News Releases

Sen. Murray: The federal government has a moral and legal obligation to finish cleanup at the Hanford site

***Watch Video of Senator Murray’s Exchange with Secretary Perry HERE***

(Washington, D.C.) –  Today, U.S Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), a senior member of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, questioned U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry about President Trump’s budget cuts to nuclear waste cleanup at the Hanford site, a critical priority for the Tri-Cities community and Washington state. In his budget released in May, President Trump cuts approximately $124 million from Richland Operations, which has more work to do on several high-risk cleanup projects along the Columbia River and on the Central Plateau of Hanford. President Trump’s budget also holds the Office of River Protection flat, despite a clear and demonstrated need for increased investments to support removing and treating tank waste.

Sen. Murray pressed Secretary Perry on how the Administration would meet its legally binding cleanup commitments to the State of Washington and the Tri-Cities community, arguing that cuts would negatively impact worker safety and contradict the federal government’s moral and legal obligation to clean up Hanford. Sen. Murray is a leading advocate for federal investments in Hanford cleanup, and recently urged Secretary Perry to provide strong and predictable funding for Hanford.  

Due to time limitations in today’s hearing, Sen. Murray asked Secretary Perry to follow up on three issues critical to Washington state: plans to slash funding for scientific research important to the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory which could negatively affect more than 1,000 science and engineering jobs, the President’s proposal to privatize portions of the Bonneville Power Administration, and the Columbia River Treaty.

Video of Sen. Murray’s exchange with Sec. Perry HERE