DOE Fined for Asbestos Violations at Hanford Nuclear Site

by Sokolove Law

For the safety of the public, asbestos cleanup needs to be done right. But it wasn’t done right on at least one recent occasion at the nation’s most contaminated nuclear site, the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Richland, Washington.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) had violated federal regulations for safe disposal of asbestos at the Hanford site in 2009 and 2010, according to news site KING5.com. In an unusual case of one federal agency fining another, the EPA last month ordered the DOE to pay a fine of $115,000 for the violations.

The Department of Energy is in charge of cleaning up the Hanford site, including the demolition of buildings in which plutonium and uranium were produced for nuclear weapons. Many of the buildings at Hanford were built during World War II and some were constructed with asbestos-containing materials.

The alleged violations were committed by a contractor for the DOE’s cleanup efforts who failed to properly document and label shipments of asbestos waste, according to the Associated Press. Any waste that contains asbestos must be clearly labeled so that workers will know to take safety precautions.

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that was commonly used in many building materials and other products until the 1970s. Exposure to asbestos is the only known cause of mesothelioma, an incurable cancer.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may be eligible for financial compensation. Contact Sokolove Law today for a free consultation to learn more about a mesothelioma lawsuit.

Recommended Reading: