Federal judge agrees to modify Hanford consent decree
May 12, 2015
On May 11, 2015 a federal judge has agreed to consider three proposals to modify the court-enforced Hanford consent decree signed in 2010. “Things could get interesting, now that a federal district court judge has ruled that the legal agreement between the US government and the State of Washington should be modified to reflect the fact that Hanford will not be meeting its cleanup deadlines. Washington State recently declared that Hanford is 25 years behind on the cleanup at Hanford. A GAO report just dinged Hanford for more mismanagement. Unhappily, all a court can do is issue decrees and orders…..but only Congress and the Administration can fix what is wrong at Hanford. In a nutshell, that means replacing the Department of Energy with an agency that is actually interested in, and capable of, conducting a transparent and accountable cleanup of the most contaminated site in the nation.” – Tom Carpenter, Hanford Challenge Executive Director
Press Release: 9th Circuit Denies Hanford Contractor’s Motion For Further Review, And Sends Tamosaitis Whistleblower Case Back To Trial Court For Jury Trial
March 4, 2015
Please click here for the press release prepared by Jack Sheridan, attorney to Hanford whistleblower Dr. Walt Tamosaitis.
Statement from Hanford Challenge:
“This is an important turning point not only for Dr. Tamosaitis, but for all employees at the Hanford nuclear site and sites like it nationwide. Hanford has fought tooth and nail to deny Dr. Tamosaitis his day in court, and it has taken four years just to get to this point. This case highlights the hypocrisy of Hanford officials who claim that they have “zero tolerance for retaliation against whistleblowers.”
Union and Public Interest Advocates Serve Notice of Intent to Sue, Plan to Seek Order to Protect Workers
November 20, 2014
Hanford Challenge, United Association Local 598, and Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility announce service of notice of intent to sue the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Hanford contractor Washington River Protection Solutions (WRPS). Groups seek to ensure that workers at the Hanford nuclear site are protected from exposures to toxic vapors from Hanford’s high-level nuclear waste tanks.
To read the full press release, please click here.
- Citizen’s Notice of Intent to Sue
- Selected Findings from Savannah River report
- Selected Findings from Past Reports on Vapor Exposures at Hanford
- Diana Gegg decision in vapor exposure case
- List of Reports on Hanford Vapor Issue with Links
- Letter from HC to WA State Attorney General on state oversight
- Tank Vapor Study: Hanford workers need protection from brief, concentrated chemical exposures, The Tri-City Herald, October 30, 2014.
- Report Finds Problem With Hanford Nuclear Vapors, ABC News, October 30, 2014.
- PRESS RELEASE: “Report: Worker Exposures and Health Effects Resulting from Toxic Vapor Exposures Causally Linked; Hanford’s Program Not Protective of Workers”, Hanford Challenge, October 30, 2014.
- DOE Office of Inspector General Rewards Contractors for Non-Cooperation on Donna Busche’s Whistleblower Termination, Abdicates their Charter, Hanford Challenge, October 20, 2014.
- Court asked to set Hanford consent decree deadlines, Tri-City Herald, October 3, 2014.
Chemical Vapor Exposure Resources
At least 56 workers have received medical evaluations after suffering exposures to chemical vapors at the Hanford nuclear site since March 19, 2014.
- Chemical Vapor Exposure Resource Page: FAQ, reports, news stories
- Chemical Vapor Exposure Resources for Workers
- Press Release: Hanford Challenge Petitions Washington Attorney General to Regulate Hanford Worker Chemical Vapor Protections
- Petition asking Washington Attorney General to Require Worker Protections for Chemical Vapor Exposures
- External oversight to ensure that DOE and the contractor protect the workforce from future vapor exposures and support workers who have suffered injury from past exposures.
- Empty actively leaking underground storage tanks.
- Build new environmentally compliant tanks.
- Create plans to remove, treat, and dispose of waste that has leaked into the soil and groundwater beneath the tanks.
- Begin an external, independent, licensing review that determines how to salvage the Waste Treatment Plant.
- Give authority to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission or the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board to certify whether and when the WTP can operate from a nuclear safety standpoint.
- Make harassment and reprisal against whistleblowers a civil and criminal offense.
- Create a cleanup agency whose only mission is remediation of retired government nuclear and toxic facilities.