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Home Working with Section 106 ACHP Case Digest Spring 2004 Washington: Transfer of the Hanford Nuclear Site, Columbia River
Washington: Transfer of the Hanford Nuclear Site, Columbia River
Agencies: U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) plans to transfer to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service approximately 270 square miles of land where the former Hanford nuclear site stands, near Washington States Tri-Cities area.
Hanford Reach National Monument, Washington (photo courtesy of U.S. Dept. of Energy)
The area, which will become part of the Hanford Reach National Monument and managed as a National Wildlife Refuge, potentially includes thousands of unidentified archeological and traditional cultural properties. It also includes much of the last free-flowing stretch of the Columbia River.
The land is unique because it is largely intact and unaffected by vandalism due to the area being off limits since it became a DOE facility. With the transfer, however, the accessibility of the area is uncertain.
The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, which ascribe traditional and scientific values to historic properties in this area, have objected to DOEs transfer plan and requested that the ACHP become involved in the case.
As part of the Section 106 process, the ACHP notified the Secretaries of Energy and Interior in fall 2003 that it would participate in consultation on the project. DOE responded that the ACHP would be involved in the case as a consulting party.
In December 2003, DOE notified the Confederated Tribes that the proposed land transfer had no potential to affect historic properties and would do nothing further regarding historic properties within the transfer area. In January 2004, the ACHP consulted with DOE about its decision. DOE said that it intends to comply with Section 106, and will draft an agreement for the land transfer.
Staff contact: Alan
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