WASHINGTON (March 3, 2020) — During a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing today to examine President Trump’s budget request for the Department of Energy for Fiscal Year 2021, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) questioned Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette on a $100 million reduction in funding for the ongoing cleanup and environmental management efforts at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL).
Senator Heinrich also questioned Secretary Brouillette on the Department of Energy’s new Order 140.1, which limited the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board’s (DNFSB) statutory authority for oversight of health and safety at defense nuclear facilities, including Los Alamos National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, and the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in New Mexico. Last year, Senator Heinrich secured provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act that reversed key parts of the order and directed the Department of Energy to allow the onsite safety inspectors from DNFSB full access to all nuclear facilities at the labs and WIPP, and reinforces the board’s role protecting both the general public as well as onsite employees and contractors. Congress created the DNFSB in 1988 to provide oversight of public health and safety at the defense nuclear facilities managed by the Department of Energy.
Testimony and the entire webcast of today’s hearing will be available here.