Energy Department Faces Huge Fine after Spill - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Energy Department Faces Huge Fine after Spill

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RICHLAND, Wash.- The Department of Energy is on the hook for a $500,000 fine after July's tank waste spill.

The Department of Ecology says contractor CH2M Hill didn't take essential safety steps that could have prevented the spill.

Ecology says the Energy Department admits to violating the Hanford site safety standards by not installing the system.

"There were several workers in the area and it was pretty much a near miss.  They're very lucky that nobody was hurt," said Eric Van Mason with Ecology. 

The July 27 spill was contained to the surrounding area. 

An investigation found reported worker illnesses were not caused by the spill.