A U.S. Senator announced new legislation to help Hanford workers exposed to toxins; progress on computer chip safety

TRI-CITIES, Wash. — U.S. Sen. Patty Murray announced new legislation to benefit Hanford workers and discussed the benefits of the CHIPS and Science Act Wednesday.

About 20 Hanford workers joined the roundtable with Sen. Murray at the UA 598 Local Plumbers and Steamfitters in Pasco. She said the new legislation expands federal benefits for Hanford workers exposed to beryllium.

A Hanford Building Trades Craft Safety Rep., Tina Clouston, said she’s worked at Hanford for about 20 years. She said she worries about her health.

“I hope someday to get to retirement and ride off into the sunset and I hope that I have my health when I get to do that,” said Clouston.

Clouston said she hopes Sen. Murray’s new legislation will protect future Hanford workers.

“I hope to never get a phone call that the next generation is having to face the same kind of struggles that we’ve had to face with the health crisis,” said Clouston.

Sen. Murray secured more than 2.5 billion dollars for the Hanford site cleanup. She said she wants to make Hanford a safe place to work to attract more workers.

Sen. Murray discussed her progress with the CHIPS and Science Act at the TRIDEC Headquarters in Kennewick. She said she’s excited that Micron, an Idaho-based chips manufacturer, invested 15 million dollars into research at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland.

Washington state ranks in the top ten states in semiconductor manufacturing, said Sen. Murray. She said she’s excited to keep the Tri-Cities a model for ground-breaking technology we all use.

“It’s going to bring down costs on everything from appliances to cars, to medical equipment, actually anything that requires a chip which is a lot in our lives,” said Sen. Murray.

The CHIPS and Science Act will fund research data to ensure chip protection and personal security.

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