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Thursday, November 30, 2023
Nov. 30, 2023

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Spending bill passes with more money for Hanford cleanup


KENNEWICK — The Hanford nuclear reservation will get about $140 million more for Hanford environmental cleanup for the fiscal year that started in October than was allocated by Congress for the past fiscal year.

The House approved the Hanford budget appropriation Friday as part of a $1.7 trillion spending package for fiscal 2023 that was approved by the Senate on Thursday. It now goes to President Biden for his signature.

“It’s a big step toward getting the resources we need to finish the cleanup safely, effectively and efficiently,” Gov. Jay Inslee said on Twitter. “There’s more work ahead, but this is a huge win for Washington state.”

The increase will put the budget just above the nearly $2.7 billion appropriation for fiscal 2022.

“Overall we are pleased with the funding numbers for Hanford, and believe they will support continued progress on the highest priority cleanup work for the remainder of the fiscal year,” said David Reeploeg, vice president of federal programs for the Tri-Cities Development Council.

He called out Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, both D-Wash., and Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Wash., for working hard to ensure there is adequate funding for Hanford cleanup every year.

This year the Biden administration initially proposed a spending cut of $172 million for Hanford. But in an unprecedented step the administration revised its budget request for the Hanford nuclear reservation to add $191 million to its request and credited Murray with convincing the White House to increase its request.

Hanford has been continuing environmental cleanup work using fiscal year 2022 spending levels after the current fiscal year began with no budget appropriated by Congress.

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