Tri-Party Agreement

In 1989, the Hanford Nuclear Site was recognized as the largest clean-up project ever attempted in United States history. Three government agencies, the Department of Energy (site owner), the Department of Ecology (state regulator), and the Environmental Protection Agency (federal regulator) entered into the Hanford Federal Facility Agreement and Consent Order, or Tri-Party Agreement.

The goal of this agreement is to remove and safely dispose all waste and contamination at the Hanford Site following the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).

As defined by the Department of Energy, the Tri-Party Agreement:

  1. Defines and ranks CERCLA and RCRA cleanup commitments.
  2. Establishes government agency responsibilities.
  3. Provides a basis for monetary budgeting.
  4. Sets legally enforceable milestones in an aggressive schedule.

At the signing of the Tri-Party Agreement
Representatives from the three government agencies at the signing of the Tri-Party agreement on May 15, 1989. Left to right: Chris Gregoire, Ecology; Robie Russell, EPA; Mike Lawrence, USDOE; and Washington State Gov. Booth Gardner.

Tri-Party Documentation

The Tri-Party Agreement is two main documents, the “Legal Agreement” and the “Action Plan.”

  1. Legal Agreement – Describes the roles, responsibilities, and authority of the three agencies and sets up dispute resolution procedures.
  2. Action Plan – Outlines the milestones, work, and provisions to be completed and followed by the three agencies.

Tri-Party Agreement Resources & Links

Go to our Resources and Links page to view the Tri-Party Agreement, as well as other Hanford-related information and resources.