Cantwell, Murray Urge Perry To Protect Hanford Nuclear Reservation Workers

Senators Cite Dangers of Chemical Vapors, Demand Improved Conditions for Workers at Cleanup Site

March 16, 2017

Download the full text of the letter here.

Washington, D.C. – Today, Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) wrote Energy Secretary Rick Perry demanding improved conditions and enhanced safety measures for workers at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington state, specifically to improve conditions in the tank farms and address chemical vapor exposure.

“We urge you to continue efforts began by Secretary Ernest Moniz to improve working conditions in the tank farms and address chemical vapor exposures. Nothing less than a complete commitment to safety at Hanford is acceptable,” the senators wrote.

The senators cited the recommendations from three recently completed independent reports detailing the workplace safety shortcomings still present at Hanford, and urged Secretary Perry to implement these new safety recommendations.

“We urge you to ensure DOE and WRPS implement the recommendations from these reports to better protect the workforce at Hanford. Specifically, we request DOE develop an implementation plan which includes a schedule and the funding necessary to complete these recommendations…Further, it is clear that consistent oversight is a key component to improving safety. To achieve this we ask that DOE commit to annual reviews by the Office of the Inspector General and the Office of Enterprise Assessments of the health and safety practices at Hanford.” the senators wrote.