Parties to the Hanford vapors lawsuit have asked for yet another postponement of the trial and deadlines in the case.
In December, U.S. Judge Thomas Rice agreed to move the trial date from Aug. 29 to Nov. 26 of this year.
This week, the parties asked for a ninth rescheduling order to move the trial to Feb. 5, 2019.
The state of Washington, Hanford Challenge and the pipefitters union Local 598 sued DOE and Washington River Protection Solutions in September 2015, seeking better protection for Hanford workers at risk of inhaling chemical vapors.
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The parties told the judge this week that they are making significant progress toward a settlement, but have not reached an agreement.
The delay in the trial date would allow more time for mediation or settlement discussions, they said.
Other deadlines in the case would be postponed about 60 days, starting with a briefing that is due from plaintiffs this week.
The state has argued that workers have been sickened for decades at Hanford from chemical vapors associated with waste held in underground tanks.
Reports of possible chemical exposures have dropped significantly since the tank farm contractor began requiring workers to wear supplied air respirators for most work within the Hanford tank farms.