OLYMPIA—Negotiators from Washington state and the federal government have agreed to extend the 40-day dispute resolution period triggered under a 2010 court order to clean up high-level radioactive and chemically hazardous waste at Hanford.
Gov. Jay Inslee and state Attorney General Bob Ferguson said they agreed to the extension to allow time for additional discussions, including another full day in-person meeting between the parties to more fully explore whether an agreement can be reached on a path forward to clean-up.
Since triggering dispute resolution in late April, the parties have met twice in person and once by video-conference. The 40-day dispute resolution period for the state ended on June 2. With this extension, the parties have agreed that neither party will seek court involvement in the matter until after June 27.
"We all have a vested interest in determining a viable path forward in cleaning up Hanford and ensuring the federal government fulfills its legal obligations,” Inslee said. “I appreciate USDOE's participation in ongoing discussions and I hope that this extended time will prove useful in reaching an agreed-upon path forward for cleanup that will protect our people and state."
“The people of Washington deserve a plan that provides specificity, accountability, and enforceability for the federal clean-up and treatment of nuclear waste at the Hanford site,” Ferguson said. “If these goals cannot be achieved through mutual agreement, the state remains prepared to seek relief from the federal court.”
• Jaime Smith, Governor’s Office, (360) 902-0617
• Janelle Guthrie, Attorney General’s Office, (360) 586-0725
• Dieter Bohrman, Ecology, (509) 372-7954