It is a huge honor for me to represent the exceptional employees of CH2M HILL Plateau Remediation Company (CH2M HILL). I became chief executive officer of our company in October after serving as chief operating officer for the past three years. I feel fortunate to be a part of this team and a part of this community.
CH2M HILL is the Department of Energy (DOE) contractor responsible for environmental cleanup in the center of the Hanford Site as well as cleanup of contaminated groundwater. We are advancing our mission safely and compliantly.
Last year was our best year for safety performance, which means our employees return home from work in as good of a condition as when they arrived. DOE recognized CH2M HILL as a Voluntary Protection Program Star Status company, given to companies whose employees demonstrate a strong commitment to safety and health for themselves and their fellow workers. CH2M HILL is now aiming for the next level of DOE safety performance.
CH2M HILL’s most challenging project, the Plutonium Finishing Plant, is about 75 percent ready for demolition, with 94 percent of the contaminated glove boxes either removed from the building or ready for removal during building disposition. Nearly 90 percent of the long, contaminated pencil-shaped processing tanks have been sealed for disposal. Final cleanup is underway in the McCluskey Room — one of the most challenging areas for cleanup in the plant — where employees use special equipment they helped select and train on. The plant team will continue removing contaminated equipment from the building, moving toward demolition by September 30, 2016.
We exceeded all prior groundwater treatment performance by treating more than 2 billion gallons of water and removing 62 tons of contaminants. Work is underway on more wells and installing more equipment to treat even more groundwater, including adding the capability to remove uranium from groundwater.
Another major accomplishment was the completion of the outer shell of the Sludge Treatment Annex. This facility, with installation scheduled to begin this year, will house equipment to remove radioactive sludge from a water-filled basin near the Columbia River. The progress on this would not have been possible without our small business subcontractors. CH2M HILL has met or exceeded goals for small business subcontracting.
Finally, last year CH2M HILL unveiled a project dedicated to the Hanford workforce. Our employees told us they wanted our company to support the expansion of the outdoor trails in our area. In 2014, we announced a partnership with the Friends of Badger Mountain to expand its trail system from Badger Mountain, an expansion that will include a monument to Hanford employees. This commitment is in addition to the time and money CH2M HILL employees already generously give to the community throughout the year.
I am proud of our employees’ involvement in the community and the hard work they perform reducing risk on the Hanford Site. It was a great year of performance for CH2M HILL, and I am really excited about the progress we’ll make this year.