Morning Briefing - May 21, 2019
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May 21, 2019

Appropriations Bill Would Restore Most Hanford Funding

By ExchangeMonitor

The House Appropriations Committee appears ready to add about $400 million to the Trump administration’s funding request for the two Energy Department field offices at the Hanford Site in Washington state.

The panel on Monday released the detailed report laying out specific line items for DOE and other agencies from the energy and water development appropriations bill issued last week.

The House Appropriations energy and water development subcommittee plan would fund the Richland Operations Office, which manages contractors, infrastructure needs, and other functions connected to Hanford cleanup, at almost $846 million for the budget period starting Oct. 1. That would be down $19 million from the fiscal 2019 enacted level, but $117 million above the administration’s $629 million budget proposal.

Hanford’s Office of River Protection, which oversees 56 million gallons of chemical and radioactive waste at the former plutonium production site, would receive about $1.56 billion under the subcommittee plan, less than the $1.57 billion enacted level but nearly $163 million more than the $1.39 billion sought by the administration.

The combined total for the two offices is $2.4 billion under the subcommittee bill, about $38 million less than the enacted level for the current fiscal year but well above the roughly $2 billion proposed by the White House in March. Altogether, the administration’s request is just below $6.5 billion for the DOE Office of Environmental Management (EM). The subcommittee mark increases the figure by $700 million, roughly equal to the enacted level of $7.2 billion.

The full House Appropriations Committee will mark up the proposed $46.4 billion bill today starting at 10:30 a.m. ET.

The legislation would also restore much of the money cut under the DOE request to other cleanup sites.

The subcommittee seeks about $424 million for environmental remediation at the Idaho National Laboratory, down from $433 million in the current fiscal year but up from the $335 million sought in the budget request.

The Oak Ridge Site in Tennessee would receive $368 million, less than the $410 million in the current year but more than the $293 million in the administration request.

At the Savannah River Site in South Carolina, the energy and water subcommittee plans about $1.43 billion, up from about $1.39 billion in fiscal 2019 but less than the $1.46 billion in the administration request.