Apparently the Senate actually accomplished something this week in the environmental realm: the 2009 federal budget resolution that passed 48-45 on Wednesday included $500 million for a Department of Energy environmental management program to clean up Hanford and other nuclear sites across the country.
Hanford is the decommissioned nuclear-weapons complex along the Columbia River in Washington state that manufactured the plutonium used in the first nuclear bomb. It’s the most contaminated nuclear site in the country (and one of the most contaminated in the world), but the DOE has long refused to pay for cleanup of the site and delayed action.
Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) worked to get the program added to the budget. “This funding will honor our commitment to facilities like Hanford after years of cuts and will get us back on track to meet critical cleanup goals,” she said in a statement.
Unfortunately, the program is not included in the House partner resolution, which passed Thursday.