EPA ID# WA1890090078
EPA Region 10
Benton County

4th Congressional District

Other Names: US DOE-Hanford Site-200-Area
Last Update: May, 2010

Hide details for Site DescriptionSite Description

The Hanford 200 Area covers approximately 60 square miles with 80 square miles of contaminated groundwater about 20 miles north of Richland, Washington. It is one of the four areas at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation (Hanford) on EPA’s National Priorities List (NPL). The other three are the 100, 300, and 1100 Areas. These areas are part of a 586-square-mile U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) complex that includes buildings, disposal sites, an environmental research park, and open land used for habitat and a buffer zone. Hanford was established in the 1940s to make plutonium for nuclear weapons. The nearby Columbia River provided cooling waters for the reactors producing the nuclear materials. After World War II, plutonium production capacity was greatly expanded as a Cold War activity. The Atomic Energy Commission was in charge of these operations from the 1940s until Congress created DOE in 1977. Over the years, Hanford expanded its role to include research and development uses of nuclear materials.

The 200 Area site is in the middle of Hanford on the central plateau and contains the former chemical processing plants and waste management facilities. One of the old plants discharged massive quantities of carbon tetrachloride to the ground. The 200 Area was used to process, finish, and manage nuclear materials, including plutonium. About 1 billion cubic yards of solid and diluted liquid wastes (radioactive, mixed, and hazardous substances) were disposed in trenches, ditches, and in a landfill in the site. More than 800 waste disposal locations have been identified in the 200 Area.

The cities of Richland, Pasco, and Kennewick, with a combined population of approximately 200,000, maintain water intakes in the Columbia River for the bulk of their municipal supply system, but occasionally mix it with groundwater from municipal wells. Over half a million people live within 50 miles of Hanford.

Site Responsibility: This site is being addressed through federal and state actions.

NPL Listing HistoryDates
Proposed Date:06/24/1988
Removed Date:
Withdrawal Date:
Final Date:10/04/1989
Deleted Date:

Hide details for Threats and ContaminantsThreats and Contaminants

Media Affected: Air, Environmentally Sensitive Area, Groundwater, Soil & Sludges, Surface Water
On-site groundwater and soil are contaminated with tritium, uranium, cyanide, carbon tetrachloride, technetium, and other contaminants. Surface water intakes on the Columbia River for the city of Richland contain low levels of tritium. People may be exposed to hazardous or radioactive substances on site through direct contact with, or accidental ingestion of, contaminated particles, groundwater, or surface water.

Show details for Cleanup ProgressCleanup Progress

Hide details for Regional ContactsRegional Contacts

SITE MANAGER(S):Craig Cameron
E-MAIL ADDRESS:cameron.craig@epa.gov
PHONE NUMBER:509-376-8665
E-MAIL ADDRESSlaija.emerald@epa.gov
PHONE NUMBER:509-376-4919
Information pertaining to this site is housed at the following location(s):
Public Access Room (Administrative Record)
2440 Stevens Center Place, Room 1101
Richland, Washington 99354