News Releases

Hanford: Senators Murray and Cantwell Secure Full Funding for Vit Plant in FY 2007 Subcommittee Budget

Jun 27 2006

In Tight Budget Year, $690 Million Appropriation Puts Vit Plant Finances "Back on Track."
Senators Also Secure Funding to Relocate PNNL and Fund HAMMER Training

UPDATE on 6/29/06: This funding was approved by the full Senate Appropriations Committee on June 29, 2006

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell announced that they have secured the full level of funding needed for the Hanford Vitrification plant for Fiscal Year 2007 in a budget that passed a key Senate subcommittee this afternoon.



Despite the pressures of a tight budget year and increased scrutiny on the vit plant project in Washington, D.C., Murray and Cantwell secured $690 million for the vit plant for FY 2007 in a budget that passed the Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee today.



"I am very pleased that I was able to secure the full level of funding necessary to get the Vit Plant back on track. It hasn’t been easy, and there is still much work to be done, but getting $690 million for the project is a huge step in the right direction," Murray said. "I will continue to use all of my resources to support this national priority as we move through the appropriations process."



Cantwell said, "Securing this funding for the vitrification plant and ensuring that it's constructed and operated in a safe, effective, and efficient manner is critical to Hanford cleanup. I will keep working with my colleagues to make sure this funding stays in the final bill. The federal government must keep its moral and legal obligation to clean up the Hanford site."



On Thursday, the full Senate Appropriations Committee is expected to take up the Energy and Water budget, which will then go to the Senate floor for debate. The final Senate funding level will need to be conferenced with the House of Representatives, which provided $600 million for the Vit plant.



PNNL – 300 Area Move



Murray and Cantwell also secured $10 million to relocate a portion of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). The 300 Area needs to be cleaned up, but first the 1,000 employees who work there need to be relocated.



"This investment will help the Hanford cleanup proceed faster and at lower cost and will keep critical research jobs at PNNL at a new Research Campus of the Future," Murray said.



HAMMER



The Senators secured $6 million for the Volpentest Hazardous Materials Management and Emergency Response facility (HAMMER), which provides critical safety training Hanford personnel and for emergency responders from across the country.



"HAMMER is a critical training center for America's first responders, and that's why I added funds for HAMMER in this year's budget," Murray said.