ARLINGTON – On March 24, 2021 the Oregon Department of Energy issued a determination to Chemical Waste Management of the Northwest (CWM) in response to the company’s detailed risk assessment and corrective action plan regarding radioactive materials that were illegally disposed in CWM’s hazardous waste landfill outside Arlington, OR.
ODOE’s determination accepts CWM’s corrective action plan approach, with amendments to strengthen environmental monitoring and tracking of wastes entering the site. The determination is available for review on our website, along with written responses to public comments we received during a 60-day public comment period last fall. We appreciate the public’s engagement and thoughtful comments, and incorporated some suggestions into the agency’s determination.
In its corrective action plan, CWM presented two alternatives: 1. Leave the waste in place; or 2. Dig up the waste and move it to a disposal site out of state. CWM proposed, and ODOE concurs, that the first option to leave the waste in place, with additional environmental monitoring, is the best and safest option. Removing the waste, which is already buried within a landfill that includes other chemically-hazardous materials, would pose a considerably greater risk to landfill workers than leaving the waste in place. The risk assessment analysis showed that there would be no significant long-term risk to workers, the public, or the environment from keeping the waste buried.