Olympia - April 9, 2001- Attorney General Christine Gregoire issued the following statement today about the Administration’s budget proposal for the cleanup of radioactive tank waste at the Hanford Nuclear Site.
"The Department of Energy’s proposed budget falls short of the amount needed to keep the Hanford tank-waste cleanup on track. If approved, this budget could leave the state with no choice but to engage in lengthy and expensive litigation over DOE’s missed cleanup deadlines. I am troubled that the Administration does not seem to understand its obligation to meet its contract commitments by building the vitrification plant to safely process the 53 million gallons of highly radioactive waste that is now leaking into groundwater at Hanford.
"Congress, fortunately, does seem to get it. Thanks to the hard work of Sen. Patty Murray and Sen. Maria Cantwell the Senate last week approved an additional $1 billion for nuclear cleanup across the country. In the House, Rep. Doc Hastings and Rep. Norm Dicks have worked hard to see that Hanford cleanup is appropriately funded. I applaud their efforts."