Whistleblower

Railway Whistleblowers
7:43 am
Wed July 2, 2014

Workers Question Safety Culture Of Railroad Hauling Volatile Crude Oil

BNSF Railway, the second-largest freight network in the U.S., is at the center of the boom in crude by rail. The railroad touts its commitment to safety. Current and former workers question the safety culture on the ground.
Credit Michael Werner / EarthFix

Crude oil shipments by rail increased by more than 80 percent, nationally, last year.

Most of it is coming from the Bakken oil fields of North Dakota. That crude is more flammable than other types of oil, and has been shown to catch fire and explode when trains derail.

More than 15 trains of Bakken oil move through some parts of the Northwest each week, en route to refineries and terminals in Washington and Oregon.

Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway transports the majority of that oil.

The company regularly touts its commitment to safety.

But an EarthFix investigation reveals some troubling patterns in the way BNSF Railway deals with whistleblowers – particularly those who voice concerns about safety.

Ashley Ahearn reports for EarthFix. EarthFix’s Tony Schick contributed to the reporting for this story.

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Hanford
4:47 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Hanford Whistleblowers: Senate Hearing Forces Few Answers Into The Open

File photo of Hanford whistlerblower Walt Tamosaitis testifying before the Senate Subcommittee on Contracting Oversight in 2011.
US Senate

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 4:17 pm

In Washington, D.C. Tuesday, Hanford whistleblowers Donna Busche and Walt Tamosaitis weren’t allowed to speak before a Senate hearing.

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Hanford
4:17 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Hanford Contractor Fires Prominent Whistleblower

Donna Busche was fired Tuesday morning from her high-level safety manager position with Hanford contractor URS. She says she finds comfort playing "tennis" with her boxer named Xena Warrior Princess.
Anna King Northwest News Network

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 8:08 am

A prominent whistleblower was fired from the Hanford Nuclear Reservation's radioactive waste cleanup project on Tuesday.

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Hanford Whistleblower
4:05 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

Hanford Whistleblower Case Goes Before Federal Court In Seattle

File photo of Hanford Nuclear Reservation whistleblower Walt Tamosaitis testifying before the Senate Subcommittee on Contracting Oversight in 2011.
US Senate

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 4:04 pm

Nuclear engineer Walt Tamosaitis says he was removed from his position because he brought up safety concerns.

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Hanford Case Dismissed
4:18 pm
Fri October 12, 2012

Judge Dismisses Hanford Whistleblower Case

Walt Tamosaitis blew the whistle on the U.S. Department of Energy’s waste treatment plant at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in southeast Washington.
Anna King Northwest News Network

A federal judge this week dismissed a lawsuit by a high-level whistleblower against a contractor at the Hanford nuclear site. A former manager there had voiced safety concerns about the design of a plant meant to treat millions of gallons of radioactive waste.

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Klamath Dam Whistleblower
6:32 am
Mon May 7, 2012

Klamath Dam Scientist Alleges He Was Fired After Questioning

A former government scientist says the Department of Interior has painted too positive a picture of Klamath Dam removal. Paul Houser was a scientific integrity officer. And he says he was fired for expressing his dissent. Amelia Templeton reports.

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Hanford Whistleblower
6:41 am
Fri May 4, 2012

Hanford Whistleblower May Not Get Jury Trial

Walt Tamosaitis and his wife outside the federal courthouse in Yakima, Wash. Thursday.
Photo by Anna King Northwest News Network

A Hanford whistleblower lawsuit is underway in federal court in Yakima. A former high-level manager on a nuclear treatment project is asking for a jury trial, but the judge hearing the case said Thursday that’s unlikely. Correspondent Anna King was there.

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Hanford Reservation Whistleblowers
6:40 am
Tue February 7, 2012

Top Hanford Scientist Calls Treatment Plant Pipes Not Strong Enough

The Hanford Nuclear Reservation was once used to enrich plutonium for nuclear weapons.
Photo Source: Northwest News Network

RICHLAND, Wash. – Over the last two years we’ve brought you numerous stories about high-level whistleblowers at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation's nuclear waste treatment plant. It’s one of the largest environmental cleanup projects on Earth. Now, yet another top expert there is risking his career to speak openly. He tells our correspondent Anna King the plant’s vessels and pipes -- as they’re designed now -- will leak radioactive waste within their planned lifespan.

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