Support from Congress will enable EM to continue making steady progress in cleaning up communities that supported U.S. defense efforts over the decades, Senior Advisor William “Ike” White told a Senate panel on April 27.
“EM is focused on its commitment to clean up the environmental legacy of the national defense programs that helped end World War II and the Cold War,” White said in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces.
“This work helps address the government’s responsibilities to the communities that played such an important role in U.S. history, and more importantly helps position them to continue to grow and thrive in the future,” White said.
White appeared before the panel following release of the DOE budget request for fiscal year 2023. He said the EM budget request of $7.6 billion “will enable EM to further advance its mission, maintain national security priorities and support those most impacted by the environmental legacy of the past.”
White said the budget will support work to begin vitrifying tank waste at the Hanford Site in Washington state by the end of 2023; accelerate waste processing and tank closure activities at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina; advance operations of the Integrated Waste Treatment Unit at the Idaho National Laboratory Site; modernize the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico; and address high-risk excess contaminated facilities and groundwater cleanup across the EM complex, among other priorities.
White noted that cleanup progress depends on quality workers. The EM budget boosts support for workforce development “and for building a pipeline of talent that promotes diversity, equity and inclusion,” he said.
And, as EM moves forward, “we remain committed to those most directly impacted by the environmental legacy of the past.
“EM’s sites are fortunate to be surrounded by diverse communities and tribal nations who are strong partners in advancing cleanup and planning for the future,” White said.
Watch the April 27 hearing before the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces here.
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