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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 25, 2006
Attorney General McKenna is Pleased to Announce a Victory in the State’s Lawsuit to Block Radioactive Waste Imports


OLYMPIA –The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington today granted summary judgment in the state’s favor on one claim in a lawsuit filed by the state in March 2003 to stop the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) from shipping transuranic mixed waste to Hanford from other DOE sites around the country.

Attorney General Rob McKenna congratulated the two assistant attorneys general representing the state, David Mears and Andy Fitz, for their success. “This ruling is an important victory for this state and other states regarding state authority over transuranic mixed waste,” McKenna said.

The ruling confirms state authority to limit continued storage of transuranic mixed waste, which is a form of radioactive and hazardous waste resulting from the production of nuclear weapons.

DOE must meet an enforceable schedule for preparing transuranic mixed waste already at Hanford for shipment to a permanent disposal facility in New Mexico, or treat the waste so it may be safely stored.

DOE is prohibited from shipping off-site transuranic mixed waste to Hanford until it deals with the transuranic mixed waste already at the site.

In addition to the state’s lawsuit to block transuranic and low-level radioactive waste imports, the same U.S. District Court is also hearing the federal government’s lawsuit against the state over initiative 297.

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