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LANL and WIPP get fined for violations

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SANTA FE — Saturday, the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) notified the U.S. Department of Energy of violations of state hazardous waste permits for both the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant and Los Alamos National Laboratory relating to DOE’s handling of transuranic (TRU) waste that contributed to two significant incidents at WIPP earlier this year.
“New Mexico is proud of our national labs and cutting-edge scientific facilities, and we have important rules in place to protect those facilities, the people who work there, and all New Mexicans,” said Gov. Susana Martinez. “The health and safety of New Mexicans will always be our priority and we have to hold federal agencies accountable for safe operations in the state of New Mexico. The federal Department of Energy is a strong partner with us, and we will continue to work with them closely to ensure their success in our state.”
Following a comprehensive and intense investigation through more than nine months, NMED found multiple violations at both WIPP and LANL and has issued two Administrative Compliance Orders (ACO).
The ACO identified 24 violations at LANL, resulting in civil penalties of approximately $36.6 million, along 13 violations at WIPP, resulting in penalties in excess of $17.7 million.


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