WASHINGTON D.C. - This week, U.S. Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Patty Murray (D-WA) urged the Department of Energy (DOE) to transfer 1,341 acres of uncontaminated land from the Hanford site to the community for private sector job growth.
In a letter sent last Thursday to DOE Secretary Steven Chu, the senators expressed their strong support for the land transfer, saying it would encourage business investment and economic growth in the region and signify a "shared commitment to helping the region transition to a thriving, post-cleanup economy."
Senators Cantwell and Murray wrote to Secretary Chu, "We are confident that access to Tract 1 would play a vital role in the region's future economic growth and contribute to its further development as a hub for research and industry into areas like clean energy and the biosciences, which are priorities for DOE and benefit our nation as a whole."
They continued, "The existing research facilities, science and technology assets, and intellectual capacity in the Tri-Cities provide a core infrastructure on which the industries of the future can be built, and DOE's transfer of land will send a powerful message to the community and the nation with respect to its support of this long-term vision."
The Tri-Cities Development Council, DOE's identified Community Reuse Organization, is expected to submit its application for the transfer of 1,341 acres of surplus land from the Hanford site to the surrounding community in the coming weeks.
The land is adjacent to the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, the Port of Benton Manufacturing Mall and the Tri-Cities Research District, and lies in close proximity to other research and training facilities, such as the Hazardous Materials Management and Emergency Response Center and Washington State University's Bioproducts, Sciences and Engineering Laboratory.
This prime location, adjacent to Richland city limits, could be a substantial asset in attracting additional high technology industry and creating new high wage jobs in the region over the coming years.