WASHINGTON, D.C. (Jan. 19, 2018) — During a Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources hearing to confirm Anne White as Assistant Secretary of Energy for Environmental Management, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) questioned the nominee on prioritizing a visit to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) and supporting opportunities for local small businesses to participate in cleanup efforts at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL).
During Senator Heinrich’s questioning, Ms. White confirmed her support for small business and community outreach in cleanup efforts at LANL. Ms. White was a former small business owner in Los Alamos.
Senator Heinrich also discussed maintenance and operations at WIPP, highlighting the reported maintenance backlog of $25 million for critical upgrades to key fire-safety systems, instrumentation and infrastructure. Ms. White confirmed she would prioritize a visit to WIPP to meet with community leaders in Carlsbad that play an active role in ensuring safe operation of the facility and assured Senator Heinrich that she would closely look at the budget to ensure that WIPP has the resources it needs to address the maintenance backlog.
Senator Heinrich met with Anne White prior to her confirmation hearing this week where she discussed her previous work as a small businesswoman doing environmental management work at Los Alamos. She expressed that her experience and knowledge will help ensure DOE continues to meet the requirements of the consent agreement with New Mexico Environment Department, especially as the management of the cleanup effort transitions to a new contractor on April 1.
Testimony, a list of witnesses, and the entire webcast of today's hearing will be available here.