The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is advertising for a new Hanford nuclear reservation program manager.

Nuclear Waste

And according to sources, the person may not live or work in the Tri-Cities.

The EPA is a Hanford regulator and the program manager has been based in the Tri-Cities since Hanford cleanup began. But with the August retirement of manager Dennis Faulk, EPA is considering basing his replacement in Seattle, leaving the Richland office with four people assigned to keep watch over Hanford.

Meantime, the Washington State Department of Ecology, the second Hanford regulator, has about 70 employees doing mostly Hanford-related work.

The base of the EPA Hanford program manager is still to be determined: It depends on who is offered and who accepts.

In contrast, the Washington State Department of Ecology, the second Hanford regulator, has about 70 employees based at its Nuclear Waste Program in Richland, doing primarily Hanford-related work. A decision on where to base the EPA Hanford program manager in Richland or Seattle will not be made until the agency makes a job offer to a candidate.

As you might expect, the Hanford Advisory Board is adamant that the new EPA Hanford program manager should be based in Tri-Cities, near Hanford due to the complex interactions among the EPA, DOE, the Department of Ecology, Native American tribes and the interested public.

On a side note, the EPA will no longer allow it's regional office in Seattle and local office in Richland to sign off on final decisions for Hanford cleanup if they will cost more than $50 million.

The national head of the EPA, Scott Pruitt, says it's intended to bring into a more uniform line site projects around the country and overall records of decision (RODs).