Originally created 05/04/01

SRS fund cuts imperil cleanup of site, jobs



I urge people on both sides of the political aisle to convince the Bush administration to restore funding to Savannah River Site.

A few years ago the SRS budget was about $2.2 billion. The proposed cuts, following on the heels of all of the other cuts over the last decade, have reduced funding at SRS by more than 50 percent.

The new proposed cuts of $150 million would eliminate another 2,300 positions at SRS. Although the CSRA has withstood massive cuts, this latest may be the straw that breaks our economy.

Although the economic impact is serious, the environmental impact is more ominous. The funds earmarked for cuts are those used for the site's environmental cleanup.

We have metal canisters containing millions of gallons of some of the most deadly substances devised by man. Many of the tanks were built 40 or 50 years ago and are rusting away.

Once they leak, the plutonium and other lethal substances will go into the aquifer and ultimately into our water supply ...

Unless we convert this dangerous liquid sludge into a more stable substance, we could possibly poison the water supply from Augusta to Savannah and Hilton Head. The money being spent at SRS that the Bush administration wants to eliminate is to help prevent this nightmare. Tell that to the Bush administration ...

Chuck R. Pardue, Augusta