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EPA Recertifies DOE's Waste Isolation Pilot Plant
Release Date: 03/29/2006
Contact Information: John Millett, (202) 564-4355 / firstname.lastname@example.org
(3/29/06) EPA recertified the Department of Energy's (DOE) Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) today, confirming that the facility continues to comply with the agency's radioactive waste disposal regulations. The WIPP is a deep geologic repository for the permanent disposal of radioactive waste. The WIPP site is located outside of Carlsbad, N.M., where waste is entombed in a 2,000 foot thick layer of natural salt 2,150 feet below the surface.
This is the first recertification of WIPP since EPA's initial certification decision in 1998. Congress requires EPA to recertify that WIPP meets the agency's disposal regulations every five years, following the first receipt of waste, for the operational lifetime of the facility. The first shipment of waste was received at WIPP in March 1999. EPA will continue its inspection programs at WIPP and other DOE waste generator sites to review and verify ongoing compliance with all applicable EPA regulations.
The WIPP recertification decision will be published in the Federal Register within the next two weeks. Copies of the Compliance Application Review Documents supporting today's action and all other recertification-related documentation can be found in the agency's electronic docket (Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2004-0025); in hard-copy in EPA's Air Docket A-98-49, or on EPA's WIPP Web site at: epa.gov/radiation/wipp