A new federal probe may lead to steep penalties for the operator of a nuclear-waste dump where contaminants escaped, the Santa Fe New Mexican reports.
One issue expert said the Energy Department Enforcement Office inquiry into potential procedural breaches at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant “could have implications for the entire contract” held by Nuclear Waste Partnership, the newspaper reported on Tuesday. The firm — a limited liability company formed by Areva, Babcock & Wilcox and URS — manages the site for roughly $130 million each year.
“The penalty can be from zero up to some dollar penalties up to ultimately losing the contract,” said Don Hancock, head of the Southwest Research and Information Center in Albuquerque. “This investigation is not going to make that determination, but it can play into some of that determination.”
The federal agency informed the firm about the planned probe last week, roughly four months after a vehicle at the site caught fire and a radiation release forced ordinary work at the repository to cease.
“It could be a very big deal, because in my view the investigation should be asking some really hard questions,” Hancock added.
New Mexico’s state government cannot issue fines larger than $10,000 for each day of an environmental breach, but federal authorities have no such limit, according to the New Mexican.
According to Energy Department spokesman Ben Williams, “WIPP’s federal and contractor workforce will continue the highest level of cooperation and openness to help the Office of Enforcement collect all of the information necessary to complete its investigation.”
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The national polls, once again, tell very different stories: Clinton leads by just one point in the IBD, Rasmussen, and LA Times tracking polls, while she shows a commanding 12 point lead in the ABC news poll and a smaller but sizable five point lead in the CNN poll. The Republican Remington Research Group released a slew of polls showing Trump up in Ohio, Nevada, and North Carolina, a tie in Florida, and Clinton leads in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Virginia. However, an independent Siena poll shows Clinton up 7 in North Carolina, while a Monmouth poll shows Trump up one in Arizona
Since the release of the Access Hollywood tape, on which Donald Trump boasted of sexually assaulting women, "Senate Republicans have seen their fortunes dip, particularly in states like Florida, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada and Pennsylvania," where Hillary Clinton now leads. Jennifer Duffy writes that she now expects Democrats to gain five to seven seats—enough to regain control of the chamber.
"Of the Senate seats in the Toss Up column, Trump only leads in Indiana and Missouri where both Republicans are running a few points behind him. ... History shows that races in the Toss Up column never split down the middle; one party tends to win the lion’s share of them."
"Some Republicans are running so far away from their party’s nominee that they are threatening to sue TV stations for running ads that suggest they support Donald Trump. Just two weeks before Election Day, five Republicans―Reps. Bob Dold (R-Ill.), Mike Coffman (R-Colo.), David Jolly (R-Fla.), John Katko (R-N.Y.) and Brian Fitzpatrick, a Pennsylvania Republican running for an open seat that’s currently occupied by his brother―contend that certain commercials paid for by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee provide false or misleading information by connecting them to the GOP nominee. Trump is so terrible, these Republicans are essentially arguing, that tying them to him amounts to defamation."
Former Illinois GOP Congressman Aaron Schock "recently agreed to pay a $10,000 fine for making an excessive solicitation for a super PAC that was active in his home state of Illinois four years ago." Schock resigned from Congress after a story about his Downton Abbey-themed congressional office raised questions about how he was using taxpayer dollars.