Department Of Health Involved In New Hanford Tank Vapor Plan - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Department Of Health Involved In New Hanford Tank Vapor Plan

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RICHLAND, WA- The Department of Health is stepping in on the newest Hanford tank farm vapor assessment plan.

The Hanford Advisory Board met Wednesday to talk about their reaction to the report sent out a month ago. That extensive report has 47 different recommendations on the tank farm clean up effort.

This is the first time the board has come together with their opinions on the plan. Tom Fletcher with the Department of Energy and Office of River Protection explains there are two phases, the first is discovering how and when workers are being exposed to chemicals.

The second phase is reducing that hazard, which hopefully someday means workers won't have to wear 50 pounds of protective equipment.

"It's heading in the right direction, a lot of what I've been hearing back though is there is not a whole lot of detail in there, as exactly, what's gonna happen. The proof's gonna be in the carrying out of these recommendations, the implementation of it," explained John Martell with the Washington Department of Health.

Along with the Department of Health, many on the board say the plan looks great on paper but the only way they will be able to determine how effective it is will be to see how the plan is carried out.

Some on the board say that although there is a new effort to assess all the chemicals in the workplace many of them may still go undetected with the type of equipment the Department of Energy wishes to use.