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MailTribune.com
  • Feds notify Washington state, Oregon about Hanford delays

    They say they're likely to miss 2 cleanup deadlines
  • YAKIMA, Wash. — The federal government has notified officials in Washington and Oregon that it is at serious risk of missing two cleanup deadlines at the nation's most contaminated nuclear site, marking a potential new round of setbacks for the struggling cleanup there.
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  • YAKIMA, Wash. — The federal government has notified officials in Washington and Oregon that it is at serious risk of missing two cleanup deadlines at the nation's most contaminated nuclear site, marking a potential new round of setbacks for the struggling cleanup there.
    Washington Gov. Jay Inslee expressed disappointment with the latest delays at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, saying the U.S. Department of Energy has yet to justify them or propose a new path forward.
    "We expect the federal government to do everything within its power to avoid or minimize any possible delays in meeting all its legal and moral requirements to protect the health of our residents and the Columbia River," Inslee said in a statement Friday.
    Inslee also said the state would be evaluating its options to ensure federal cleanup commitments are met.
    Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz called Inslee on Thursday to notify him of the latest developments. Inslee and the Energy Department made the news public on Friday.
    The department notified the states about the potential for missed deadlines out of an abundance of caution and continues to work with cleanup contractors to try to mitigate the factors that contributed to them, spokeswoman Lindsey Geisler said in a statement.
    The federal government created the Hanford site in the 1940s as part of the top-secret project to build the atomic bomb. Today, it is the nation's most contaminated nuclear site, with cleanup expected to last decades and cost billions of dollars.
    A 1989 agreement that governs the cleanup has been amended numerous times over the years. The deal establishes deadlines for a long list of activities related to the cleanup of the facility.
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