Memorandum In Support of Criminal Investigation and Enforcement
Wild Fire, Illegal Storage of Hazardous Wastes, Failures to Notify
Planning and Hazardous Substance Reporting Required: Violation
1.1. Emergency Planning provisions of Emergency Planning and Community
Right to Know Act (EPCRA) / SARA Sec. 302. Extremely hazardous substances
in quantities above Threshold Planning Quantities (TPQ) are likely present
in 350 barrels exhumed from 618-4 Burial Ground and improperly stored
for over two years on bare ground, exposed to elements. See Sec. 302(b).
Reporting of barrel contents and planning not conducted.
to Notify of Releases and Potential Releases directly impacted human health
and the environment, and led to greater than necessary exposures:
1.1.1. CERCLA Record of Decision provides no shield for illegal storage
of wastes exhumed. ROD is based on full compliance with applicable laws
and regulations. If wastes are illegally stored, rather than exhumed
and disposed per the plan in the RoD, then EPCRA and SARA requirements
apply, as well as RCRA and Washington hazardous waste storage requirements.
comprehensive emergency response plan failed to identify the known explosive
and flammable hazards, and associated chemical and radiological release
hazards, from the barrels, pursuant to SARA Sec. 303.
42 USC 11022 required inventory as did Washington law, SEE WAC 173-303-610(a).
Inventory requirements include specifics on location and manner of
storage; SEE 42 USC 1102292)(D) and (E).
1.2.1. Documents obtained via Freedom of Information Act reveal that
hazards were known and discussed internally in 1998.
Local comprehensive emergency response plan was inadequate for wildfire,
and assumed that fire conditions could not include fire across high percentage
of Hanford Site. However, previous fire history showed that this was a
highly likely occurrence.
Sec 303( c ) (2) plan required USDOE to specify:
"methods and procedures to be followed by facility owners and
operators and local emergency and medical personnel to respond to
any release of such substances". Documents show USDOE or contractors
had knowledge of hazard of barrels catching fire and increased risks
from the most likely response by fire fighters ( adding water or dirt
). Plan to fight a fire involving the barrels was not created per
"procedures for notification by facility to emergency coordinator
and public that release occurred" . Sec. 303( c )(4). Plan
does exist, but plan was violated by willful failure to disclose
that contaminated areas burned, and apparent deliberate choice not
to monitor at or directly downwind from burned areas of contamination.
184.108.40.206.2.1. No monitoring locations were established by USDOE at
or adjacent to the burned over contaminated areas outside the southern
area of 200 West. Monitoring of the B-C cribs area was also inadequate.
"methods for determining if release occurred". Sec. 303(
c )(6). See above. Plan either failed to specify that burned areas
of contamination be immediately monitored, or the Plan was inadequate.
"Training programs…" Sec. 303 (c)(8): inadequate regarding
monitoring of areas of contamination subject to frequent wild fires;
inadequate with regard to fighting fires involving exhumed waste
barrels; inadequate regarding environmental restoration workforce
for radiological and chemical hazards for handling exhumed barrels
with Gamma radiation and hazardous chemicals.
2.1. Federal and state laws required immediate notification of release
/ potential release from burned areas of contamination:
management failed to notify regulators (and possibly USDOE) of barrel contents
and risks, need for emergency response planning, need for appropriate storage:
2.1.1. 42 USC 9603 notice to National Response Center, which provides
notice to state
2.1.2. 42 USC 11004 notice to community emergency response coordinator
an state emergency planning coordinator.
2.1.3. WAC 173-303-360 requires immediate notification to state of release
of hazardous substance - including radiation - posing threat to human
health and environment.
220.127.116.11. For all notification requirements, USDOE's failure to notify
of release from areas of contamination which had burned, and willful
failure to disclose to emergency response coordinators that areas
of contamination outside the 200 West Area had burned, was the proximate
cause of probable radiation exposures (including Plutonium) to fire
fighters, and to the public following opening of Highway 240. The
decision to open Highway 240, less than two miles from the burned
areas of contamination, and clearly in the path of the plume, was
made based on USDOE's knowingly false statements that no areas of
contamination had burned and the failure to notify of the releases.
These violations had immediate health consequences, which are now
nearly impossible to determine, as well as longer term environmental
is required to ensure communication of health risks and medical advice
and "proper precautions to take…" from release. 42 USC 11004(b)(2)(F)
18.104.22.168. Violation led to fire fighters exposed without any appropriate
monitoring for exposure and without immediate follow up testing for
exposures (nasal smears, urine analyses, equipment smears).
22.214.171.124. Violation led to offsite fire fighting crews being on site
and exposed without personal dosimeters.
126.96.36.199.1. Violations of ( c )(2) and ( c ) (3) regarding advice
for medical attention to exposed individuals and written follow
up reporting of health risks from the release.
3.1. Price - Anderson criminal violation potential: contractor had knowledge
of higher than expected radiation levels, presence of Gamma emitters and
probable fission products, presence of chemicals and failed to plan or
disclose. Could have led to extremely high danger release of radionuclides
in plume if one barrel caught fire. Documents show that if one caught
fire, likely that most of the 350 would explode. Documents reveal extremely
high nuclear safety consequence (exacerbated by location near City of
Richland and Columbia River).
Office of Environment, Safety and Health, Office of Enforcement and
Investigation outlined corrective actions required and "Action
Plan". December 30, 1997. Regarding barrels and notifications of
offsite and onsite releases of radionuclides, these corrective actions
and action plans were violated.