On December 23, 2016, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) authorized the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) to reopen. On January 4, 2017, the facility began moving waste into the underground disposal facility. The WIPP facility resumed disposal operations after almost three years of recovery operations following the early 2014 underground fire and a subsequent unrelated fire. In July 2016, DOE approved strict new waste acceptance criteria for the WIPP facility. DOE sites will not be able to ship waste to the facility unless it meets the new criteria.