RICHLAND, Wash. (AP) – The United States Secretary of Energy has notified Congress of a leadership change after consolidating manager roles at two Department of Energy offices in Washington state.

The Tri-City Herald reported Tuesday that the change means there would be just one manager responsible for both Hanford offices for the first time in 20 years.

Secretary of Energy Rick Perry announced that Brian Vance is expected to lead both the Richland Operations Office and the Office of River Protection.

Department officials say Vance was serving as acting leader of both offices during an eight-month trial run and it has proven to be effective.

Perry says joint leadership would keep the two site offices separate as required by law for budget preparation, contracting and financial management, but ensure more coordination and communication.

Information from: The Bellingham Herald,

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