- A federal lawsuit against the government was filed in Spokane, WA over dangers posed to workers by vapor released from underground waste-storage tanks at the state's Hanford Nuclear Reservation.
- According to state Attorney General Bob Ferguson, the U.S. Department of Energy has known about the harmful vapors at the site since the late 1980s but hasn't fixed it, despite 19 agency-reported issues. Just in the time between between Jan. 2014 and April 2015, 50 workers were reportedly exposed to vapors.
- The Department and its contractor recently said steps have been taken to improve worker safety at the site, such as increasing the use of self-contained breathing devices when in areas that pose a risk of vapor exposure.
The issue at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation is not one to be taken lightly — hundreds of employees at the site have suffered from serious complications such as brain injury or loss of lung capacity. One employee even died from brain swelling due to the toxic vapors.
"Neither the Department of Energy nor its contractors have followed through to finally fix the problem and keep our workers safe," Ferguson said in a news conference. "If you visited Hanford today, you'd find some workers at the tank farms still exposed to vapors seeping out of these tanks."
The Department of Energy is well aware of the pleas for something to be done at the site, however it's slowly executing action. The Department already asked for a one-year extension of its deadline for emptying nine leak-prone tanks, claiming that the need to wear respirators is slowing down the work that needs to be done.