Northwest tribes press commission over cleanup at nuclear site
Tribes in Idaho, Oregon and Washington pressed the Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future to ensure the cleanup of the Hanford nuclear waste site in Washington.

The site was built on land ceded by tribes in a treaty. Up until the early to mid 1900s, tribal members lived on the land before it was taken by the federal government as part of the effort o build the atomic bomb.

The Yakama Nation, the Umatilla Tribes, the Nez Perce Tribe and the Wanapum Band maintain connections to the site. The treaty reserved hunting, fishing and gathering rights at Hanford.

"In less than one generation, Hanford has become so contaminated that my people will be living with the contaminated consequences for the next 10,000 years or longer," Stuart Harris, the director of the Department of Science and Engineering for the Umatilla Tribes, told the commission, the Associated Press reported.

President Barack Obama appointed the 15-member commission to review federal nuclear policies, including the storage, transportation and disposal of nuclear waste.

Get the Story:
Tribes: Nuclear waste can't be stored at Hanford (AP 7/14)
Blue Ribbon Commission On Nuclear Waste Tours Hanford (KPLU 7/15)
Blue Ribbon Commission sees Hanford waste (The Tacoma News Tribune 7/15)