Jurgen Hess appointed to Hanford Board

Jurgen Hess

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has appointed Hood River resident Jurgen Hess to the Oregon Hanford Cleanup Board.

The board most recently met Monday and Tuesday in Mosier.

The Cleanup Board is a 20-member advisory group that includes 10 citizen members, six state legislators, and representatives from the Governor’s Office, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, and two state agencies.

The board gives input to the U.S. Department of Energy (USDOE) and its regulators on the Hanford cleanup.

Hess, who worked for the U.S. Forest Service for 32 years, has lived in Hood River for 31 years and been active in the local community. He has provided comments at Hanford meetings over the years.

“I have had an interest in the Hanford cleanup since moving to Hood River,” he said.

“The goal should be to leave the land, waters, plants and the entire Hanford environment as clean as possible with the technology we have today. It is unconscionable that timelines keep getting extended and budgets reduced.”

Hess has previously served on the Columbia River Gorge Commission and was chair of the City of Hood River Planning Commission.

He is an award-winning photographer and teaches photography classes in the Hood River community.

He and his wife, Susan, publish the Enviorgorge.com online magazine.

For more than 40 years, the federal government produced plutonium for America's nuclear weapons program at the Hanford nuclear site in southeast Washington, near Pasco. Hanford’s plutonium production process created large amounts of radioactive and chemically hazardous waste.

Since plutonium production ended in 1989, the focus at Hanford has shifted to waste cleanup.

Oregon’s Hanford Cleanup Board meets at locations throughout the state, mainly in communities along the Columbia River. Its meetings are open to the public.

This week’s board meetings took place at Mosier Senior Center, 500 E. Second St.

An agenda is posted at www.oregon.gov/energy/facilities-safety/safety/Pages/OHCB-Meetings.aspx.

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