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WIPP Security Contractor Receives DOE Voluntary Protection Program Award

October 24, 2012 - 12:00pm

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Department of Energy Carlsbad Field Site Operations Director Casey  Gadbury (right) and Farok Sharif, President and Project Manager for Nuclear Waste Partnership 
LLC, the management and operating contractor at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, present the  DOE's Voluntary Protection Program Legacy Star Award to Richard De Los Santos, protective force manager for Security Walls, the security contractor at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. The DOE-VPP legacy star award is the highest level of recognition possible in the VPP.

Department of Energy Carlsbad Field Site Operations Director Casey Gadbury (right) and Farok Sharif, President and Project Manager for Nuclear Waste Partnership LLC, the management and operating contractor at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, present the DOE's Voluntary Protection Program Legacy Star Award to Richard De Los Santos, protective force manager for Security Walls, the security contractor at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. The DOE-VPP legacy star award is the highest level of recognition possible in the VPP.

CARLSBAD, N.M.– Security Walls, LLC, the security contractor for the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), recently received the DOE Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) Legacy Star award.

The DOE-VPP legacy star award is the highest level of recognition possible in the VPP.  To be eligible for this award, the recipient must achieve and maintain the DOE-VPP star of excellence award for four consecutive years.  Security Walls, LLC is currently the only security contractor within the DOE complex to receive the award.  Multiple criteria are used when evaluating a potential recipient, including accident/injury rates and employee/management
involvement in the safety program.

“We’re very pleased by the Department’s recognition of WIPP’s security program with this prestigious award to Security Walls LLC,” said Joe Franco, Carlsbad Field Office, which is responsible for WIPP and the National Transuranic (TRU) Program, Manager. “Safety and security are of chief importance to our operations.  Thanks to DOE for its commendation and to all our federal and contractor employees, who are most deserving of acknowledgement for the commitment to security and safety that they show daily.”

The DOE-VPP promotes safety and health excellence through cooperative efforts among labor, management and government at the DOE contractor sites.  The Department initiated its VPP in January 1994 to promote improved safety and health performance through public recognition of outstanding programs. DOE-VPP also includes coverage of radiation protection/nuclear safety and emergency management because of the type and complexity of DOE facilities.

“Achieving the VPP Star is difficult for any organization, but to achieve the Legacy Star is something really extraordinary,” said Security Walls Protective Force Manager Richard De Los Santos.   “This award is a tribute to the hard working men and women in the security program at WIPP. They are truly dedicated to providing a safe and secure work environment.”

The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant 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 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, N.M.

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