Hundreds Call for More Aggressive Hanford Clean-up

Blog post by Theresa Labriola, Riverkeeper’s Hanford Coordinator—

“Hanford needs to be dealt with using the same intensity of resources that we used to put a man on the moon. For heavens sakes, an entire state and bordering state and all its people and natural resources are at stake.”

That was the overarching sentiment of more than 200 Riverkeeper members last month. They submitted comments, asking the Department of Energy (Energy) to choose a clean-up plan for forty square miles of the Hanford Nuclear Site that includes the removal of chemical and radioactive waste before it enters the Columbia River.

We don’t know whether Energy will choose a more protective plan. But, we do know that your comments make a difference. Here’s a sampling of reasons why our members don’t support Energy’s plan to let uranium and other pollutants slowly dilute into the Columbia River:

“The health of the Columbia River affects the entire Pacific Northwest. I enjoy recreation on the Columbia River, drink wine and eat produce from the region. A safe and effective cleanup of the Hanford Nuclear Site is imperative. Please do not shortcut the health and safety of the Pacific Northwest.”

“My grandchildren live next to the Columbia River. I want their environment to be safe and the river's waters to be clean and usable, without pollution from Hanford.”

“I swim and kayak in it, and I do not want to worry about radiation!”

“I have lived in cities on the Columbia almost my entire life. I swim in it, boat on it, fish in it, and consider it the heart of my homeland. I beg you to protect it.”

“Trying to make do with the cheapest 'solution' is not at all fair to those of us who depend on Columbia River. "Natural attenuation" is totally unsatisfactory. This nuclear waste MUST be properly disposed of.”

Our members live here, work here, play here, and care about the health of the Columbia River ecosystem and communities. Thanks to everyone who submitted a comment and demonstrated this. Stay tuned for your next opportunity to comment on Energy’s plans to cleanup the Hanford Nuclear Site.