Despite objections from state congressional representatives who seek funding from the Obama administration, Washington state sued the U.S. Energy Dept. on Nov. 26 in federal district court in Spokane for failing to meet key milestones to clean up 53 million gallons of high-level radioactive waste at the 586-square-mile Hanford former nuclear weapons site. The lawsuit addresses DOE’s pace in emptying 177 aging and leaking underground waste tanks and seeks earlier completion of the site’s $12.3-billion high-level waste vitrification plant, already years behind schedule. Gov. Christine Gregoire (D) also seeks new groundwater and soil remediation deadlines at the country’s largest cleanup site. “Our patience has run out,” she says. DOE responded that it is “disappointed that this issue will now be resolved through the litigation process.”