Department of Ecology News Release - March 11, 2024

More than $3 billion approved for Hanford Site cleanup – a new record

Deer in front of a Hanford Site cocooned nuclear reactor.


On Saturday, March 9, President Joe Biden signed a historic budget for Hanford Site cleanup work. Hanford received $3.05 billion for 2024 – a $205 million increase from 2023, and the first time Hanford funding has exceeded $3 billion.  

“This weekend’s news is a huge win for Washington state, and a direct result of the leadership of Sen. Patty Murray,” said Laura Watson, director of the Washington Department of Ecology, a regulator of Hanford cleanup. “This funding is urgently needed to keep our nation’s most complex radioactive cleanup on track – and it’s a recognition of the responsibility our nation has to restore the Hanford Site.”

Ecology’s analysis shows the federal government can ultimately save taxpayers tens of billions of dollars by providing the U.S. Department of Energy with a compliant budget – the amount needed to meet cleanup milestones under the legally binding Tri-Party Agreement for Hanford.

“This is much-needed news for our state and for this project. While we haven’t yet hit the point of full funding for Hanford, the tireless efforts of Senator Murray and our partners throughout the Tri-Cities is yielding historic results. We appreciate the Biden Administration’s support of this vital cleanup work,” said Washington Gov. Jay Inslee.

After signing the 2024 budget Saturday, on Monday, President Biden released his administration's proposed budget for 2025, which would include about $3.1 billion to Hanford. 

Consistently providing sufficient funding to Hanford will help to complete cleanup decades sooner and reduce the risk of a significant contamination release or collapse from the site’s aging infrastructure.

Ecology estimates a compliant budget of $4.56 billion is needed in upcoming Fiscal Year 2025.

“Completing Hanford cleanup will take decades, but the investments we make today are needed to keep the work moving forward,” Watson said. “We will continue to advocate for sufficient funding in Washington, D.C., and get it to a level that keeps cleanup on track now and for years to come.”

The Hanford Site represents one of the most complex environmental cleanups in history. From World War II through the Cold War, the site produced more than 67 tons of plutonium – at the cost of extensive contamination and millions of tons of radioactive and hazardous waste left behind.

Ecology works with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to provide regulatory oversight of the U.S. Department of Energy’s cleanup of Hanford.

Contact information

Ryan Miller
Communications Manager
Twitter: EcyHanford