AIKEN, S.C. (SCRN/AP/WVOC) - A contractor cleaning up a former nuclear weapons complex in South Carolina says it will lay off hundreds of employees by the end of the month because of federal budget cuts.
A letter sent Thursday to 465 workers with Savannah River Remediation says September 27th will be their last day of employment at the Savannah River Site near Aiken.
Spokesman Dean Campbell said the layoffs are coming because the U.S. Department of Energy, which runs the site, is trimming the company's budget.
“The involuntary separations we're experiencing are going to be across the board, every level in virtually almost every department,” Campbell says.
He says the affected workers will receive severance packages.
Meanwhile, the director of South Carolina's environmental control agency calls the waste stored in the site's degrading tanks the state's single largest environmental threat.
Catherine Templeton has warned the Energy Department the state will fully enforce its agreements on clean-up milestones she believes are threatened by federal budget proposals.
Those include $154-million in fines if a waste processing facility doesn't open in 2015.