Federal Judge Fred Van Sickle will no longer be hearing the court case that resulted in the 2010 Hanford consent decree.
The consent decree has returned to court after the Department of Energy and the state of Washington could not agree on amendments setting revised deadlines for storing and treating Hanford radioactive waste.
Van Sickle, who was the judge on the case when it was filed by the state in 2008, notified the U.S. District Court on Tuesday that another judge should be assigned. Van Sickle of Spokane now has senior status and no longer carries a full caseload.
No decision has been made about whether the case will be assigned to a Richland federal judge or to a judge in Yakima or Spokane, where other U.S. District Court cases are heard in Eastern Washington.