued compliance based on the most accurate, up-to-date information available. Recertification does not mean that the decision to open WIPP is being reconsidered.
All of the documents related to the Agency’s recertification decision are available through the EPA WIPP Docket at www.epa.gov/