New setbacks are stalling a proposed land transfer from the Hanford site for economic development.
HANFORD, WA - New setbacks are stalling a proposed land transfer from the Hanford site for economic development.
The project has been in the works for years, but recent actions by Congress and the Department of Energy are slowing the process even more.
Representative Doc Hastings and TRIDEC have been pushing for the land transfer from Hanford for several years.
But DOE just changed their land transfer rules and Congress just failed to pass a bill that would've sped up the transfer process.
"Economic development is a long term process. But in order to get that product ready, you would think we could do it in a more expeditious fashion," said Carl Adrian, TRIDEC president.
TRIDEC requested a land transfer from the Hanford site in 2010, but the Department of Energy still hasn't finished their review and told TRIDEC a transfer agreement won't even begin until the end of 2014.
And new DOE rules, effective Friday, would eliminate a requested requirement for the land transfer process to take only 90 days.
This rule change happened just as a bill to enforce a 90 days decision failed in Congress.
"These two or three things happening all at once just lead people to be suspicious about DOE's motives on the new rules," Adrian said.
The Senate just removed that amendment from a defense spending bill, leaving the DOE decision to stand.
Hastings says he is frustrated with DOE's sluggish efforts to present Congress with a clear plan for clean up.
"The House and the Senate, if we're cut out of the loop, it's pretty hard for us to convince our colleagues to support the clean up. So I think it's incumbent on the Department of Energy to give us what their plan is then we'll go from there," said Rep. Doc Hastings.
Hastings and TRIDEC share their frustrations about uncertain progress at Hanford. And some feel there have been empty promises on the federal level.
"When Secretary Moniz was here, he kind of pledged more open flow of information, but we've frankly not seen that happen at this point," Adrian said.
Representative Hastings released a statement Wednesday saying the land transfer amendment was the best chance to make progress this year. But he says he's not deterred by this decision and plans to bring it back again next year.
Tuesday, March 11 2014 2:36 AM EDT2014-03-11 06:36:47 GMT
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