Trial date reset for Hanford chemical vapors case

A nonjury trial in the lawsuit filed by the state of Washington and other parties over worker protection from chemical vapors at the Hanford nuclear reservation has been reset for Oct. 30, 2017, in Richland.

Plaintiffs, who include Hanford Challenge and union Local 598, had requested that the trial be postponed for five months, from Sept. 18, 2017, to Feb. 19, 2018.

Plaintiffs and defendants in the case — the Department of Energy and its tank farm contractor, Washington River Protection Solutions — instead reached an agreement to request the trial be delayed about six weeks, according to federal court documents.

Plaintiffs had been concerned about the large volume of Hanford records in the case. They also wanted time to consider the court’s denial of a motion for preliminary injunction that would have mandated certain worker protections while the case is decided.

The new schedule — proposed by all parties in the case and approved by U.S. Judge Thomas Rice — would extend all deadlines in the case by about six weeks, giving plaintiffs some of the additional time they need to prepare, according to court documents.