Editorial: Hanford cleanup good for Yakama Nation

"The Yakama Nation has reason to be pleased.

Certainly, the announcement last week that the federal government will begin assessing possible damage to natural resources caused by plutonium production at the Hanford nuclear reservation couldn't have come at a better time.

We hope this reversal by the Department of Energy will put the twin process of cleaning up Hanford's radioactive waste and reclaiming the land on a faster track. It may even put on hold the endless trips to federal courthouses by an ever-lengthening line of litigants that has included the Yakama Nation and the states of Washington and Oregon.

While pleased with this recent decision by the federal government, officials with the Yakama Nation say they are still keeping a wary eye on the proceedings.

The Yakama Nation has much to gain, and as they argue, so do we all. The tribe has treaty rights to fish, hunt game and harvest roots and berries in the Hanford area. And by ensuring a better, more thorough cleanup within the 586-square-mile federal reserve, both Indians and non-Indians will benefit, Yakama leaders argue. "

Get the Story:
Editorial: DOE's reversal on Hanford stance is good start (The Yakima Herald-Republic 4/8)

Relevant Links:
Indian Nations Program, Hanford Site - http://www.hanford.gov/doe/inp/index.htm

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