More Construction Deadline Delays at Hanford Waste Treatment Pla - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

More Construction Deadline Delays at Hanford Waste Treatment Plant

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NEAR HANFORD, WA-- The Department of Energy says there's a good chance several court-ordered construction deadlines won't be met.

The Department of Energy says they're worried about meeting three milestones for the Waste Treatment Plant construction. 

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson says he isn't pleased to hear about yet another setback. More importantly, these possible setbacks would break the legal agreement DOE made with the state to get this job done.

Construction on Hanford's Waste Treatment Plant seems never-ending to many people. The deadlines for construction work on the building keep getting pushed back. 

The Department of Energy told the state Tuesday they might not meet three milestones in the 2010 Hanford Cleanup Consent Decree.

The attorney general told me this is not a hand shake deal. It's a federal obligation that's not being met.

"There's been a pattern of this now for an extended period of time and they've continued to miss key deadlines and that's why we take this so very seriously. It's important to the people of the state, the safety of the people and to our environment as well," said Ferguson.

The Department of Ecology isn't pleased with the news either issuing this statement that says, "The federal government owes it to the people of the Northwest to do everything within its power to avoid or minimize any possible delays in meeting all its legal and moral requirements to protect the health of our residents and the Columbia River."  

The Department of Energy wouldn't speak on camera but gave this explanation that says, "The department is making these notifications out of an abundance of caution and looks forward to discussing the circumstances with the state as we continue to engage on a path forward."

These delays don't seem to surprise Tri-Citians, but it definitely upsets them.

"That's stupid. I mean, you have a job to do. Do the job. If you've got a plan in place, get the plan done," said Andrea Mellonee.

"They just need a better way to streamline this stuff to where it can get done in a more efficient manner. They're just losing out really bad. Sooner or later the American people are going to go, we can't afford this," said David Smith.

The attorney general says he plans to work with the DOE, Governor Inslee and other state offices to uphold these federal agreements and get the job back on track.

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