The U.S. Energy Dept., the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Washington State Dept. of Ecology on Oct. 6 asked a federal district court in Spokane, Wash., to approve a 2009 agreement that would give DOE many more years to clean up 53 million gallons of radioactive waste still in 149 leaking single-shell tanks at the Hanford nuclear-waste site near Richland. Energy Secretary Steven Chu said the pact “represents an important milestone in the ongoing cleanup efforts” there, but environmentalists urged the court to reject it, saying the agreement would delay cleanup. The agreement would extend some tank-waste cleanup deadlines
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.