Cantwell, Colleagues Defeat Trump Attempt To Decrease Hanford Budget

Washington, D.C. – Earlier this week, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), the top Democrat on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, along with Senate and House colleagues released the Hanford Fiscal Year 2019 Budget numbers. The agreed-upon package allocates $865 million to the Richland Operations Office which is a $207 million increase over the President’s Budget. Additionally, the Office of River Protection received $1.573 billion, which is a $173 million increase over the Administration’s FY 2019 request. The FY 2019 Budget makes clear that both the Senate and House agreed that the President’s Budget was not sufficient to meet the needs Hanford.

“Congress has decisively rejected the Administration’s approach to Hanford. The $380 million over what the Administration requested will ensure progress on important projects such as the 324 building and stabilization of PUREX Tunnel 2, ” said Senator Cantwell in response to the final FY 2019 Budget. “Hanford requires proper funding to maintain a safe working environment and continue to clean up what is left from the production era and I thank my colleagues for recognizing that reality in its 2019 budget.”

Earlier this year, during a Department of Energy Budget Hearing, Cantwell pressured the Trump Administration on proposed cuts to the Hanford Nuclear Site’s Budget, “I am disappointed by the Administration’s approach to the Hanford cleanup. The Trump administration’s proposal for FY19 cuts Hanford by $230 million from FY17 that was enacted. Instead of the cut, Hanford needs an increase of $200 million in order to keep workers safe and meet milestones.”  

Highlights of the FY 2019 Hanford Budget include:

Richland (FY19 $865 million)— included $2,000,000 above the budget request for the maintenance and repair of the B Reactor, funding for the interim stabilization of PUREX Tunnel 2 and continued demolition of the Plutonium Finishing Plant. Language also directs $8.5 million to the Volpentest Hazardous Materials Management and Emergency Response Federal Training Center.

Office of River Protection (FY19 $1.573 billion)— this funding level will enable work to continue work on Direct Feed Low Activity Waste, engineering activity on High Level Waste Treatment Facilities, and ensure the proper maintenance of the Tank Farms while ensuring worker and environmental safety.