State, Federal Government Agree to Extend Discussions Regarding Hanford Cleanup
Negotiators from Washington state and the federal government have agreed to extend the dispute resolution period by 70 days, ending on Sept. 5.
OLYMPIA, WA - Negotiators from Washington state and the federal government have agreed to extend the dispute resolution period by 70 days, ending on Sept. 5.
The dispute resolution was triggered under a 2010 court order to clean up high-level radioactive and chemically hazardous waste at Hanford.
Since triggering dispute resolution in late April, the parties have met three times in person and have another meeting scheduled for next week. With this new extension, the parties agreed that neither party would seek court involvement in the matter until after Sept. 5.
Gov. Jay Inslee and state Attorney General Bob Ferguson said they agreed to an additional extension to allow the parties to continue to discuss details regarding a possible agreed path forward that meets both parties' interests.
"It's absolutely essential we forge a viable plan that ensures the federal government fulfills its legal obligations to clean up Hanford," Inslee said. "Delay in completing this cleanup is not in Washington's interest, and I continue to hope these extended discussions will be helpful."
"The people of Washington deserve a plan that provides specificity, accountability, and enforceability for the federal clean-up and treatment of nuclear waste at the Hanford site," Ferguson said. "If these goals cannot be achieved through mutual agreement, the state remains prepared to seek relief from the federal court."