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Comment Period

DFLAW operating permit modification

Hanford Dangerous Waste Permit

Feb. 10, 2020 - March 26, 2020, 11:59 p.m.

We're holding a 45-day public comment period which addresses proposed modifications to the Hanford Dangerous Waste Permit for the treatment, storage, and disposal of dangerous waste at the Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant (WTP).

Review and comment

The modification proposal and supporting documents are on our Hanford public comment periods page.

Proposed changes

This permit modification will add a description of operations to the Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant (WTP) Dangerous Waste Permit for the Low-Activity Waste Vitrification Facility (LAW) and the Effluent Management Facility (EMF). The modification describes operations, provides clarification between the baseline and Direct-Feed Low-Activity Waste (DFLAW) configurations, and adds details to ensure the operating permit is compliant with all dangerous waste regulations. The modification proposes changes to the following:

  • Unit-Specific Permit Conditions 
  • Part A Form 
  • Chapter 3, Waste Analysis Plan 
  • Chapter 3A, Waste Analysis Plan for the Baseline Configuration 
  • Chapter 3B, Quality Assurance Project Plan 
  • Chapter 3C, Waste Analysis Plan for the DFLAW Configuration 
  • Chapter 4, Process Information 
  • Chapter 4E, Low-Activity Waste Facility 
  • Chapter 4G, Direct Feed Low-Activity Waste (Effluent Management Facility) 
  • Chapter 4I, Balance of Facilities 
  • Chapter 6, Procedures to Prevent Hazards 
  • Chapter 6A, Inspection Plan 
  • Chapter 7, Building Emergency Plan 
  • Chapter 8, Personnel Training 
  • Updates to multiple appendices, including the interim compliance schedules 

Interim compliance schedule items completed with this permit modification include: LAW-3 through LAW-7, LAW-11, LAW-14, LAW-15, LAW-17, LAW-25, LAW-45, as well as EMF-3 through EMF-7, EMF-11, and EMF-45.


WTP will operate in two processing configurations. For near-term operations, WTP will operate in the DFLAW configuration requiring the following WTP facilities to become operational first to process low-activity waste from Hanford's tank farms: Analytical Laboratory, LAW, and EMF.

In the DFLAW configuration, tank waste is pretreated to remove cesium and solids before being sent as low-activity waste to the WTP LAW facility. With DFLAW, the pretreated waste will bypass WTP's Pretreatment Facility and be fed directly from the tank farms to the LAW facility.

The liquid effluents generated in the LAW facility and the Analytical Laboratory are transferred and treated at EMF, which will reduce the effluent volume by evaporation. WTP will later be operated in the baseline configuration when the Pretreatment Facility and the High-Level Waste Vitrification Facility become operational.

The final step in the WTP phased permitting approach is the development of the operational permits for each facility. The Analytical Laboratory completed this step in 2017 and now has an operating permit. This current permit modification provides the operational details for LAW and EMF. 

The permittees are the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of River Protection and Bechtel National, Inc. WTP is located on the Hanford Site in Southeastern Washington.

For more information, see our Nuclear Waste Program public comment page

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Daina McFadden
3100 Port of Benton Blvd
Richland, WA 99354
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Daina McFadden
Permit Communication Specialist

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