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Settlement reached in lawsuit over Hanford contracts

FILE - In this May 9, 2017, file photo, a structure is seen under construction at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Richland, Wash. Federal investigators say problems first identified six years ago continue to plague the multi-billion-dollar Hanford vitrification plant that would be used to treat some of the nation's deadliest nuclear waste. (AP Photo/Manuel Valdes, file) ORG XMIT: PDX302 (Manuel Valdes / AP)
FILE - In this May 9, 2017, file photo, a structure is seen under construction at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Richland, Wash. Federal investigators say problems first identified six years ago continue to plague the multi-billion-dollar Hanford vitrification plant that would be used to treat some of the nation's deadliest nuclear waste. (AP Photo/Manuel Valdes, file) ORG XMIT: PDX302 (Manuel Valdes / AP)
Associated Press

RICHLAND, Wash. – A former Hanford Nuclear Reservation contractor has reached a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice in a lawsuit involving millions of dollars in contracts intended for small businesses.

Washington Closure Hanford and the DOJ notified U.S. District Judge Sal Mendoza Jr. on Thursday that a settlement had been reached.

The Tri-City Herald says the notice did not specify the settlement amount.

The Department of Justice in 2013 filed a civil lawsuit against Washington Closure and others, accusing them of violating the False Claims Act.

Federal prosecutors accused Washington Closure of awarding subcontracts reserved for small businesses – or certain types of small businesses, such as those owned by women – to front companies.

The contractor denied the allegations, but said it wanted to end the litigation.

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