Hastings Highlights Hanford Cleanup on House Floor
During consideration of the House bill that funds Hanford next year, Congressman Doc Hastings and Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) discussed the importance of meeting cleanup commitments at the site.
Simpson: At this time, I yield to the gentleman from Washington for the purpose of a colloquy.
Hastings: I thank the gentleman for yielding. I want to thank you for restoring a portion of this Administration’s proposed cut to the Richland Operations Office at Hanford in my district. I appreciate your willingness to work with me on funding and I know the provisions on Yucca Mountain and MOX are also key to Hanford cleanup success.
Richland Operations Office is responsible for many critical cleanup projects and legal commitments, and progress there has largely been a success. This represents a new model for cleanup and it has been successful. It’s nearing completion and will save the taxpayers $250 million. I’m encouraged that the $235 million in this bill provided for cleanup of the River Corridor will focus on meeting 300 Area milestones under the River Corridor Closure contract.
As the appropriations process continues, I look forward to working with you to ensure appropriate restoration for Richland given the budget constraints that we have. Mr. Chairman, this is my last Energy and Water bill, yet I am confident that Hanford has a friend and an advocate in your leadership. Now, when it comes to the other project at Hanford, the Office of River Protection, there are a number of challenges. Among other things, I’m hopeful that DOE and the State of Washington will reach an agreement on an achievable and fundable path forward for WTP. And with that, I’d like to yield back to the gentleman.
Simpson: First, I’d like to thank the gentleman from Washington for his continued advocacy for Hanford cleanup funding on the Energy and Water bill. His leadership on these issues will be sorely missed in the future. I’m pleased to support funding for the cleanup of the River Corridor and am hopeful that the Department of Energy will soon provide the necessary details for the Waste Treatment Plant project. WTP is a critical project – but Congress needs more answers and greater transparency. I look forward to working with you to make sure adequate funding is available should a new agreement on the path forward for the project be reached.
Hastings: I thank the gentleman and I yield back.