Today in a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing, U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) questioned Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Jennifer Granholm about the radioactive waste found at Jana Elementary and secured her commitment to support his Justice for Jana Elementary Act, gaining a critical endorsement from the DOE ahead of his attempt to pass the legislation next week.
"I've introduced legislation that would direct the Army Corps to clean up the school, that would direct testing of the entire school district, and create, in the Department of Energy, a fund to clean up schools that are contaminated by Manhattan-era project contamination," said Senator Hawley. "Would you support that legislation?"
“I would,” responded Secretary Granholm.
For months, various agencies including DOE have punted responsibility and referred the Senator to other departments for next steps. Watch their full interaction on Jana Elementary School today:
Senator Hawley has consistently advocated on behalf of the students and families of the Hazelwood School District. Most recently, Senator Hawley delivered remarks and attempted to unanimously pass his legislation to clean up Jana Elementary School and test the surrounding buildings in the Hazelwood School District, but it was blocked.
In March, Senator Hawley called out the Biden Administration for its lack of action on the Jana Elementary School cleanup, and pledged to hold all nominees to positions at the DOE until the issue is resolved.
In February, Senator Hawley introduced the Justice for Jana Elementary Act following an Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing where he pushed the DOE for answers on the radioactive waste found at the school.
In January, Senator Hawley and Representative Bush sent a letter to USACE Lieutenant General Scott Spellmon calling for additional radioactive testing of Hazelwood School District's properties.
Last October, Senator Hawley demanded that USACE conduct radioactive testing at Jana Elementary School following reports of contamination, and called on President Biden to declare a federal emergency and make aid available for students and families.