The U.S. Department of Energy (USDOE) has prepared a Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to evaluate options for managing and disposing of waste, selecting supplemental treatments, closing tanks, and closing the Fast Flux Test Facility (FFTF) at Hanford.
A January 9, 2006, legal settlement required USDOE to prepare the Tank Closure and Waste Management Environmental Impact Statement for the Hanford Site, Richland, Washington. The intent of the EIS is to provide a comprehensive and integrated look at near-term waste management and tank waste cleanup actions at Hanford.
What are the key points of the settlement?
- Expand the existing Tank Closure EIS, which was in development, and incorporate solid waste management decisions into the new EIS.
- Create a single integrated groundwater analysis that addresses cumulative impacts and waste types in the Hanford Solid Waste EIS.
- Use the Hanford Solid Waste EIS for limited decision making until the new EIS is complete.
- Continues Ecology’s designation as a cooperating agency in preparing the new EIS.
- Prohibit importation of offsite waste except as permitted in existing stipulations.
What are USDOE’s and Ecology’s roles in the new EIS?
For this EIS, USDOE is the Federal Lead Agency and Ecology is a Cooperating Agency. As the Lead Agency, the USDOE has the primary responsibility for preparing the EIS and the Record of Decision. The Lead Agency is responsible for implementing the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969. This entails conducting scoping, seeking technical expertise from other agencies, preparing or contracting preparation of the draft EIS, collecting comments, publishing the Final EIS and publishing the Record of Decision.
As a Cooperating Agency, Ecology participates closely with USDOE to provide advice and assistance, particularly in matters like requirements in the State’s Environmental Policy Act and regulatory impacts and requirements. Ecology may offer advice and assistance in other parts of the process, as agreed to by the USDOE. The specific roles and responsibilities of each agency are spelled out in the Memorandum of Understanding between USDOE and Ecology, which is available at Memorandum of Understanding.
Environmental Impact Statement
Final Tank Closure & Waste Management Environmental Impact Statement (DOE/EIS-0391)
Record of Decision
Draft EIS Hearing Transcripts
Federal Register Notices
EIS Meeting Schedules
Interim Action Environmental Assessment