Company to operate landfill at Hanford

By Annette Cary, Herald staff writerJanuary 25, 2013 

WAI Stoller Disposal Operations has been awarded a subcontract worth up to $107 million to operate the massive lined landfill for low level radioactive waste in central Hanford.

The S.M. Stoller Corp. has operated the Environmental Restoration Disposal Facility, or ERDF, since 2006.

WAI is a joint venture between Wastren Advantage Inc., based in Piketon, Ohio, and Stoller, based in Broomfield, Colo. Stoller has an office in Richland.

Washington Closure Hanford stated a preference for a small business when it advertised the subcontract.

Stoller qualified under federal standards as a small business when it won its first ERDF subcontract in 2006, but then grew, according to Washington Closure. WAI is classified as a small disadvantaged business.

WAI Stoller offered the best value among the businesses competing for the ERDF operations subcontract, said Jeff Armatrout, director of waste operations for Washington Closure.

The team had the best safety record and it offered the best experience in running a landfill that complied with regulations, Armatrout said.

The first phase of the subcontract, worth about $40 million, runs from March 1 through Sept. 30, 2015. Then Washington Closure could award a pair of two-year options to extend the subcontract.

In 2006 Stoller was awarded a subcontract with extensions for up to a total of 10 years. That subcontract was for pay per the amount of waste disposed.

However, after an issue with falsified data by a single employee in 2007, Washington Closure revamped the subcontract to pay for costs plus an award fee to the subcontractor and took over direct management, Armatrout said.

It also changed the end date for the subcontract to Feb. 28, 2013.

Since 2007, Stoller has performed work "almost flawlessly," Armatrout said.

When Stoller began work at ERDF, 150 to 200 containers a day were being disposed there, according to Washington Closure. That increased to as many as 800 containers a day when Recovery Act spending ramped up environmental cleanup work at Hanford.

Now ERDF is disposing of about 350 containers a day, and Washington Closure expects disposal of about 350 to 400 containers a day through the end of this fiscal year in September.

A container can hold 25 tons of contaminated soil or debris.

Stoller has been treating about 2 percent of the waste before disposing of it. But WAI Stoller could be treating about 5 percent of the waste this year because of large amounts of chromium-contaminated waste coming into the landfill, Armatrout said.

Treatment requires mixing it up with concrete to lock the chromium into the soil before the hardened material is added to the landfill.

About 14.5 million tons of waste material have been disposed of at ERDF since it began receiving soil, demolition debris and other material from environmental cleanup of Hanford in 1996.

WAI Stoller's responsibilities will include transporting waste containers within the landfill facility's boundaries, placing and compacting the waste, and treating the waste as necessary. It also will maintain equipment and buildings provided by Washington Closure.

-- Annette Cary: 582-1533; acary@tricityherald.com; Twitter: @HanfordNews

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