WIPP Investigation Report Highlights Operational Shortcomings

Mar 14, 2014

Washington, DC (March 14, 2014)—Today, Congressman Steve Pearce responded to the Department of Energy’s WIPP Underground Fire Accident Investigation Report. The report provides a detailed examination into the fire that took place on February 5, 2014. 

“This transparent report highlights the sloppy procedures that caused the fire,” Pearce said, “including failure to regularly clean oil and grease off the engines of mining equipment.  The report concludes with the steps the WIPP team and the Department of Energy intend to take to prevent future incidents at the facility.

“I applaud the Department of Energy for producing a candid, transparent report that takes responsibility for its failures in oversight, training and other areas crucial to the operation of WIPP,” Pearce continued. “This report shows operational shortcomings, and highlights what the Department and contractor must do to rectify the situation. New Mexicans expect and deserve to know the full truth. Fortunately, no one was seriously hurt, but it must never happen again.

“I also echo the sentiments of the report when it comes to the employees at WIPP. We have the highest caliber workers at WIPP. They deserve the strongest possible protections and a safe work environment. I am thankful that this incident was not as catastrophic as it might have been, but the people of New Mexico and WIPP employees deserve a facility managed to the best standards. I expect the site to meet these standards going forward.”

A link to the report can be found here.  The report is also available on Congressman Pearce’s website, www.Pearce.House.gov.