(WASHINTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) today announced $1.8 billion for environmental cleanup at Hanford in the fiscal year 2002 Energy and Water Development Conference Report. This secured level of funding is $383 million above the President's request. The bill will now go back to both houses of Congress for final passage.

The total funding represents $729,300,000 for Richland Operations and $1.035 billion for the Office of River Protection (ORP). This funding, when combined with the $53.3 million provided earlier this year in the Supplemental Appropriations bill, brings total funding to $747.6 million and $1.07 billion respectively.

The funding for ORP is the full funding necessary to move forward with the Waste Treatment Plant. The President's budget would have significantly delayed the project.

"I am very pleased with this commitment to nuclear waste cleanup at Hanford and around the country," said Murray. "The people of the Tri-Cities have proven their commitment to America=s national defense. These funds represent the federal government's obligation to the health and safety of our region and other communities around the nation that gave so much in our efforts to win World War II and the Cold War."

Senator Murray is a member of the Energy and Water Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee and served as a conferee to the Energy and Water Conference Committee. Murray's efforts on these committees resulted in the higher funding levels for Hanford.

"Since the President released his budget proposal, I have been working as co-chair of the Senate Nuclear Waste Cleanup Caucus and as a conferee to the Energy and Water Development Conference to raise the profile of this issue and restore the Administration's cuts. President Bush must recognize the commitment of Congress to moving forward with nuclear waste cleanup at Hanford and around the nation."

"Today's Conference Report indicates great progress for cleanup at Hanford. This Administration now has the opportunity – and the responsibility – to regain credibility on environmental cleanup by supporting this Appropriation bill and moving the Waste Treatment Plant to construction as soon as possible."