WIPP is a U.S. Department of Energy facility designed to safely isolate defense-related transuranic waste from people and the environment. Waste temporarily stored at sites around the country is shipped to WIPP and permanently disposed of in rooms mined out of an ancient salt formation 2,150 feet below the surface. WIPP, which began waste disposal operations in 1999, is located 26 miles outside of Carlsbad.
The $600 billion package includes a continuing resolution that allows funding to continue past the Oct. 1 start of the new fiscal year. The resolution, which will extend to March 6, covers appropriations bills that Congress failed to complete this year, including the Energy and Water Appropriations Bill that funds WIPP.
According to Domenici’s release, the resolution outlines continued WIPP funding at FY2008 levels $236.7 million until Congress approves the 2009 bill. The FY2008 funding level is slightly higher than the funding levels outlined in either the FY2009 budget request or the Senate’s initial FY2009