Before the WIPP accepted its first shipment of transuranic waste, the EPA issued a final certification decision finding that the facility would comply with the radioactive waste disposal regulations set by the Agency. The EPA requires the Department of Energy (DOE) to meet certain conditions in order to demonstrate the safe containment of transuranic radioactive waste for 10,000 years.
Every five years, the EPA receives the DOE’s Compliance Recertification Application. Once the Agency deems the application to be “complete” (an administrative step that indicates the EPA has enough information to proceed with a full technical review of the application), the EPA has six months to determine or “recertify” whether the WIPP is compliant with regulations for the disposal of transuranic waste.
For more information on the initial certification decision or previous recertification processes, visit Certification and Recertification of WIPP.
For more information on the compliance criteria, visit EPA's Role at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP).