COLUMBIA— The director of South Carolina’s environmental control agency has warned the U.S. Energy Department that federal budget cuts to the Savannah River Site near Aiken could result in hundreds of millions of dollars in fines.
In a letter obtained Thursday by The Associated Press, Director Catherine Templeton tells Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz it will fully enforce the agencies’ agreements on more than 30 milestones for cleaning up high-level radioactive waste at the site. Templeton says that includes fines that will top $154 million if a waste treatment facility doesn’t open in October 2015.
She says the Energy Department’s proposed budget makes it virtually impossible for SRS to meet the goals.
Templeton calls the waste stored in the site’s aging tanks the single largest environmental threat in South Carolina.