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Tri-Party Agreement

Photo of the signing of the Tri-Party Agreement

On May 15, 1989, the U.S. Department of Energy, which operates the Hanford Site in southeastern Washington State, along with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Washington State Department of Ecology, signed a comprehensive cleanup and compliance agreement called the Hanford Federal Facility Agreement and Consent Order, or Tri-Party Agreement (TPA).  The TPA is an agreement for achieving compliance with the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) remedial action provisions and with federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) treatment, storage, and disposal regulations and corrective action provisions. More specifically, the TPA does the following:

  • Defines and ranks CERCLA and RCRA cleanup commitments
  • Establishes responsibilities
  • Provides a basis for budgeting
  • Reflects a concerted goal of achieving full regulatory compliance and remediation, with enforceable milestones, in an aggressive manner.

The TPA is a legally binding agreement consisting of the following two main documents:

  1. The "Legal Agreement" itself, which describes the roles, responsibilities and authorities of the three agencies, or "Parties", in the cleanup, compliance and permitting processes. It also sets up dispute resolution processes and describes how the agreement will be enforced.
  2. The "Action Plan" to implement the cleanup and permitting efforts, which includes milestones (in Appendix D) for initiating and completing specific work, and procedures the three agencies must follow.

Additionally, an associated plan, called the "Public Involvement Plan," describes how the public will be informed and involved throughout the cleanup process.

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For questions or comments, please send e-mail to Stephanie Brasher.

Last Updated 02/08/2024 11:47 AM