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Washington gets $2.2 billion more in federal stimulus funds; this batch is mostly for Hanford

Post by News Tribune Staff on May 29, 2009 at 3:23 pm with No Comments »
May 29, 2009 3:23 pm

Gov. Chris Gregoire‘s office sent out this news release. It’s noteworthy because the total amount of money that Washington is getting from President Obama and Congress for economic stimulus will end up being somewhere between $8 billion and $10 billion.

We got about $2 billion in Medicaid. Another $1 billion for education. About $500 million for transportation projects. And this $2.2 billion for Hanford and energy stuff. Those are just the big pieces.

I think the Bonneville Power Administration is in line for about $3 billion more (I think that’s borrowing, not a straight appropriation) and most of the BPA money also could be put in Washington’s column. And there’s a smattering of other moneys all over the place. Some of it is going to local governments.

U.S. Department of Energy Awards Washington State $2.2 billion in recovery funds

Recovery funding will increase energy efficiency and technology and reduce consumption

OLYMPIA – Gov. Chris Gregoire today announced that the U. S. Department of Energy has awarded more than $2.2 billion in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds for Washington State energy recovery. Most of the investment will accelerate clean up efforts at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Richland.

"This is great news for the state of Washington," said Gregoire. "This investment will support and create hundreds of jobs, it accelerates the cleanup of the most dangerous contaminated site in the nation, and it moves us toward a clean-energy economy for the 21st century."

The funding will benefit the following areas:

Environmental Management ($1,960,535,000), which will go directly to Hanford clean-up efforts.

U.S. Department of Energy, Richland Operation office ($1.635 billion): This funding will demolish nuclear facilities and support facilities, remediate waste sites, remediate contaminated groundwater and retrieve solid waste from burial grounds. The investment will also accelerate cleanup of facilities, waste sites, and groundwater along the Columbia River to support shrinking the active area of cleanup at the 586-square-mile Hanford Site to 75 square miles or less by 2015.

U.S. Department of Energy, Office of River Protection ($326 million): Funding will accelerate design and construction of infrastructure and systems to transfer radioactive liquid waste from aging underground tanks to a waste treatment facility for immobilization and disposal. In addition, the money will accelerate the design for the high level waste storage facility, and will upgrade the effluent treatment facility to continue waste volume reduction operations and the 222-S Analytical Laboratory to allow continued retrieval of waste from aging single-shell tanks. The investment will also develop single-shell tank integrity programs for safe storage of waste.

Weatherization ($59,545,074): This funding will be used to increase the energy efficiency of dwellings owned or occupied by low-income persons, reduce total residential expenditures, and improve health and safety, especially low income persons who are particularly vulnerable such as elderly, persons with disabilities, families with children, high residential energy users, and households with high energy burdens.

State Energy Program ($60,944,000): These formula funds will be used for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, programs, and companies. Washington will direct its funds toward neighborhood weatherization, agricultural energy efficiency, and loans and grants to public and private sector entities for renewable and energy efficiency activities.

Energy Efficiency Community Block Grants ($56,099,900): These formula funds for cities, counties and tribes are provided for energy efficiency and conservation activities.

Energy Science ($123,900,000): This investment will go to Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, based in Richland, Washington, for capital upgrades and instrumentation for the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory and the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Climate Research Facility, and for energy conservation projects on the PNNL campus.

Carbon Capture and Storage projects ($20,000,000): This investment will go to Ramgen Power Systems, a Bellevue, Washington based company to develop technologies to reduce the emission of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

"This is exciting news, and we will continue to work to steward these Recovery Act dollars and encourage statewide efforts to secure a leadership share of the federal competitive grants still to come for clean energy,” said Rogers Weed, Director of the Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development (CTED) and chair of the Governor’s Clean Energy Leadership Council.

To read the letter from Energy Secretary Steven Chu to Gregoire announcing the federal funding, visit: http://www.governor.wa.gov/news/20090526_chu_energy.pdf

CTED is the lead state agency charged with enhancing and promoting sustainable community and economic vitality in Washington and is administering more than $200 million in Recovery funding. For more information, visit www.cted.wa.gov.

# # #

Washington state is administering the federal Recovery Act investments with an unprecedented level of transparency and accountability. Gov. Gregoire created a new Web site (www.recovery.wa.gov) enabling every Washingtonian to see where their tax dollars are going and hold government accountable for the results. On the federal level, President Barack Obama has appointed Vice President Joe Biden to oversee all states’ recovery efforts and to root out waste and fraud. This combined oversight will ensure taxpayer dollars are put to good use and recharge the economy.

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