Commentary: A letter about Hanford to President-elect Obama

This editorial appeared in The Tri-City Herald.

Dear President-elect Obama,

Your expression of ignorance regarding the Hanford nuclear site during last spring's campaign swing through Oregon has us worried.

Really worried.

The Bush administration had eight years to become intimate with Hanford's environmental hazards, and still failed to deliver on the government's commitment to clean up the mess.

We can't afford backsliding while your administration figures out what's going on at the nuclear site.

Just last week, we learned the Department of Energy notified Hanford regulators that 23 legal deadlines for cleanup are at risk because of the budget for fiscal 2009.

The deadlines are part of the Tri-Party Agreement, the detailed plan for cleanup hammered out by regulators and DOE more than 20 years ago. The document isn't advisory, it's a legally binding contract.

We're worried the situation will only get worse as Hanford's problems are lost in clamor seeking your attention.

To read the complete editorial, visit The Tri-City Herald.