May 22, 2014
The House of Representatives today approved the National Defense Authorization Act of 2015, which included a bipartisan provision sponsored by Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-04) to establish a Manhattan Project National Historical Park. The Manhattan Project was an unprecedented top-secret program to construct a nuclear weapon that ultimately played an integral part in ending World War II. Hastings’ amendment would protect and provide public access to Manhattan Project facilities at Hanford, Washington; Oak Ridge, Tennessee; and Los Alamos, New Mexico.
“This is a positive step towards establishing the Manhattan Project National Historical Park. There is strong, bipartisan support for this measure and it enjoys broad support from local communities and national advocates for historic preservation and parks. The goal is to enact this into law before the end of this year and today’s action demonstrates real progress towards achieving it,” said Chairman Hastings.
The provision authorizes the establishment of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park as a unit of the National Park System within one year. It specifies the facilities and areas at each of the three locations that are eligible for inclusion in the Park. Nearly every facility and area is already owned by the federal government and under the authority of the Department of Energy. The provision requires coordination, planning, and cooperation between the National Park Service and the Department of Energy to ensure safe and secure access to these locations.
The establishment of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park is supported by the Department of the Interior, Department of Energy, and the National Park Service.
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