(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Patty Murray announced she has secured $2.04 billion for environmental cleanup at Hanford in the fiscal year 2004 Senate Energy and Water Development conference report. The bill passed the Senate last night. The funds, which support a waste treatment plant and cleanup efforts along the Columbia River, meet the required federal share specified under the Tri-Party Agreement and accelerated cleanup program.
The total funding represents $962.8 million for Richland Operations and $1.079 billion for the Office of River Protection (ORP). This funding represents the total federal amount needed to move forward with the Waste Treatment Plant.
"The health and safety of families in the Tri-Cities depends on a continuing federal commitment to cleanup. I am pleased that these funds will help keep our federal obligation to the well-being of those who sacrificed for our country," Senator Murray said.
Murray also secured $6 million for the HAMMER (Hazardous Materials Management and Emergency Response) Center. This is the second year in a row that Murray has restored funding after it was eliminated in the President's budget. HAMMER is a national center for training federal, state, local and private emergency response personnel to handle hazardous materials.
"HAMMER plays a critical role in helping to prepare for the new homeland security threats that this country may face," Senator Murray said. "The skills taught at HAMMER not only benefit Hanford workers, but contribute to the safety and security of families and communities across our state and region."
There is also good news in the bill for the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). Murray helped secure an additional $2 million for the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL) supercomputer, recently ranked 5th fastest in the world. These additional funds will keep the laboratory on the cutting edge of computational and molecular research and provide additional leverage for PNNL's Genomes to Life Program.
Senator Murray is a member of the Energy and Water Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee and is co-chair of the Senate Nuclear Clean-Up Caucus, which she helped found in 2001.