Waste Isolation Pilot Plant oversight

The EPA issues radiation standards and certifies compliance of the WIPP disposal facility. The WIPP Land Withdrawal Act (LWA), as amended, required the EPA to issue final regulations for disposal of SNF, HLW, and TRU waste. It also gave the EPA authority to develop criteria implementing final WIPP radioactive waste disposal standards. The EPA must also deter­mine every five years whether the WIPP facility is in compliance with applicable standards. The WIPP LWA also requires the EPA to determine whether WIPP complies with other federal environmental and public health and safety regulations, such as the Clean Air Act and the Solid Waste Dis­posal Act. The EPA conducts inspections of both waste generators and WIPP operations. Separate inspections may be conducted for waste char­acterization activities, quality assurance, or WIPP site activities (procedural or technical).

The EPA also has regulatory authority for radioactive waste disposal standards for SNF, HLW, and TRU radioactive waste; final individual pro­tection standards; final groundwater protection standards; and contamina­tion in offsite underground sources of drinking water.

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