December 08, 2014

Udall Statement on State of New Mexico's Decision to Fine U.S. Department of Energy Following Accident at WIPP

WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall issued the following statement on the state of New Mexico's decision to fine the U.S. Department of Energy over $54 million for numerous violations at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant and Los Alamos National Laboratory:

"The investigation by the state of New Mexico found that the accident last February put at risk the health of workers and the nearby community. The action the state has taken is appropriate and shows why I have long fought for state environmental authority over WIPP waste operations. WIPP and LANL are a vital part of New Mexico's economy and our national security, and with such high stakes, there is no room for error or denial. Fines should not come out of DOE clean-up activities, and those responsible should not get bonuses or rewards for their mistakes. Further investigation into what led to the radiation release at WIPP will determine whether more penalties or action are necessary."