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Rep. Newhouse Statement on President’s Proposed Hanford Budget

February 2, 2015
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA) released the following statement on the Obama Administration’s Fiscal Year 2016 budget request for Hanford:

“I have concerns about the budget President Obama released today. Reversing its illegal shutdown of Yucca Mountain and meeting the federal government’s cleanup commitments at both Hanford sites must be a higher priority for this Administration. 

“The Office of River Protection (ORP) request should go a long way towards meeting commitments made by the Department of Energy. While the overall ORP figure appears promising, uncertainties about the costs associated with the Consent Decree, the tank vapor plan, AY-102, and other activities could have major impacts on the amount of actual cleanup progress achieved by this request. Further, the legal dispute between the State of Washington and the Department of Energy must be resolved as quickly and completely as possible to best position Hanford for appropriate funding from Congress. All parties should redouble their efforts – both in and out of court – to reach a workable solution.

“The proposed cut for the Richland Operating Office (RL) is challenging by any standard. It’s difficult to imagine a scenario where this budget truly provides adequate funding to meet milestones and keep cleanup work on track at projects within the River Corridor, Plutonium Finishing Plant and K Area. The Obama Administration must provide additional details on the impact of today's request on Fiscal Year 2016 – as well as potential mortgage and maintenance costs associated with delays on overall project costs shouldered by taxpayers.

“When it comes to cleanup the details matter. While many details were made available this afternoon, questions still remain. I look forward to continuing discussions with the Department of Energy and my colleagues in Congress to achieve the best possible Hanford budget.”

Background on President’s Fiscal Year 2016 budget proposal compared to the Fiscal Year 2015 enacted budget:

 

Department of Energy Overall

FY15 Enacted: $27.3 billion

FY16 Proposed: $29.9 billion

 

Office of Environmental Management Overall

FY15 Enacted: $5.86

FY16 Proposed  $5.82 (includes $463 million from UD&D)

 

Richland Operating Office

FY15 Enacted: $1.007 billion

FY16 Proposed $914 million

 

Office of River Protection

FY15 Enacted: $1.212 billion

FY16 Proposed $1.414 billion