Some 65,000 m3 of mixed transuranic and hazardous waste held above ground and buried in unlined shallow trenches at the Idaho National Laboratory must be removed from the state by the Department of Energy, a federal judge ruled on May 25. The litigation pitted the state of Idaho, which argued that all the waste must be removed, against DOE, which argued that only the aboveground portion must be shipped off-site, most likely to the Waste Isolation Pilot Project in New Mexico. For 20 years, the buried waste was dumped in cardboard boxes and now-rotting drums, a practice that ended in 1970. Under the decision by federal Judge Edward J. Lodge, DOE must comply with an agreement reached in 1995 with the state to remove all the waste by 2018. The buried waste overlies the Snake River aquifer; the state fears that the aquifer will become contaminated and that the state will become a permanent radioactive waste repository. DOE is reviewing the decision and has not decided whether to appeal, a department spokeswoman says.