Unsealed documents reveal serious violations by Hanford contractor

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by GARY CHITTIM / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @gchittimK5

KING5.com

Posted on May 8, 2013 at 6:42 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jun 25 at 2:28 PM

KING 5 has uncovered serious violations by a company treating radioactive waste near the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

Perma-Fix Northwest handles materials nobody else can - radioactive, highly toxic dangerous items generated at Hanford and other parts of the world.
  
KING 5 News has learned that during an inspection last year, the Environmental Protection Agency found five serious violations.

The violations involve the treatment of low level radioactive waste, PCBs and other contaminants at its Richland lab on the edge of the Hanford reservation.
  
The violations include unlicensed storage of waste, storage of waste in unauthorized containers, storing waste longer than the permit allows, charges the EPA deemed the facility unacceptable to receive contaminated items.
 
Investigators say the most serious threat of these types of violations is to workers.
  
The company responded quickly and was re-approved a few months later to resume operations but it does not appear this is over. We expect some penalties to be assessed. The last time this company was cited by the EPA it cost them more than $300,000.
  
And KING 5 is also investigating unconfirmed reports of some illegal transportation of radioactive items involving Hanford contractors.

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