The Hanford Nuclear Site
Protecting the Columbia River from Radioactive & Chemical Wastes
Columbia Riverkeeper is a leader in ensuring public involvement in the cleanup of the Hanford Nuclear Site, located along the banks of the Columbia River in Eastern Washington.
Hanford is the most contaminated place in the Western Hemisphere, where the United States dumped billions of gallons of radioactive wastes on the banks and into the Columbia River. Today, waste in unlined cribs and trenches has spread into large pollution plumes, while dozens of storage tanks are actively leaking high-level nuclear waste. Vast areas of groundwater are poisoned and, in some places, flowing into the Columbia River.
Riverkeeper is working to ensure that Hanford cleanup is effective, safe, and on schedule. We’re also faced with persistent proposals to import and store off-site radioactive and toxic waste at Hanford. These proposals detract from the core mission at Hanford: cleaning up decades of nuclear and toxic waste.
Public Participation in Hanford Cleanup is Critical
Public participation in cleanup decisions at Hanford is essential to ensuring proper cleanup of the Hanford Site. There are many ways to lend your voice to protecting the Columbia from the nuclear legacy at Hanford.
Sign-up for Action Alerts
Each year, the public has numerous opportunities to weigh-in on cleanup decisions at Hanford. To stay informed and learn about important opportunities to protect the Columbia River, sign-up for Riverkeeper’s e-mail Action Alerts here. We’ll provide you with detailed background information and suggested comments.
Join Riverkeeper’s Hanford Workgroup
Public oversight is critical to ensure long-term, effective cleanup at Hanford. Led by Riverkeeper’s Conservation Director, the Hanford Workgroup meets on a monthly basis in the Portland-Vancouver metro area. This is a chance to learn the latest on Hanford cleanup and how to participate in the public. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved.
Attend a Public Hearing
The U.S. Department of Energy, Washington State Department of Ecology, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (depending on the issue) hold public meetings, or hearings, across the Pacific Northwest each time there is a major cleanup decision or proposal to import more nuclear waste to Hanford. Public hearings are a great opportunity to learn about an issue, ask questions, and speak out! Riverkeeper will post public hearing opportunities on our Events Calendar and Hanford webpage.
Write a Letter-to-the-Editor
Given the long-term human health and environmental impacts of Hanford, keeping this issue in the public eye is imperative. Write a Letter-to-the-Editor of your local newspaper, make a post on Facebook, or tweet about Hanford advocating for Clean-up first!
Join Columbia Riverkeeper
Columbia Riverkeeper’s staff of scientists, policy analysts, and clean water attorneys can help you stay informed on the ever-changing landscape at Hanford. As a member, you’ll receive our informative quarterly newsletter, River Currents, Hanford Action Alerts, and will join a network of citizens dedicated to a safe and healthy Columbia River. Learn more about Riverkeeper Membership Opportunities.