Grouting project to protect Snake River Plain Aquifer completed ahead of schedule

September 29, 2010 — The Idaho Cleanup Project safely completed a remedial action five weeks ahead of schedule that protects the Snake River Plain Aquifer by grouting buried waste at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Idaho Site. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funded the project.

Project contractor Hayward Baker, Inc., of Santa Paula , Calif. , injected a cement-based grout into 21 buried waste locations at the Subsurface Disposal Area (SDA), a radioactive waste landfill at the Radioactive Waste Management Complex. Surrounding the waste with grout inhibits rain and snow melt from infiltrating through the waste, thus reducing the ability of contaminants to move toward the aquifer. Treated locations contain waste contaminated with mobile forms of the radionuclides technetium-99 and iodine-129 produced during historical operations at the DOE’s Idaho Site.

“This project was successful because of the hard work and dedication of many people including the regulators from the state of Idaho and the Environmental Protection Agency, DOE, Idaho cleanup contractor CH2M-WG, LLC and Hayward Baker, Inc.,” said Mark Arenaz, DOE Idaho Federal Project Director. “Everyone worked with an objective to complete the project on time and within budget all the while making sure we did the job safely. This is an example of how the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is putting people to work and getting things done.”

The grouting project, which began June 7, is the second phase of a 2008 Record of Decision signed by DOE, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the State of Idaho to remediate the 97-acre SDA. The first phase, which is ongoing, involves excavating targeted waste from the SDA and shipping it out of Idaho for disposal. The third phase, to begin approximately 2025, will construct an engineered surface barrier (cap) over the entire area.

For additional information about the Idaho Cleanup Project, visit


Source: US Department of Energy