The Appropriations Committee budget represents a $315 million increase from the funding levels proposed by the Trump administration.
The U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations has rebuffed cuts proposed by the Trump administration for the cleanup of the Hanford nuclear site that produced plutonium for atomic bombs during World War II and the Cold War.
The budget approved Thursday by the committee includes $838 million for the Richland operations involved in cleanups along the Columbia River and $1.57 billion for the Office of River Protection, which is overseeing the construction of a plant to vitrify a mix of toxic chemical and radioactive wastes now stored in tanks.
The Senate committee budget represents a $315 million increase from the funding levels proposed by the Trump administration, according to Sen. Patty Murray, D-Washington, a committee member.
The total Hanford cleanup funding was still $25 million below the level that was approved in the fiscal year 2018 federal budget.
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The cleanup is expected to last for decades and will require tens of billions of dollars of additional expenditures.
“I’m so glad that once again, the Senate has rejected the White House’s attempt to shirk its responsibility to the Tri-Cities community,” Murray said in a statement released Thursday.
The 2019 Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill also includes $20 million in funding for the Manhattan Project National Historical Park, which includes a location at Hanford.
Other actions include $6.65 billion in funding for 10 national laboratories that include the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory based in Richland. That was $1.26 billion more than Trump’s request, according to Murray.
Murray says the bill also includes language that would prevent President Trump from acting on a proposal to privatize portions of the Bonneville Power Administration.