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Nuclear Waste Program

Nuclear Waste Program - Public Comment Periods

For more information on any of the comment periods, email hanford@ecy.wa.gov or call Ecology at 509-372-7950. In addition to what's available on our website, documents open for public comment are available at the Hanford Information Repositories.

Ecology keeps information on closed comment periods available for historical purposes and to provide access to our responses to comments, which are also always available on the Nuclear Waste Program Publications page.


Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant Analytical Laboratory Public Comment Period Notification

December 4, 2017 through January 19, 2018

The Washington State Department of Ecology is holding a 45-day public comment period starting December 4, 2017, through January 19, 2018. This comment period addresses proposed modifications to the operations of the Analytical Laboratory (Lab) and provides the operating details for the Analytical Lab under the Direct-Feed Low-Activity Waste configuration for the Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant (WTP) Permit. The Permittee(s) are the U.S. Department of Energy Office of River Protection and Bechtel National, Inc. The WTP is located on the Hanford Site in southeastern Washington.

What Changes are Being Proposed?
Ecology has finalized draft permit conditions to support the proper operation of the Analytical Lab. These draft conditions can be reviewed in Permit Conditions III.10.L, Analytical Laboratory Specific Operating Conditions. Updates to Permit Condition Tables III.10.E.D and III.10.E.P, are provided to reflect the current operations information. Chapter 4H Analytical Laboratory, Chapter 6A Inspection Plan, and Chapter 8 Personnel Training are also included in this draft permit modification for review.

In addition to the draft conditions to support the Analytical Lab operations, Permit Conditions III.10.C.16 for Secondary Containment Devices and corresponding tables are also being included in this modification for inclusion to the existing WTP Permit. The current WTP Permit contains design information related to construction of the Analytical Lab. This design information will remain in the WTP permit until Ecology has confirmed that construction of the Analytical Lab is certified completed.

Supporting Documents:
Conditions
Chapter 4H
Chapter 6A
Chapter 8
Statement of Basis
Response to Comments
Focus Sheet
Transmittal Letter

Please submit comments by January 19, 2018. Electronic submission (preferred): http://wt.ecology.commentinput.com/?id=c4H9a

CLICK HERE to submit comments electronically

Mail or hand-deliver to:
Daina McFadden
3100 Port of Benton Blvd
Richland, WA 99354

Public Hearing
A public hearing is not scheduled, but if there is enough interest, we will consider holding one. To request a hearing contact:
Daina McFadden
509-372-7950
Hanford@ecy.wa.gov

For more information, contact:
Dan McDonald
509-372-7950
Hanford@ecy.wa.gov


Two 60-Day Public Comment Periods on Proposed Changes to the Hanford Site-Wide Dangerous Waste Permit

November 27, 2017 through January 31, 2018

The U.S. Department of Energy Richland Operations Office (DOE-RL) is holding concurrent 60-day public comment periods for two, related Class 3 Permit Modifications to the Hanford Site-Wide Dangerous Waste Permit. The first modification addresses the preparation of the Waste Encapsulation and Storage Facility (WESF) for the transfer of the cesium and strontium capsules to the proposed Capsule Storage Area. The second modification addresses the construction and operation of the proposed Capsule Storage Area that will provide interim dry storage of the capsules that are currently in wet storage at WESF. These two permit modifications were sent to the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) in November.

The two comment periods run concurrently from Nov. 27, 2017, to Jan. 31, 2018, with two public meetings on Dec. 13, 2017, in the Richland Public Library (955 Northgate Drive). The WESF meeting begins at 5:30 p.m., followed by the Capsule Storage Area presentation at 6:30 p.m. The meetings will also be accessible via webinar. To register, go to: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/101595260413637633 (webinar ID: 581-185-931)

In the 1970s, radioactive isotopes of the elements cesium and strontium were removed from waste and placed in 1,936 sturdy, stainless steel capsules and stored in concrete pool cells in WESF, where they remain today. Workers carefully monitor the capsules; water in the pool cells provides shielding to workers and keeps the capsules cool.

While the capsules are currently in a safe configuration, WESF is an aging facility. Dry storage would significantly reduce the possibility of a release of radioactive material, should an unlikely event cause the loss of pool storage water, which may result in the overheating and breach of one or more capsules.

The proposed modifications and supporting documentation are available for review online at WESF http://pdw.hanford.gov/arpir/index.cfm/viewDoc?accession=0067755H and CSA http://pdw.hanford.gov/arpir/index.cfm/viewDoc?accession=0067756H, here on Ecology’s website, and online at Hanford Administrative Record and Public Information Repositories located in Richland, Seattle, Spokane and Portland. Copies can be reviewed in person at the Hanford Administrative Record Public Information repository at 2440 Stevens Center Place in Richland. The permittee’s compliance history during the life of the permit being modified is available by contacting Ecology’s Stephanie Schleif at Stephanie.Schleif@ecy.wa.gov, or (509) 372-7929.

Please submit comments on the proposed changes by January 31, 2018, via eComments (preferred):
Waste Encapsulation and Storage Facility: http://wt.ecology.commentinput.com/?id=QkDYA
Capsule Storage Area: http://wt.ecology.commentinput.com/?id=ibkWY

Or mail comments to:
Daina McFadden
Washington State Department of Ecology
3100 Port of Benton Boulevard
Richland, WA 99354

Questions? Please contact Richard Buel, DOE-RL, at richard.buel@rl.doe.gov..


Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant Dangerous Waste Permit Public Comment Period Notification

November 6, 2017 through January 5, 2018

The U.S. Department of Energy Office of River Protection (ORP) and Bechtel National, Inc. are holding a 60-day public comment period on a proposed modification to the Hanford Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant (WTP) Dangerous Waste Permit. This Class 2 modification is requesting approval from the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) to install new Dangerous Waste Permit-regulated, non-critical ancillary equipment such as pipelines, valves, and inline components at the WTP Effluent Management Facility. This ancillary equipment is identical to equipment that has already been installed in WTP facilities to-date.

The comment period runs from November 6, 2017 through January 5, 2018, with a public meeting scheduled for December 7 at 5:30 p.m. at the Richland Public Library (955 Northgate Drive).  The meeting will also be accessible via webinar. To register, go to https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8977303919678100994. (Webinar ID: 720-694-219).

The proposed modification and supporting documentation are available for review online at http://www.hanford.gov/pageaction.cfm/calendar?IndEventId=8533, and at Hanford Administrative Record and Public Information Repositories located in Richland, Seattle, Spokane and Portland. Copies can also be reviewed in person at the Hanford Administrative Record Public Information Repository located at 2440 Stevens Drive in Richland.

Submit comments on the proposed permit modification by: January 5, 2018

CLICK HERE to submit comments electronically

Questions? Please contact Dieter Bohrmann, ORP, at Dieter_G_Bohrmann@orp.doe.gov.


GET INVOLVED

Nuclear Waste Program Public Mailing Lists

Tri-Party Agreement (TPA) public events calendar

GET INFORMED

Closed Public Comment Periods

Nuclear Waste Program Publications page

 

Why it Matters

At the Department of Ecology Nuclear Waste Program, we work to make sure Hanford’s cleanup follows our state’s regulations to protect our air, land, water, and citizens.

It is important that permit conditions are accurate and allow compliance with the regulations. We invite you to comment on this permit modification before we make our decision.