In November, Accuracy in Media released my report regarding a company known as CH2M Hill, an engineering firm that claimed nearly $2 billion in stimulus awards. Most of their work concentrated on one division – the CH2M HILL Plateau Remediation Company (CHPRC) – which operated one of the world’s largest environmental cleanup projects—the Central Plateau on the Hanford Nuclear Site in Richland, Washington.
New information shows that despite their claims, the Energy Department says the company actually received $1.38 billion from the stimulus, but had an additional $3.1 billion in annual budget appropriations. Furthermore, they are receiving $2 million in state tax breaks annually, yet still laid off thousands of workers.
The Blaze reported:
A new investigative report released by Accuracy in Media Wednesday, reveals that CH2M HILL, a Colorado-based consulting, engineering and construction firm, received nearly $2 Billion in stimulus funding despite a history of kickbacks, poor conduct and contaminating their own workers. While they are not in danger of suffering the same bankruptcy plight as Solyndra, CH2M has laid-off thousands of workers since receiving taxpayer stimulus. And like Solyndra, CH2M has donated thousands in campaigns finances to Democrats.
In response to an FOI request for information, the Department of Energy reported that “CHPRC competed for and was awarded a $4.515 B contract on June 19, 2008, to complete select cleanup work at the Hanford Site.” That award form can be seen here:
In a letter dated January 30th, 2012, the DOE explains that “…the $4.5 billion amount is for the total original contract value. The $1.38 billion is the amount of American Recovery and Investment Act (ARRA) funds applied to the contract. The difference between $4.5 billion and $1.38 billion is funded by normal annual budget appropriations (non-ARRA).
So why the discrepancy between the company’s report of $1.9 billion in stimulus funding and the DOE’s claim of $1.38 billion? More importantly, why is a company operating a nuclear cleanup site to the tune of $4.5 billion taking advantage of a $2 million state tax break for research and development?
From a Seattle Times editorial:
HUNDREDS of Washington companies engaged in research and development in technology-related fields pay a reduced business-and-occupation tax. This break was designed to create a healthy R&D climate in our state and spur companies to maturity.
…the Department of Revenue says three companies — Microsoft, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, which is operated by Battelle, and CH2M Hill — get up to a $2 million tax break every year. These companies do impressive work in the Northwest. But these firms do not really need state assistance.
By comparison, titans such as Google and Yahoo! received less than $300,000 in business-and-occupation tax forgiveness annually.
What R&D is a nuclear cleanup firm performing exactly?