SC Files $100 Million Lawsuit Against U.S.

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – August 8, 2017

The South Carolina Attorney General’s Office filed a lawsuit Monday against the federal government to recover $100 million the U.S. Department of Energy owes the state for failing to meet its promise to remove one ton of plutonium from the Savannah River Site this year.


A case of such magnitude has never been filed by South Carolina against the federal government.


Congress mandated that the U.S. Department of Energy would pay South Carolina $1 million per day, beginning January 1, 2016, for every day the department failed to remove from the state one metric ton of weapons-grade defense plutonium. The requirement is in place during the first 100 days of each year from 2016 through 2021.


The Department of Energy has failed to process or remove the plutonium or pay the state the $100 million owed for 2016 or 2017. This lawsuit seeks the recovery of the $100 million owed for 2017.


The state sought the 2016 payments in the pending case before the federal court in South Carolina, but federal Judge Michelle Childs ruled that the state should file the claim in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. The State intends to pursue the 2016 money when that matter concludes.  The state filed its lawsuit late Monday afternoon for the 2017 monies owed.


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

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