It's no secret our president doesn't give a damn about the environment.

Whether it is impeding on millions of acres of sage grouse habitat to expand drilling for oil companies on the Great Plains, pulling out of the Paris Climate Accord or promoting the use of fossil fuels at one of the world's largest climate conferences, Donald Trump and his administration have proved it time and time again.

But one of the Trump administration's most recent plans could significantly impact the environment close to home - reclassifying radioactive waste left from the production of nuclear weapons at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation on the Columbia River.

In hopes to save $40 billion in cleanup efforts, the Trump administration and the Department of Energy want to lower the classification of the radioactive waste that rests at Hanford, the Savannah River Plant in South Carolina and the Idaho National Laboratory.

The administration and energy department's plan to "reclassify," or rename, and simply downplay the problem, is no solution.

Hanford is serious business, and with the Pacific Northwest's largest river rolling nearby, a thorough cleanup needs to happen, and a quick job to save money is not worth the risk.

Hanford was established in 1943 as part of the Manhattan Project to make plutonium, a key ingredient in the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan.

According to The Associated Press, 177 aging underground tanks hold some 56 million gallons of radioactive and hazardous chemical waste waiting to be treated and disposed of by the Washington Department of Ecology.

After several leaks were detected on the inner shell of a double-shell tank, the DOE is currently working to put the waste in 149 single-shell tanks into new double-shell tanks.

According to the Tri-City Herald, just this summer, tank contractor Washington River Protection Solutions compared the chemistry of the waste in the leaky tank to the other double-shell tanks and found a "very high risk" for corrosion and later leaks in several tanks.

From our view here, Hanford - the nation's most contaminated nuclear site - seems to be struggling to not contaminate the environment with some of the nation's worst radioactive waste.

Saving money should be the last thing on the federal government's mind while cleaning up the mess.

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