EPA Report Critical Of Washington Oversight At Hanford

By Shannon Dininny | June 20, 2013

A new report condemns Washington state for lax oversight at the nation’s most contaminated nuclear site, saying state officials failed to adequately inspect the cleanup there.

The draft report by the Environmental Protection Agency faults the Washington state Department of Ecology for employing too few inspectors at south-central Washington’s Hanford Nuclear Reservation. It also criticizes the department for giving the federal agency that manages the cleanup prior written notice of inspection plans and limiting each inspection to those areas.

The report was released Tuesday by the Hanford watchdog group Hanford Challenge.

The federal government created Hanford in the 1940s as part of the top-secret Manhattan Project to build the atomic bomb. Cleanup efforts there have come under increased scrutiny in recent months amid rising costs, delays and complaints of mismanagement.

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