Cantwell, Murray, Wyden Call on Top Energy Official to Immediately Implement New Worker Safety Recommendations

Senators to Energy Secretary Moniz: “Nothing less than a complete commitment to safety at Hanford is acceptable.”

Washington, D.C. – (RealEstateRama) — U.S. Senators Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) urged the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to take immediate action to protect workers at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, in the state of Washington, by implementing new safety recommendations.

Energy and Natural Resources Committee

The recommendations were released this week after a months-long review to address chemical vapor exposures at the Hanford tank farms by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), a federal agency that is independent from DOE. NIOSH, a part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, proposed recommendations within all four areas it assessed, including exposure assessment, exposure control, safety and health management and medical. The NIOSH review included all workers and organizations that work within or near the Hanford tank farms.

In the letter to Secretary Ernest Moniz, the senators wrote, “with the review in hand it is now critical that DOE take swift and definitive actions to implement the recommendations. In addressing the recommendations, we request that DOE develop an implementation plan which includes a clear schedule and the funding necessary to carry them out successfully. DOE should also work to institutionalize the improvements in workforce safety that result from the NIOSH Review to ensure that program changes continue from contractor to contractor…We owe the men and women who work in the tank farms the highest safety standards to protect them from these hazards.”

Read the full letter here.

Read the NIOSH report here.

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Energy and Natural Resources Committee

Since its creation, the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and its predecessors have considered, reported, and overseen some of the most important legislation ever enacted by the United States Congress.

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