Officials defend plans to move some Hanford workers

RICHLAND, Wash. (AP) - Plans to move about 350 Department of Energy and other employees out of the Richland Federal Building are not intended to save federal dollars.

The Energy Department says the move is intended to improve communications among workers at two Hanford agencies.

Other news outlets report an anonymous letter criticizing the change was sent to Tri-City officials, Washington's congressional delegation and the media. The letter questions the move's cost and logic.

The plan is to move most Hanford DOE employees into three nearby buildings in the same north Richland office complex.

For almost 51 years, the Richland Operations Office has directed Hanford work from the Federal Building.

But a second DOE office, the Office of River Protection, was created in 1998, and its workers have been based in north Richland.

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