(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Patty Murray and Congressman Doc Hastings, along with Congressman Norm Dicks today expressed their disappointment that the Pacific Northwest National Lab's Use Permit has been left out of a draft of competition requirements for any new Lab management contract.

The delegation members – who sent a letter to DOE in June pressing the Department to preserve Use Permit requirement – today released the following statement:

"After nearly two years of uncertainty, this draft request for proposals is welcome news.  It’s also heartening that DOE has answered the call to complete this contract competition by the end of next year, ensuring a change in presidential administrations does not disrupt PNNL’s important work.

"However, DOE’s omission of the “use permit” is completely unacceptable.  The use permit is responsible for 300-400 jobs at PNNL alone, and has led to job and business creation in the Tri-Cities and across our state.  It should not be summarily ended as this draft proposes.

"PNNL has served our country and community well for over forty years and the process of competing the contract must not result in layoffs and a crippled lab. 

"The future of PNNL and a vital part of the Tri-Cities community is at stake.  We will work together as a delegation to ensure DOE does the right thing and restores the use permit."