RICHLAND, Wash. – Washington state environmental regulators are rolling out a new draft permit for the Hanford Nuclear Reservation near the Columbia River in southeast Washington. The document is 16,476 pages long.
A public meetings in Portland Wednesday night was the second of four being held throughout the Northwest.
May 15 – Seattle
May 16 – Portland
June 5 – Spokane, City Council Chambers, West 808 Spokane Falls Blvd, 6:30 p.m.
June 6 – Richland - Richland Public Library, 955 Northgate Dr., 6:30 p.m.
Many at the hearing expressed concern about nuclear waste from power plants across the country being shipped to Hanford.
Gerry Pollet is the director of the Hanford watchdog group Heart of America Northwest.
“This permit does not have a general condition saying you cannot add any more waste to Hanford,” he said. “That’s unacceptable to say we don’t have a general condition saying you can’t open a new landfill and you must not add another ounce. That’s what ought to be in here.”
Portland Mayor Sam Adams submitted a letter saying he doesn’t want nuclear waste bound for Hanford to be shipped on Oregon highways.
The proposed permit will determine how Hanford waste is treated, stored and disposed of for the next 10 years.
Dieter Bohrmann is a spokesman for the state Department of Ecology. He says this document reflects that Hanford is unique both in its size and scope.
“I think if there were any way we could have simplified it, and cut 10,000 pages out of it -– yeah. You know, but even with that, it was still going to be a large document regardless.”
The last time this permit was issued was 1994. This new plan details how the $12 billion waste treatment plant will be built and operate at Hanford.
The Ecology department is accepting public comment through September 30.
(This contains material from an earlier report from the Northwest News Network).
Share your experiences as part of EarthFix's Public Insight Network.
Join our Public Insight Network!