Murray, Cantwell Secure Increased Funding for Hanford Cleanup in Senate Bill

Jan 23 2003

Rejection of Accelerated Cleanup Account ensures full allocation of cleanup funds; Hanford protected from $10 billion in cuts

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - Washington Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell today announced that they had secured over $2 billion for Hanford cleanup in the fiscal year 2003 Omnibus Appropriations bill, passed Thursday by the full Senate, 69-39.

The funds, which support a waste treatment plant and cleanup efforts along the Columbia River, meet the required federal share specified under the Tri-Party Agreement and accelerated cleanup program. The Senate bill earmarks all funding for waste sites across the country.

The total funding in the Senate bill represents $760 for Richland Operations and $1.132 billion for the Office of River Protection. An additional $125 million is provided for Program Direction and Safeguards and Security at Hanford. The Senate bill includes $7.1 billion for the nation's Environmental Management program, a $300 million increase over President Bush's request.

"This bill affirms the Senate's commitment to nuclear waste cleanup at Hanford and around the country. The health and welfare of our families and our environment will benefit from this increased support for nuclear cleanup," Murray said.

"Nothing less than full funding for Hanford cleanup is acceptable," Cantwell said. "Today, the Senate makes good on the federal government's commitment to the people of the Tri-Cities and Washington state to clean up the Hanford Nuclear Reservation."

Senator Murray is a member of the Energy and Water Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee and co-chair of the Senate Nuclear Clean-Up Caucus, which she helped found in 2001. Senator Cantwell serves on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which has oversight of Hanford's Environmental Management program, and the Senate Commerce Committee.