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Revised Hanford Solid Waste Environmental Impact Statement now out for public comment

Revised Hanford Solid Waste Environmental Impact Statement (SW EIS), is now out for public comment
The Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington State contains a legacy of nuclear waste that makes it the single most contaminated site on this continent. It sits directly on the banks of the Columbia River, one of our region's most valuable natural resources. In 2002, the U.S. Department of Energy (USDOE) issued a plan to double the total amount of radioactive and chemical waste buried in Hanford's unlined soil trenches. Citizens, elected officials, WA State and EPA harshly criticized the content of the 2002 environmental impact statement (EIS), forcing USDOE to reissue a new draft in April 2003. The new analysis of how this action impacts public health and environmental quality, the Revised Hanford Solid Waste Environmental Impact Statement (SW EIS), is now out for public comment. (Document online at hanford.gov website).

Why Are Citizens Concerned about Trucking New Waste to Hanford? USDOE's EIS calls for importing more radioactive waste and hazardous mixed radioactive waste from across the country and dumping it in unlined soil trenches at Hanford - 70,000 truckloads of waste on our highways! The dangers are many:

**The USDOE plan more than doubles the total amount of radioactive and chemical waste buried in unlined soil trenches at Hanford, and also includes importing dangerous "transuranic wastes" which contain deadly plutonium! (Importing plutonium waste is currently subject to a lawsuit brought by citizen groups and Washington State against USDOE).

**Dumping more radioactive waste WILL contaminate groundwater flowing towards the Columbia River for "thousands of years." The EIS calls for moving the point where they monitor groundwater away from the waste sites towards the river, thus allowing contamination to enter the groundwater for years before being detected.

**Transporting nuclear waste to Hanford creates unnecessary risks to human and environmental health in Washington and Oregon. The new EIS still does not adequately address risks to all communities along transportation routes.

**Dumping radioactive waste in unlined trenches provides no protection from soil and eventual groundwater contamination. USDOE has said they may line the burial grounds, but they provide no timeline for accomplishing this.

Citizens have the opportunity to comment on this EIS from April 11 - May 27th, 2003. Comments can be made online at the hanford.gov site or sent to:
Michael Collins
U.S. Department of Energy
PO Box 550, A-38
Richland, WA 99352
Email: hsweis@rl.gov; Fax: 509-372-1926

Public meetings are an excellent opportunity to hear from other agencies and public interest groups before offering comments.

Meeting begins at 7pm. Pre-hearing educational workshops will be held by Heart of America Northwest beginning at 6pm.

Public Meeting Date and Location:

May 13, 2003
Portland, OR
Radisson Hotel
Mt. Helens/Mt. Hood Room
1441 NE 2nd Ave

homepage: homepage: http://www.heartofamericanorthwest.org/
phone: phone: 206-382-1014
address: address: 1305 4th Ave Suite 208, Seattle, WA 98101