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South Carolina targets U.S. Energy Department, seeks $100 million

By Mark Iandolo | Aug 16, 2017

COLUMBIA, S.C. (Legal Newsline) — South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced Aug. 8 that his office has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), seeking to recover $100 million the DOE allegedly owes for failing to remove a ton of plutonium from the Savannah River site this year.

U.S. Congress determined that the DOE, starting Jan. 1, 2016, would owe $1 million per day to South Carolina for every day it failed to remove one metric ton of weapons-grade defense plutonium from the state. The deal lasts the first 100 days of each calendar year from 2016 through 2021.

According to Wilson, the DOE did not complete the duty in 2016 or 2017. It did not remove the plutonium, nor did it pay the fee. The current lawsuit seeks the recovery of the 2017 funds – $1 million per day for the first 100 days of 2017.

The federal government cannot “renege on its obligations” and “leave South Carolina as the permanent dumping ground for weapons-grade defense plutonium,” Wilson said.

South Carolina is seeking the 2016 funds in a separate lawsuit.

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South Carolina Attorney General's Office