U.S. Department of Energy's Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (2024)


The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Carlsbad Field Office (CBFO) is committed to the protection of the workers, the public and the environment. The DOE owns and oversees the operation of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), the nation’s only deep geologic repository for defense-related transuranic (TRU) waste and the National TRU Program (NTP).

The mission of the CBFO is to provide safe, compliant and efficient characterization, transportation and disposal of defense-related TRU waste. This includes planning and coordinating TRU waste activities under the NTP related to the characterization, treatment, packaging and transportation of TRU waste at waste generator sites. Only TRU waste that meets the requirements of the Waste Acceptance Criteria (WAC) can be permanently emplaced in WIPP.

CBFO also manages the TRU waste transportation program and TRU waste disposal operations at WIPP.

Mission Statement:
Provide safe, compliant, and efficient characterization, certification, transportation, and disposal of defense transuranic waste.

Vision Statement:
Transition to a world class waste repository that maximizes the long-term use of the WIPP facility consistent with the mission and the Land Withdrawal Act.

Office of the Manager

U.S. Department of Energy's Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (1)

Mark Bollinger is the Department of Energy Office of Environmental Management’s (EM) Manager of the Carlsbad Field Office (CBFO).

Bollinger has previously served as the CBFO Deputy Manager. Prior to joining CBFO, Bollinger was the Deputy Manager for DOE Office of Science’s Fermi Site Office from 2007 until 2021.

He is no stranger to the Office of Environmental Management, though, having worked in EM from 1992 to 2001, during which time he helped found and lead the DOE Center for Risk Excellence. Bollinger’s EM contributions included supporting cleanup at RMI Titanium, Site A/Plot M, and in Ames, IA. He was a Program Manager for EM’s Waste Management, leading Low Level Radioactive Waste and Waste Minimization programs. His previous positions in DOE have also included leading a critical effort to bring nuclear compliance to the DOE New Brunswick Laboratory as Acting Laboratory Director from 2015 to 2016, as well as working with the Office of Science’s Chicago Integrated Support Center and with the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Plutonium Disposition Program.

Bollinger is a 2003 DOE Executive Potential Program graduate and has completed assignments with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, DOE Headquarters, the Brookhaven Site Office, and the Princeton Site Office. He has supported the DOE National Emergency response effort including an assignment to the U.S. Virgin Islands after hurricanes Irma and Maria.

Prior to joining the Department, he conducted research on behalf of Proctor and Gamble and was an Environmental Scientist for the State of Indiana’s environmental regulator, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.

Bollinger holds an Master of Science in Environmental Science from Indiana University (IU) and a bachelor’s degree in Biology from IU.

Office of the Manager

U.S. Department of Energy's Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (2)

Betsy Forinash is the Department of Energy Office of Environmental Management’s (EM) Deputy Manager of the Carlsbad Field Office.

She recently served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Waste and Materials Management and spent more than 15 years in regulatory and oversight programs at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, including the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) and Yucca Mountain waste repositories, radioactive air emissions, and radiological emergency preparedness and response.

Betsy also worked for five years at the Nuclear Energy Agency, based in Paris, France, with international expert groups on strategic and technical aspects of radioactive waste disposal.

Since coming to EM in 2014, Betsy has led EM-HQ offices for TRU waste oversight (EM-4.21) and infrastructure management and D&D (EM-4.1), in addition to her current role.

She holds a BS from Duke University and an MS from Northwestern University, both in civil engineering.

Office of the Manager

U.S. Department of Energy's Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (3)

George Basabilvazo has been with the DOE for over 26 years and currently serves as the Chief Scientist for the Carlsbad Field Office. Prior to his role as Chief Scientist, George served as the Director for the Environmental Protection Division. George holds a Master’s degree in Geology/Earth Science from New Mexico State University.

Office of the Manager

U.S. Department of Energy's Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (4)

Charles (Chuck) Comeau was appointed acting Federal Project Director for CBFO’s Utility Shaft Project and Safety Significant Confinement Ventilation System in July 2023. When not detailed to CBFO, Mr. Comeau is the Director Office of Programs and Project Management (OPPM) for the U.S. Department of Energy, Savannah River Operations Office (DOE-SR) in Aiken, South Carolina.

Prior to his current position, Mr. Comeau served as a DOE-SR Senior Program Manager in the Waste Disposition Programs Division (WDPD). His responsibilities included oversight of DOE-SR solid waste program and site representative to the Low-Level Waste Disposal Facility Federal Review Group (LFRG). Mr. Comeau also served as the Deputy Federal Project Director for the SDU construction program with responsibility for project construction, testing, commissioning, and startup of SDU6 and SDU7.

Prior to his SRS career, Mr. Comeau was a project manager with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Jacksonville District. There he was responsible for multiple projects supporting the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan enacted by the U.S. Congress for the restoration of the Everglades ecosystem in southern Florida. During his time with USACE, Mr. Comeau deployed multiple times to Iraq and Afghanistan in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.

Mr. Comeau has more than 25 years of experience in program and project management. Much of his career has been with the U. S. Department of Defense, but he has also had positions within the private sector.

Mr. Comeau holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mining Engineering from the University of Missouri and a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Florida. Mr. Comeau and his wife have three children and reside in Aiken, South Carolina.

Office of the Manager

U.S. Department of Energy's Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (5)

Mr. Hall has served as CBFO Legal Counsel since July 2016.

Prior to taking the position with CBFO, Mr. Hall served as Deputy Chief Counsel and Senior Civilian Attorney at White Sands Missile Range from 2009 to 2016, as an Airports & Environmental Law Attorney for Federal Aviation Administration, and as the Environmental Law Specialist at Fort Bliss, Texas & New Mexico.

Office of Business Operations

U.S. Department of Energy's Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (6)

Laurie Bevins is the Acting Director of the Office of Business Operations for the U.S. Department of Energy, Carlsbad Field Office. Mrs. Bevins has over 35 years of federal experience in budget and budget related fields and administration. Mrs. Bevins has been with DOE for over 14 years with experience at NNSA, EMCBC, and a detail at EM HQs. Mrs. Bevins has a M.B.A. Degree in Business Administration with a minor in Business and Management. She is married with 3 children and 2 grandchildren. Mrs. Bevins is an Air Force veteran having served in the first Gulf war.

Assistant Manager of the Office of Environment, Safety, Health, and Quality Assurance

U.S. Department of Energy's Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (7)

James Garza is the Assistant Manager for the Office of WIPP at the Carlsbad Field Office (CBFO).

The CBFO provides federal oversight operations at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), the nation’s only geological repository for defense related nuclear materials. He has 30 years of nuclear industry experience within the DOE complex. Selected as the Assistant Manager for the Office of WIPP in February 2018, he is responsible for all operations associated with WIPP that included: conduct of operations, industrial hygiene, radiological controls, fire protection, nuclear safety, technical safety requirements, configuration management, ISMS, industrial safety, OSHA, quality assurance, environmental compliance, criticality safety, contractor assurance, training and the Mine Safety and Health Administration. He arrived at CBFO as the Facility Oversight Division Director, in 2015.

Previously, Mr. Garza worked at the Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) in Operations and Training from 1988 till 2006. Mr. Garza was a Shift Supervisor (SS) of one of the ATR operating crews and also held the positions of Outage Coordinator, Emergency Action Manager, Lead Nuclear Simulator Instructor and Nuclear Training Supervisor for Operations and Technical staff.

Mr. Garza joined the Department of Energy in November of 2006 as a Facility Representative (FR) and FR Work Lead and performed oversight at all EM facilities at the INL. In 2012 and 2013, he was selected as the Idaho DOE-EM Facility Representative of the Year. In 2014 Mr. Garza was hired as the Senior Facility Representative at the Advanced Test Reactor.

Mr. Garza goes by Ed to all who know him. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Texas Tech University. He is a rabid Texas Tech football fan, a former trainer of Arabian show horses, a single digit handicap golfer and an expert skier.

Office of National TRU Program Waste Certification and Disposal

U.S. Department of Energy's Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (8)

Kenneth Princen is the Assistant Manager for the National Transuranic Program at the U.S. Department of Energy's Carlsbad Field Office (CBFO). The CBFO provides federal oversight of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), the nation's only geological repository for defense related nuclear materials. The National Transuranic (TRU) Program is responsible for the acceptance of transuranic waste and safe shipment to WIPP from DOE laboratories and former nuclear weapons production cleanup sites. He was selected as the Assistant Manager in February 2018.

Kenneth arrived at CBFO in 2015 as a facility representative providing oversight of contractor activities related to operations, environmental, nuclear safety, industrial safety and health, and contract compliance at WIPP. He also served as the Readiness Review Program Coordinator and Contractor Assurance Oversight Program Lead during the WIPP recovery effort, where he also supervised a team of federal facility representatives. He later assumed the role of Acting Facility Oversight Division Director, supervising oversight of contractor performance in the operation of WIPP waste handling and emplacement, maintenance, and mining operations at the WIPP facility.

Prior to his arrival in Carlsbad, he was Principal Nuclear Facility Operations Specialist at the Device Assembly Facility at the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS) in Las Vegas for National Security Technologies, LLC. He also worked as a Protective Force Lieutenant for Wackenhut Services Inc. at NNSS. Kenneth previously served as a Patrol Officer in Montrose, Colorado.

From 1999 to 2004, he was a Submarine Warfare Officer in the U.S. Navy where he served in various engineering, electrical, fire control and Anti-terrorism/Force protection positions. He began his military service in the U.S. Marine Corps where he attained the rank of staff sergeant and served as the non-commissioned officer in an infantry surveillance, and target acquisition platoon, performing reconnaissance for a deployed battalion landing team. He was selected for officer training based on his superior performance and leadership potential.

Kenneth holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Oregon State University and Master's degrees in Management from American Military University and Public Administration from Walden University.

U.S. Department of Energy's Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (2024)
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