$60 Million Earmarked
by Chris Mulick
Earmarks approved in the 2008 federal budget contained more than $60 million for projects in the Mid-Columbia spread over almost two dozen separate allocations.
The biggest money was provided to help Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland move some of its operations from Hanford's 300 Area to a new campus and to support upgrades at dams on the Snake and Columbia rivers.
But a smattering of far smaller earmarks less than $1 million each boosted an array of local projects.
PNNL got $39.6 million in two earmarks as part of a larger funding package to help pay for its new Physical Sciences Facility, which will consist of a series of buildings to house an array of PNNL programs.
The federal government has committed $224 million over several years to help pay for the move to make way for cleanup activities at the federal nuclear reservation. That cleanup will include removal of facilities now being used by PNNL.
Earmarks also provided more than $14 million in improvements to McNary Lock and Dam on the Columbia River and Ice Harbor, Lower Granite and Little Goose dams on the lower Snake River.
Other earmarks included $8.3 million for enhancements in the Yakima River Basin, almost $1.2 million for a study related to the declining Odessa Subaquifer and $1 million for efforts to increase reservoir capacity in the Yakima Basin.
Another $1 million was set aside to fund a military training program at the HAMMER training center north of Richland.
There was a $1.6 million earmark to buy munitions from a Moses Lake company for the Army.
Two separate earmarks provided a combined $421,000 for potato research in Prosser and $245,000 was earmarked for the proposed Walter Clore Wine and Culinary Center there.
Separate $686,000 earmarks provided funding to expand Ben Franklin Transit's fleet and support the proposed Hanford Reach Interpretive Center.
One earmark provided $295,000 to upgrade West Richland's water treatment system. Another provided $882,000 to support a rail project at the Big Pasco Industrial Center.
learn more on topics covered in the film
see the video
read the script
learn the songs