Permits that direct our Nuclear Waste Program
Permits are the tools we use to regulate the treatment, storage, and disposal of dangerous and mixed wastes at the Hanford site and other waste sites in Washington. Mixed wastes include toxic chemical and radioactive wastes. The permits help us protect you, the air, land, and water.
Hanford cleanup permits
The Hanford site once was home to a plutonium-production complex with nine nuclear reactors and associated processing facilities. The 580 square-mile site, located along the Columbia River in southeastern Washington, played a pivotal role in the nation's defense for more than 45 years, beginning in the 1940s with the Manhattan Project.
Plutonium production shut down in the mid-1980s. In 1989 the State of Washington, represented by the Department of Ecology, U.S. Dept. of Energy, and EPA signed the Tri-Party Agreement to begin cleaning up decades worth of toxic and radioactive contamination. The Agreement ensures that the state will have a significant role in the cleanup, and spells out how the three agencies cooperate to see that cleanup of nuclear waste at Hanford complies with federal law.
U.S. Department of Energy, Ecology, and EPA
Today, Hanford is one of the world's largest environmental cleanup projects, under the direction of Energy. They have more than 8,000 employees and contractors in two main offices: the Office of River Protection and Richland Operations Office.
We work with the EPA to ensure that work performed by Energy and its contractors complies with the laws. Permits set conditions based on state and federal laws and regulations that control the treatment, storage, and disposal of dangerous waste. Our Nuclear Waste Program oversees permits to focus on keeping you and the environment safe.
Sites we regulate
We regulate cleanup at the Hanford site, and we also oversee other mixed waste sites in Washington.