background_fid.jpg
Regional Public Journalism
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Environment and Planning
00000179-65ef-d8e2-a9ff-f5ef8d430000The Hanford Nuclear Reservation in southeast Washington was home to Native Americans and later to settlers. It turned into an top-secret military workhorse during World War II and the Cold War. Now, it’s one of the most pressing and complex environmental cleanup challenges humanity is facing in the world.This remote area in southeast Washington is where the federal government made plutonium for bombs during WWII and the Cold War. It’s now home to some of the most toxic contamination on earth, a witch’s brew of chemicals, radioactive waste and defunct structures. In central Hanford, leaking underground tanks full of radioactive sludge await a permanent solution. Meanwhile, a massive $12 billion waste treatment plant, designed to bind up that tank waste into more stable glass logs, has a troubled history.00000179-65ef-d8e2-a9ff-f5ef8d440000Anna King is public radio's correspondent in Richland, Washington, covering the seemingly endless complexities of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

EPA Fines Hanford Contractor For Asbestos Violations

hanford_sign.jpg
Tobin Fricke
/
Wikimedia - tinyurl.com/h99dl7h

The U.S. Department of Energy faces a $115,000 fine for the way a contractor handled asbestos at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in southeast Washington.

The alleged violations happened during building demolitions in 2009 and 2010 when federal stimulus money sped-up deconstruction projects.

Dennis Faulk, a manager with the EPA, says the federal contractor failed to document and label truck shipments of asbestos debris. “The people handling the disposal end of the operations are not aware of certain hazards. And so if they had known that they would have handled the waste a little bit differently.”

The federal contractor -- CH2M Hill Plateau Remediation Company -- issued a statement that it’s committed to conducting its work in a safe, compliant manner.

The Energy Department has 15 days to dispute the alleged violations.