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AG files emergency action to force end to Hanford safety ‘crisis’ via K5

Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson on Wednesday filed an emergency legal motion to force improvements in worker safety at the Hanford Site, the 586-square-mile former plutonium production facility.

Ferguson called the action “as serious as it gets.”

The motion for injunctive relief asks a federal judge intervene in the operations at the site to protect workers from continued exposure to toxic chemical vapors. It names as defendants the U.S. Department of Energy and Washington River Protection Solutions (WRPS), the private company that manages the nuclear waste storage tanks at Hanford.

In legal proceedings, an injunction is considered an extraordinary remedy, reserved only for the most extreme situations.

“At Hanford there’s a culture of indifference by the federal government and their contractors. Frankly, we’re not going to put up with it anymore,” said Ferguson. “So right now we’re trying to get before the judge immediately asking for immediate steps required from the federal government to protect workers. That’s the bottom line.”

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