Hanford works to get ahead of potential budget cuts with prioritization meeting
RICHLAND, Wash. — Just a month since the shocking tunnel collapse at the Hanford nuclear site, regulatory officials are working to get ahead of potential budget cuts causing concern.
The U.S. Department of Energy, Richland Operations Office, the Office of River Protection along with Hanford cleanup agencies held a panel discussion to inform the public about the different projects needing federal funding assistance and to get public input on how to prioritize funding now that millions of dollars are on the line.
According to the Department of Energy (DOE) the total budget for all Hanford cleanup agencies in 2017 was $2.416 billion dollars and the Trump administration is now proposing $2.3 billion dollars for the 2018 budget.
Trump’s proposal would cut the budget by $100 million dollars, likely affecting the Hanford cleanup effort significantly.
After hearing from officials, the public had a chance to fill out comment cards and ask the panel questions.
Vice President of federal programs at TRIDEC, David Reeploeg, told our reporters regardless of President Trump’s proposal and the potential impact on jobs, the public should remain confident in their leaders.
“Congress still has a say in this whole process, they are the ones that set the budget and we have enjoyed tremendous support over the years from Senator Murray, Senator Cantwell and from Congressman Newhouse and we expect that they will do whatever they can,” Vice President of federal programs at TRIDEC David Reeploeg said.
Hanford regulators have been dealing with a difficult balancing act for a substantial amount of time and are hoping that over the next month the community will continue to comment on where they feel spending within the new budget should be distributed in 2018.
If Trump’s proposal is passed the new budget will go into effect October 1, 2017 and continue through September 30, 2018.