New Mexico Denies Hanford Request to Transfer Leaking Waste - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

New Mexico Denies Hanford Request to Transfer Waste from Leaking Tanks

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.  - The state of New Mexico has declined the Department of Energy's request for a quick proposal to bring radioactive waste from Hanford to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad.  

Instead, the New Mexico Environment Department says it will hold public hearings before any decisions are made. The Environment Secretary says this decision will ensure that the state will carefully consider the public's views before acting on the Department of Energy's request.  

A DOE spokesperson released a statement Tuesday.

Frank Marcinowski says they'll work with New Mexico's requests for public input.

"DOE will continue to work with the New Mexico Environment Department on the process they believe is most appropriate to adequately involve the public," Marcinowski said.

The DOE in March asked the New Mexico department for a quick approval of a change in its WIPP permit, so workers could transfer 3.1 million gallons from leaking waste tanks at Hanford to the WIPP site.