Environmental, Watchdog Groups ask Congress for Hanford Reach Study - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Environmental, Watchdog Groups ask Congress for Hanford Reach Study

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Nine different environmental and Hanford watchdog groups have banded together to ask for an in-depth study of possible contamination of the Hanford Reach. The Reach is the longest free-flowing (no dams) stretch of river in the country. It's located on the Columbia River, which runs next to the Hanford reservation. 193,000 acres were designated as a national monument in 2000.

The groups sent a joint letter asking for a "complete analysis of the current contaimination" along with an assessment of future risks to the Hanford Reach.

The letter states: "The Hanford Reach is in the middle of the largest nuclear waste site in the United States. The extent of the waste problem left on this site is phenomenal. Without a complete analysis of the current contamination and an assessment of what risks of contamination are in the future, the cleanup cannot be maximally effective and safety cannot be guaranteed."

Among the groups requesting the study are the Government Accountability Project, Heart of American Northwest, American Rivers, Columbia Riverkeeper and the Pacific Coast Fishermen's Association.