EPA Response to 2014 Radioactive Release at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP)
EPA is in regular contact with DOE, the New Mexico Environment Department and the Carlsbad Environmental Monitoring and Research Center. To date, EPA’s review of the data collected indicates:
- That the radiation releases do not pose public health concern.
- That DOE followed the procedures previously approved by EPA.
- That the WIPP facility remains in compliance with EPA regulations.
August 27, 2014: EPA evaluated DOE's dose projections and conducted independent public dose modeling using data supplied by DOE. DOE followed their modeling procedures and both DOE's and EPA's independent dose calculations resulted in the same effective dose equivalent of less than 1 mrem/year, well below the regulatory limit of 10 mrem/year.
- A summary of DOE's dose modeling activities can be found in Consequence Assessment Review Summary for the February 2014 Radiological Emission Release at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. (PDF) (4 pg, 432KB), About PDF
- EPA's review of DOE's compliance modeling can be found in Environmental Protection Agency's Confirmatory Dose Calculations of the Department of Energy's Use of CAP88-PC for the February 2014 Radiological Emission Release at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. (PDF) (11 pg, 388KB), About PDF
- EPA’s procedures for running the comparison dose models can be found in Quality Assurance Project Plan: Environmental Protection Agency’s Verification of the Department of Energy’s CAP88-PC WIPP Release Dose Calculations. (PDF) (22 pg, 4.87MB), About PDF
- U.S. Department of Energy, Waste Isolation Pilot Plant Recovery
- DOE has released its Phase I Accident Investigation Report and accompanying summary slides regarding the WIPP event. These can can be found at: http://www.wipp.energy.gov/wipprecovery/path_forward.html
- New Mexico Environment Department- Waste Isolation Pilot Plant Issue Page
- Carlsbad Environmental Monitoring & Research Center
- EPA Actions in Response to Release of Radioactive Material from the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (PDF) (1 pp, 98 K, About PDF)
- See EPA's WIPP Response Photo Gallery
2014 WIPP Recertification
On March 26, 2014, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) officially submitted the third Compliance Recertification Application (CRA) to EPA, initiating the recertification process required by Congress. Recertification is not a reconsideration of the decision to open WIPP, but rather a process to verify that changes at the facility in the preceding five-year period comply with EPA's disposal standards for radioactive waste. Please check the page below periodically for future updates.
2014 Compliance Recertification Application (Updated 6/25/14)
2009-2010 WIPP Recertification
On March 24, 2009, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) officially submitted the second Compliance Recertification Application (CRA) to EPA, initiating the recertification process required by Congress. Recertification is not a reconsideration of the decision to open WIPP, but rather a process to verify that changes at the facility in the preceding five-year period comply with EPA's disposal standards for radioactive waste.
EPA issued its second recertification decision for WIPP on November 18, 2010. EPA determined that the U.S. Department of Energy facility continues to comply with the Agency's waste disposal regulations and compliance criteria.
2004-2006 WIPP Recertification
EPA issued its first recertification decision for WIPP in March 2006. EPA determined that the U.S. Deparment of Energy facility continues to comply with the Agency’s waste disposal regulations and compliance criteria.2006 WIPP Recertification Decision
Oversight Role & Activities
About WIPP Oversight
History of EPA's involvement in the WIPP program, its role and other information
EPA's Continuing Role
A description of EPA's oversight role that continues beyond WIPP's initial certification
Waste Characterization Inspections (Updated 6/11/14 - Site Status Tables)
Inspections of Department of Energy facilities that plan to ship waste to WIPP
Certification and Recertification Decision Documents
2006 WIPP Recertification Decision
DOE's application, technical support documents, compliance application review documents, etc.
1998 WIPP Certification Decision
Regulations, response to comments, background information documents, etc.
locations and operating hours of publicly available WIPP records
News & Information
News Room (Updated 5/01/14 - WIPP Response)
fact sheets, independent reports, brochures, WIPP Bulletins, and guides
related information on this and other web sites
searchable database of answers to questions about WIPP