271-T Cage (CUG-29)
On December 6, 2021, Ecology issued a final Class 3 permit modification to incorporate final status closure plans and unit-specific permit conditions for the following unit groups into the Hanford Sitewide Permit, Revision 8C (WA7890008967):
This permit modification was required in part by a Consent Agreement and Final Order issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency against the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for violations of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act at the Hanford Facility’s Solid Waste Operations Complex (SWOC).
Pursuant to WAC 173-303-840(8)(b)(iii), a final permit issued under Ecology’s dangerous waste authority will become effective thirty days after service of the notice of decision, unless review of the permit is requested under RCW 43.21B. On January 5, 2022, DOE and its contractor Central Plateau Cleanup Company, LLC (CPCCo) filed an appeal of Modification 8C.2021.1F to Permit No. WA7890008967 with the Pollution Control Hearings Board (PCHB), thus staying the entire permit modification from going into effect.
As a result of this appeal, DOE and CPCCo are not authorized to proceed with closure activities for these seven unit groups. Ecology attempted to work with DOE and CPCCo to negotiate a stipulated stay that would have allowed certain portions of the permit modification that are not at issue in the appeal to go into effect. DOE and CPCCo initially agreed to a stipulated stay and authorized Ecology to file it with the PCHB. The PCHB then determined it did not have authority to enter the stipulated stay without briefing but noted that the parties could agree to do so independently. However, despite having previously agreed to the stipulated stay and expressing mutual interest in enabling important closure work to proceed without delay, DOE and CPCCo have now declined to sign the stipulated stay. Accordingly, the effective date for the entire permit modification has been stayed and closure activities may not proceed until the litigation is resolved.
View the original permit documents
***** October 2022 UpdateThe appeal is continued pending the modification of the seven closure plans as it relates to a tentative settlement reached by Energy and Ecology. The hearing scheduled for January 17-20, 2023, is cancelled. This includes the suspension of the deadlines set in the Board’s February 2, 2022, Prehearing Order regarding discovery, dispositive motions, the exchange of witness and exhibit lists, and prehearing briefs. Energy and Ecology are directed by the PCHB to submit a status update to the Board on or before May 1, 2023.