Today, the House Natural Resources Committee approved by unanimous consent H.R. 1208, a bipartisan bill introduced by Natural Resources Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-04), Congressman Chuck Fleischmann (TN-03) and Congressman Ben Lujan (NM-03) to establish a Manhattan Project National Historical Park that will include facilities at Hanford, Washington, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and Los Alamos, New Mexico. The Manhattan Project was an unprecedented top-secret program to produce an atomic bomb before Nazi Germany. The action by the Committee makes the bill eligible for consideration by the full House.
"Today the Manhattan Project National Historic Park is one step closer to becoming a reality. This has been a long process and I'm grateful to the community leaders and advocates who have worked tirelessly on its behalf. I'm committed to bringing the bill to the House floor this Congress and working with the Senate to get it signed into law. These facilities have an important, interesting, and historic story to tell and this bill would ensure that their doors remain open to visitors for years to come," said Committee Chairman Hastings.
Under the bill, the Manhattan Project National Historical Park would be established as a unit of the National Park System within one year. The bill specifies the facilities and areas at each of the three locations that are eligible for inclusion in the Park. Nearly all of these facilities and areas are already owned by the federal government and under the purview of the Department of Energy. The legislation requires coordination, planning and cooperation between the 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.
Similar legislation, S. 507 has been introduced in the Senate by Senator Maria Cantwell (WA) with Senators Lamar Alexander (TN), Martin Heinrich (NM), Patty Murray (WA) and Tom Udall (NM) cosponsoring the legislation.