News Releases

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) released the following statement after the Department of Energy announced that 1,600 workers at Hanford will be laid off:

"I am very disappointed that the Department of Energy chose this approach to workforce transition that will affect so many Hanford workers who have given so much to the cleanup and their community.  Without their hard work and dedication, it would not have been possible to achieve the progress we’ve seen on the ground over the past two years.

"I fought to make sure the Recovery Act provided nearly $2 billion in additional funding for Hanford, which has helped make tangible progress. We knew this funding would come to an end, but I am very concerned that the Department of Energy has failed to provide a smoother transition to align the workforce to the site’s needs.

"I am also worried that this will have an adverse impact on cleanup efforts, and that the Department has not planned adequately for this possibility. 

“While the one-time boost from the Recovery Act has produced real, tangible progress at Hanford, I have been clear that the success of the cleanup mission is dependent on stable budgets.  That means that on an annual basis the Hanford budget must receive clear and consistent funding requests from the Administration.  The federal government has moral and legal obligations to the Tri-Cities community and the State of Washington, and I will continue to fight to ensure those obligations are met.

"I don't agree with this decision. And I am going to keep working with the Department of Energy to make sure Hanford and the local community have the resources they need to get this job done right."