The Tri-Party Agreement spells out how Washington State and the federal government will cooperate to ensure that cleanup of dangerous and radioactive nuclear waste at Hanford is in compliance with federal law.
In 1989, three government entities came together to sign the Hanford Federal Facility Agreement and Consent Order, most commonly known as the Tri-Party Agreement (TPA). The agencies involved are:
Our Nuclear Waste Program focuses on keeping you safe from the dangers of mixed radioactive and chemically hazardous waste. We work with EPA to ensure that work performed by Energy and its contractors complies with the laws for treatment, storage, and disposal of chemical and nuclear waste.
Any of the three agencies can request changes to the TPA, which includes a process to approve changes and resolve disputes. In addition, the TPA sets out a process for public participation, where we invite the public to take part in the decision-making before any significant changes can be made.
We monitor compliance of cleanup against two federal environmental cleanup laws — RCRA and the Superfund law. The TPA defines and ranks cleanup commitments of both laws, providing standards against which we measure Hanford work to determine if it was done correctly and on time.
After cleanup is completed, Energy is required to provide us with evidence to confirm that the work meets the terms of the agreement. We then share cleanup status updates, as well as announcing when milestones and regulations have been met.
You can help with the cleanup effort by participating in public meetings and comment periods. Your input allows us to focus on the issues most important to you, which enables us to more effectively enforce the milestones outlined in the TPA. Upcoming public involvement opportunities are outlined in the TPA events calendar.
Compliance Section Manager