Editor's note: The candidates' responses to the following question are exactly as submitted, without any editing.
3. What would be appropriate uses of Hanford land as environmental cleanup is completed?
Once the cleanup is complete and we turn the page for Hanford, the future is up to the community to decide. However, we've got to find a way to fill the economic gap of the jobs and business that Hanford brought to this region. I support TRIDEC president Matt McCormick's efforts to use part of the land for economic development, especially given the Department of Energy's willingness to assist in these matters.
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Land should always be put to its highest and best use. All development options should be considered, to determine what the highest and best use is when the environmental cleanup is finished. Having said that, this needs to be a community-based decision making process. The views and ideas of all local governmental entities and interested parties must be taken into account.
(Editors note: We received Didier’s answer July 23)
It can go back to the State of Washington, and preferably, the original owners or their families, would have the first opportunity to re acquire the properties. If the former owners decline, the properties should be made available for commercial or private use as our citizens see fit. In this way, the lands will be producing something of value, and generating tax revenues here locally, instead of federally.
I will combine my answers to 2 and 3.
Congressman Hastings was able to pass an amendment to the House version of the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act that would authorize the new national park (Manhattan Heritage Project) and convert approximately 1,641 acres of excess Hanford reservation land for private industrial development. This would be an appropriate use of this land after Hanford's cleanup is deemed complete.
While I hope this Act passes under Doc's watch, if it doesn't I will push for this proposal in the next Congress.
Both converting Hanford acreage to local control for private industrial development and including Hanford in the Manhattan Heritage Project translates into economic development and job creation for our region.
Regarding the Manhattan Heritage Project, the Park Service estimates that our current annual 10,000 tourists visiting Hanford would increase to at least 100,000 tourists. Just think of the ripple effect of this economic stimulation as these same tourists visit our restaurants, hotels and retail businesses!
This proposal will create jobs, and we will find that the resulting increased economic activity from the park and industrial development will increase federal, state, and local revenues without having to raise taxes.
That is up to the people that own it. Or well, I guess what I should say is that the government should sell the land to private entities and let them decide on what they want to do with it.
As your federal representative, it won't be my job to dictate the appropriate uses of Hanford land to the community. My job will be to keep the federal bureaucrats from making those decisions for us. Whether the land is used for economic development, energy production, recreation, preservation, or most likely a combination of uses, my goal is for those decisions to be made locally. Congress will most likely need to remove roadblocks for local action, and I'll be ready to act.
Gordon Allen Pross
When the 71 year Hanford Project is cleanup as pristine as they found the land then and only then offer the land back to the Yakama Nation.
TRIDEC is working on the Mid-Columbia Energy Initiative that would focus on energy-related research, development, and generation, and would boost jobs in the area. I believe this would be a perfect use for Hanford land.
At this time the clean-up is 40+ years away from completion. It is difficult to predict what environmental issues will arise within the next few decades and promoting a project that's undetermined is being presumptuous.
That's should be left up to State not the federal government.
Glen R. Stockwell
We have been waiting for this cleanup for nearly 40+ years!
Possibly if Doc and the other Washington State Congressional Representatives, Governor Inslee and the Tri-City Economic Development groups would form a project group they could land a new industry for that location?! Currently there is a national company which is going through a siting review of different locations in America to place their plant. Hanford would work great for this company for several reasons and it is reported to employ nearly 2,000 employees when completed!
Candidate has not provided a response.