TWU Supports Call to Stop Expansion of New Mexico Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP)

On March 1, 2022, the Stop Forever WIPP coalition delivered more than 1,100 petition signatures to Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham asking her to protect New Mexicans from the federal expansion of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP).

During the press conference, Elder Kathy Sanchez from Tewa Women United’s Sayain (Circle of Grandmothers) shared her comments, clearly describing concerns that an accident near schools could create a genocide of Native people. Children are most at risk in an accident releasing powdered plutonium.

The full press conference video can be viewed here.

WIPP, located in Carlsbad, New Mexico, was to stop taking waste in 2024. The U.S. Department of Energy is now trying to change the entire WIPP mission so that it will remain open throughout the century, bringing a different form of waste to WIPP that is very dangerous in the event of an accident, and will require transporting this huge increase in waste past many communities for thousands more shipments. This will endanger communities across 11 states, including the five pueblos of San Ildefonso, Santa Clara, Nambé, Pojoaque, and Tesuque. This is a very unsafe plan and our Governor can force the DOE to make it safer by denying the permits DOE is requesting to expand WIPP’s mission. 

It is time for the federal government to keep its promises with New Mexico and close the WIPP waste dump–which has performed its function–and locate repositories in other states so that WIPP is not the default site for all the nation’s nuclear weapons’ waste.


Please let the Governor know of your concern by sending her an email – here is a sample that you can use.

Rancher Ed Hughes speaking at the March 1 press conference, alongside a photo of TWU staff