Modifications to the Operating Permit for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant
By law, mixed waste dumps like WIPP must have a permit that regulates their operations. A permit can be approved only after review by the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) and public hearings in which citizens comment and technical experts testify and are cross-examined.
Changes or modifications to the permit must also go through a public process. There are three types of permit modifications:
Class 1 Modifications: minor changes on the level of typographical errors or the names of personnel, phone numbers, etc. There is no public comment allowed on Class 1 modifications and the public is not even informed of them until after they are approved.
Class 2 Modifications: more major changes and require public notice and a 60-day public comment period.
Class 3 Modifications: require public notice, comment for at least 60 days and full public hearings.
CCNS is committed to monitoring proposed permit modification requests and participating in all public participation opportunities that are presented. This includes submitting written comments to NMED, attending public hearings and meetings and maintaining ongoing communication with NMED in order to obtain the most timely and accurate information about permit modification requests that we can. Through our participation, we hope to ensure that WIPP is operated according to the most strigent health and environmental standards possible.
To read CCNS's comments to recent and past permit modification requests, please see the links on this page.