Thursday, December 15, 2011


Congressmen Tom Reed and Brian Higgins today announced that the proposed FY 2012 appropriation for Non-Defense Environmental Cleanup is funded at $235.7 million. This is an increase of $22.6 million over the amount of funding in the original Energy and Water appropriation.  The Non-Defense Environmental Cleanup line is the source for funding nuclear clean-up operations at sites such as West Valley in Cattaraugus County.

The change does not result in higher spending but increases the funds for the line through spending reductions elsewhere. Reed and Higgins teamed on a successful bipartisan amendment (H.Amdt.640) adopted by the House and on a letter to appropriators calling for the funding to be increased as a public safety prioritization.

“The Department of Energy estimates that making the proper investment now in nuclear site remediation will save our nation hundreds of millions of dollars in the coming decades,” Reed and Higgins wrote in the letter.  “It is important this Congress continues to use our fiscal resources in the most cost effective and beneficial manner, so that future generations are not burdened with our debt. Additionally, we have an obligation to protect our citizens against the risks posed by the continued storage of radioactive waste at these sites.”

“This is good news for facilities such as the West Valley Demonstration Project,” Reed said. “Clean-up and proper maintenance of spent fuel rods is a public safety obligation of the government. I am glad to see some success in this vital effort and I thank Brian Higgins for his leadership on this critical issue for Western New York.”

“Continuing the aggressive clean up of West Valley is the right thing to do environmentally and economically,” added Congressman Higgins.  “Together with Congressman Reed we stood up for Western New York and this bill officially puts the funding we insisted on in place.” 

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