NMED NEWS RELEASE
The New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) on Tuesday released the Proposed Final Permit for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) renewal process and announced a hybrid public meeting to provide a venue for the public to ask questions about the proposed final permit. NMED published the proposed final permit identifying changes made to the draft permit as a result of the settlement agreement signed by parties on June 23, 2023. For ease of review, a table summarizing these changes, as well as editorial changes, is available here.
NMED will hold a hybrid public meeting from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. MT on Friday, September 22, 2023. Attendees can participate in-person at locations in both Carlsbad and Santa Fe, as well as remotely on the WebEx platform. The public comment period for the renewal permit will remain open until September 22, 2023. NMED will issue a final permit in October 2023 with an effective date 30 days later in November 2023.
On June 23, 2023, NMED negotiated a settlement agreement, in conjunction with the Department of Energy and Salado Isolation Mining Contractors LLC, the co-permittees, with parties who had requested a hearing and were in opposition to the draft ten-year renewal hazardous waste facility permit for WIPP.
The WIPP facility, located in Carlsbad, New Mexico, was authorized by Congress for the disposal of transuranic (TRU) radioactive waste materials generated by atomic energy defense activities of the United States. The public notice is available in English and Spanish, along with the table of changes and a link to the proposed final permit, on NMED’s WIPP News webpage at https://www.env.nm.gov/hazardous-waste/wipp/.