New Mexico publishes final proposed permit for WIPP

August 21, 2023, 12:00PMRadwaste Solutions

The New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) released the proposed final permit for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant renewal process on August 15. The NMED also announced a public hybrid meeting scheduled for September 22, where the public will have the opportunity to ask questions about the proposed final permit.

The proposed final permit identifies changes made to the draft version as a result of a settlement agreement signed on June 23. The NMED, in conjunction with the Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management and WIPP managing contractor Salado Isolation Mining Contractors, negotiated the agreement with stakeholders that had requested a hearing and were in opposition to the draft 10-year permit renewal for WIPP.

The WIPP repository operates under a permit issued by the NMED, which has the authority to regulate hazardous waste at WIPP. The plant is currently operating on an expired but administratively extended permit.

Meeting details: The public meeting will be held from 5:00 p.m. to 7 p.m. (MDT) on Friday, September 22. Attendees can participate in person at locations in both Carlsbad, N.M., and Santa Fe, N.M., as well as remotely on the WebEx platform. Further meeting details can be found here.

Information concerning the WIPP renewal permit can be found on the NMED’s WIPP News website.

The public comment period for the renewal permit will remain open until September 22. The NMED will issue a final permit in October 2023 with an effective date 30 days later, in November.

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