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Delegation Seeks INEEL Cleanup Funds From Bush

Idaho Senators and Representatives send ask President to fully support DOEâ??s Environmental Management Program

WASHINGTON, D.C. â?? Idahoâ??s Congressional Delegation is part of a bi-partisan coalition of Members of Congress asking President Bush to fully support the cleanup budgets for the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL) and other similar sites around the country. In a letter co-signed by 23 members of the House and Senate Nuclear Cleanup Caucus, Idaho Senators Larry Craig and Mike Crapo and Representatives Mike Simpson and C.L. â??Butchâ?? Otter are asking President Bush to meet the nationâ??s obligation to accelerate cleanup of DOE sites and to propose sufficient funding to meet that obligation in his budget release next month.The bi-partisan letter praised the Administration for meeting its cleanup commitment in previous years and emphasized the importance of the program to taxpayers and the environment. â??We appreciate the Administration meeting its commitment last year by calling for the highest ever level of cleanup funding. This yearâ??s budget request must also appropriately meet the Administrationâ??s obligation to the accelerated cleanup program. The accelerated cleanup program will result in the completion of the Environmental Management mission decades earlier, creating a safer environment and saving billions of taxpayer dollars,â?? wrote the Idaho Delegation.In addition, the letter stressed the importance of building upon progress already made at cleanup sites like the INEEL. â??It is critical that the progress we have made continue as scheduled in FY2005 and that the Department of Energy meet its obligations to promptly address the environmental and public health problems posed by the contaminated sites. We must make certain to continue the momentum which has been created,â?? wrote the Idaho Delegation.Idahoâ??s Congressional Delegation is well positioned to impact the funding levels for cleanup and other programs at the Department of Energyâ??s facilities. All four are part of the House and Senate Nuclear Cleanup Caucus, with Senator Crapo being one of three Co-Chairs. Senator Craig is a member of both the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and the Appropriations Committeeâ??s Energy and Water Development Subcommittee. Representative Simpson is a member of the House Appropriations Energy and Water Development Subcommittee while Representative Otter is a member of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and Hazardous Materials.# # # # #