The Dept. of Energy has announced how it will spend more than $9 billion in federal funds under the recently enacted economic-stimulus measure, with much of the money aimed at construction projects. DOE on March 31 released its plans for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act's $6 billion to accelerate environmental cleanup work at former nuclear-weapons sites across 12 states around the country. Five days earlier, the agency disclosed its breakdown of $3.2 billion for a new Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program that the stimulus statute created.
The two largest recipients of the environmental cleanup funding will be the Hanford site in Washington state and the Savannah River site in South Carolina. The Richland Operations Office at Hanford will receive $1.635 billion, largely concentrated on projects to accelerate the cleanup of facilities, waste sites and groundwater along the Columbia River to support shrinking the active area of cleanup at the 586-sq-mile Hanford site to 75 sq miles or less by 2015. The Waste Treatment Plant, which has a stable annual funding level of $690 million, will not receive any stimulus funds, says Suzanne Heaston, spokeswoman for Bechtel’s vitrification plant.