Energy official to visit Hanford next week

David Huizenga, the Department of Energy's new acting assistant secretary for environmental management, plans to visit Hanford on Monday and Tuesday.

He was named to the position July 19 after Ines Triay, former assistant secretary for environmental management, left the post to deal with a family health issue.

This will be Huizenga's first visit to a DOE environmental management site and his first visit to Hanford in his new role. He plans to meet with employees, Hanford regulators, tribal leaders and community members.

Huizenga has more than 25 years experience working for the department in various leadership, management and technical roles. Most recently, Huizenga was the National Nuclear Security Administration's principal assistant deputy administrator for defense nuclear nonproliferation.

He already is familiar with the Tri-Cities after beginning his career in 1985 as a research engineer at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland.

He also is familiar with Hanford after working for the DOE Office of Environmental Management for more than a decade, including serving as deputy assistant secretary. He was instrumental in establishing the DOE program that resulted in the removal of the remaining weapons-grade plutonium from Hanford.