Udall, Heinrich, Pearce to Host Energy Secretary in Carlsbad for Discussion about WIPP

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce announced that U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz will visit Carlsbad, N.M., on Aug. 12 for a discussion about the ongoing recovery at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP).

Last month, the lawmakers invited Moniz to visit to get an update on cleanup efforts and to talk with workers and local officials about WIPP’s importance to the community and to our national defense, as the only deep geologic repository for Cold War transuranic waste. WIPP has been closed since a Feb. 5 truck fire, which was followed on Feb. 14 by a radiation release that is still under investigation. 

Among the issues the lawmakers want to discuss with Moniz is the future of funding for recovery and the need for DOE to provide Congress with a detailed accounting of the money it needs and how the funds would be spent.

“We believe that the recovery is now at a stage where it would be important for you to observe the efforts directly,” the lawmakers wrote Moniz in June. “The workers and the community would also appreciate hearing firsthand the Department’s plans for returning WIPP to full operation. We look forward to hosting you in Carlsbad.”

Details of the meeting will be released to the media as they become available.