Senators Udall and Heinrich Back NM Decision to Fine Department of Energy

New Mexioc’s U.S. Senators, Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich have issued statements in support of the State of New Mexico’s decision to fine the Department of Energy for violations at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) and Los Alamos National Laboratory.

U.S. Senator Tom Udall issued the following statement on the state of New Mexico’s decision to fine the U.S. Department of Energy over $54 million for numerous violations at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant and Los Alamos National Laboratory:

“The investigation by the state of New Mexico found that the accident last February put at risk the health of workers and the nearby community. The action the state has taken is appropriate and shows why I have long fought for state environmental authority over WIPP waste operations. WIPP and LANL are a vital part of New Mexico’s economy and our national security, and with such high stakes, there is no room for error or denial. Fines should not come out of DOE clean-up activities, and those responsible should not get bonuses or rewards for their mistakes. Further investigation into what led to the radiation release at WIPP will determine whether more penalties or action are necessary.”

U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich, a member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, issued the following statement on the state of New Mexico’s decision to fine the U.S. Department of Energy over $54 million for numerous violations at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant and Los Alamos National Laboratory:

“The State’s action is warranted and I agree that these fines should not jeopardize completing the environmental cleanup at Los Alamos National Lab and WIPP. Our nation’s security relies heavily on the important work being done at these facilities, which are also big employers and critical to New Mexico’s economy. Collaboration between the Department of Energy, regulators, WIPP, and the community will be critical. The safety and health of our workers and community is of the utmost importance. Ensuring that the lines of communication remain open and that key maintenance and management programs are in place will continue to be a priority.”