$50M increase proposed for Hanford budget

The Senate is proposing a $50 million increase in the Hanford budget for the fiscal year that started Oct. 1 in the omnibus appropriations bill made public Wednesday.

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., worked last summer to get that boost in Hanford spending included in the fiscal 2011 proposed budget for the Department of Energy.

With no budget passed more than two months into the fiscal year, the Senate is working on passing a consolidated appropriations bill before it adjourns this week.

The House last week approved a continuing resolution that would set the fiscal 2011 budget for the DOE at 2010 levels.

If the Senate omnibus appropriations bill is approved, it then would be sent to the House for consideration.

Under the omnibus bill, the Hanford budget would be almost $2.2 billion for the year.

That is in addition to the $1.96 billion in economic stimulus money Murray fought for that will continue to be spent at Hanford through fiscal 2011.

The additional $50 million for Hanford cleanup in the proposed budget is on top of an increase in the Obama administration's budget proposal for Hanford for fiscal 2011.

The total proposed budget includes $56 million more for Hanford in fiscal 2011 for environmental cleanup.

Because of the additional budget money proposed and cuts or savings in other Hanford programs, several Hanford projects could get budget boosts.

They include the vitrification plant, the tank farms, ground water protection and cleanup, and decommissioning and demolition of the Plutonium Finishing Plant.