WASHINGTON, DC -- Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced $6 billion in new funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to accelerate environmental cleanup work and create thousands of jobs across 12 states - including a major investment in Washington. Projects identified for funding will focus on accelerating cleanup of soil and groundwater, transportation and disposal of waste, and cleaning and demolishing former weapons complex facilities.
"These investments will put Americans to work while cleaning up contamination from the cold war era," said Secretary Chu. "It reflects our commitment to future generations as well as to help local economies get moving again."
These projects and the new funding are managed by the Department's Office of Environmental Management, which is responsible for the risk reduction and cleanup of the environmental legacy from the nation's nuclear weapons program, one of the largest, most diverse and technically complex environmental programs in the world.
Today's announcement includes new funding for the following cleanup efforts in the state:
- Richland Operations Office ($1.635 billion) - Demolish nuclear facilities and support facilities, remediate waste sites, remediate contaminated groundwater, and retrieve solid waste from burial grounds. Accelerate cleanup of facilities, waste sites, and groundwater along the Columbia River to support shrinking the active area of cleanup at the 586-square-mile Hanford Site to 75 square miles or less by 2015.
- Office of River Protection ($326 million) - Accelerate design and construction of infrastructure and systems to transfer radioactive liquid waste from aging underground tanks to a waste treatment facility for immobilization and disposal. Accelerate design for the high level waste storage facility. Upgrade the effluent treatment facility to continue waste volume reduction operations and the 222-S Analytical Laboratory to allow continued retrieval of waste from aging single-shell tanks. Develop single-shell tank integrity programs for safe storage of waste.
Read more information on the Department's Environmental Management activities.
For regular updates on Department of Energy's efforts to implement the President's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, visit energy.gov/recovery. The page includes a map with state by state summaries of recent investments by the Department of Energy through the Recovery Act -- from state weatherization funding to grants to specific cities, counties and tribal governments.