Chemical Waste Management of the Northwest
CWM has operated in rural Oregon since 1976, providing treatment and safe disposal for industrial and hazardous waste. The facility is permitted as a Subtitle C landfill under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) with oversight from the EPA and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ). RCRA is the principal federal law governing the disposal of solid waste and hazardous waste.
The facility is engineered with overlapping environmental protection systems that meet or exceed rigorous state and federal regulations. Designed and operated under highly regulated and prescribed procedures, CWM is engineered to protect surface and groundwater. The landfill is also subject to highly regulated monitoring and reporting requirements, to regularly verify that environmental protection systems are operating properly.
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The CWM Landfill is engineered with overlapping environmental protection systems that meet or exceed rigorous state and federal regulations. The facility is double-lined throughout the landfill and triple-lined at the lowest area. The primary, secondary and tertiary liners are made of different materials including 60 mil High Density Polyethyline (HPDE) and geosynthetic clay (geotextile and bentonite composites). The site also includes a state-of-the-art leachate collection system and groundwater monitoring wells.
Risk Assessment and Corrective Action Plan released
The Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE) has released a series of documents prepared for CWM by a team of experts. These include a Risk Assessment and Corrective Action Plan regarding the receipt of radiological waste from North Dakota.
The Risk Assessment concludes that exposure was "minimal and negligible." The report states: "This assessment has demonstrated that maximum doses that may have been received on the site and to the public from the disposal of the Bakken oilfields wastes were minimal and negligible when compared to radiation exposure received from natural and other man-made sources."
The experts considered two alternatives: leave the waste in place or excavate the waste and move it. The experts recommend that the waste be left in place. The report concluded: "The highest estimated dose to present or future landfill worker under Alternative 1 (leave in place) would be so low as to be essentially zero".
CWM has already implemented several of the screening processes called for in the report as well as a two-step verification system for wastes that may contain radiological material. Waste Management has proposed the installation of an automated radiation portal monitor to screen all future waste loads entering the site.
A 60-day public comment period has been opened by ODOE and will run through November 8, 2020.
See the September 2020 ODOE Statement, Risk Assessment and Corrective Action Plan. Click Here|
See the NOV news release issued by ODOE - Click Here
See documents submitted by CWM to ODOE on April 30, 2020, regarding risk assessment and a corrective action plan - Click Here
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