WASHINGTON – The House has approved an amendment that maintains funding for the West Valley Demonstration Project, which had been targeted for an $18 million cut in its budget for fiscal year 2014.

The House passed the amendment late Tuesday by voice vote. And while the measure still awaits action by the Senate, the House vote makes it far more likely that the Cattaraugus County waste site will, for the third straight year, avoid a big budget cut thanks to congressional action.

Once again, Rep. Tom Reed, R-Corning, and Rep. Brian Higgins, D-Buffalo, teamed up on the amendment to prevent the budget cut.

“Providing adequate funding for nuclear cleanup is positive news for the health and safety of the local community, the care of the environment, and taxpayers who would otherwise see added costs in future years,” Reed said.

Higgins said, “Cleanup at West Valley isn’t a question of ‘if’ but ‘when’ and delaying what needs to be done only costs more in the long run. If this radioactive waste makes its way into the Great Lakes, the environmental and economic implications would be devastating.”