Office of Environment, Health, Safety & Security

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Our Mission:

The Office of the Associate Under Secretary for the Office of Environment, Health, Safety and Security (AU) is the Department of Energy’s (DOE) central organization with enterprise-level responsibilities for health, safety, environment, and security; providing corporate-level leadership and strategic vision to establish, sustain, coordinate and integrate these vital programs. AU is responsible for policy development and technical assistance; safety analysis; and corporate safety and security programs. The Associate Under Secretary for Environment, Health, Safety and Security advises DOE elements and senior Departmental leadership, including the Under Secretary and Deputy Under Secretary for Management and Performance on all matters related to environment, health, safety and security across the complex.


  • Directs and oversees the management of AU operations including the pursuit of continuous evaluation and improvement of the environmental, health, safety and security posture of DOE. 
  • Promote communication between all stakeholders.
  • Assist Headquarters and Field Elements with interpretation and integration of health, safety, environment, and security policies to support planning operations.
  • Implements the Department of Energy Voluntary Protection Program to encourage excellence in worker safety and health.
  • Serves as advocate for the Department’s health, safety, environmental, and security programs and initiatives, including Integrated Safety Management, Integrated Safeguards and Security Management, Environmental Management Systems, Voluntary Protection Program, and the Federal Technical Capabilities Program.
  • Reports on the status of the Department’s health, safety, environmental, and security programs and the status of Departmental improvement actions to the Deputy Under Secretary for Management and Performance.
  • Serves as the appointing Official for Accident Investigation Boards.
  • As requested by the Secretary, concurs in the final decision to startup, restart, or shutdown facility operations.
  • Serves as the Department’s senior official for strengthening Federal environmental, energy and transportation management in accordance with Executive Order 13423.
  • Promotes open communication between the Department offices that develop and implement health, safety, environmental and security policy and guidance and independent evaluators who examine the performance and effectiveness of those policies within the Department.  Maintains balance and objectivity in recommending policy and performance improvements for the benefit of the Department. 
  • Represents DOE on the Joint Coordinating Committee for Radiation Effects Research (JCCRER), a bilateral Government committee representing agencies from the United States and the Russian Federation.
  • Directs and manages the development of health, safety, environmental, and security rules, policies and implementation guidance.
  • Provides concurrence, approval, and recommendations to the Under Secretary/Deputy Under Secretary for Management and Performance regarding requests for variations or use of alternative methods from safety, health, and environmental requirements, pursuant to the authority contained in DOE regulations and directives (e.g., 10 CFR 830, 10 CFR 835, 10 CFR 850 and 10 CFR 851).
  • Manages the development and implementation of corporate safety quality assurance programs.
  • Manages the DOE Corporate Operating Experience Program to provide systematic identification, collection, screening, analysis, evaluation, and dissemination of performance indicators, lessons learned, and operating experience to prevent adverse events and to expand sharing of lessons learned.
  • Provides an overall assessment and analysis of the security posture of the entire DOE operation.
  • Provides management and oversight protection for the Department’s Executive Protection Program.
  • Serves at the pleasure of the Chair of the Executive Secretariat of the Department’s Special Access Program Oversight Committee (SAPOC), maintaining related directives and guidance, and providing oversight of Headquarters and field implementation.
  • Promotes the assessment, development and integration of advanced security technologies to counter emerging threats and reduce costs.
  • Directs and manages development and promotes deployment of new technologies to improve security.
  • Oversees the functions of the Department’s Chief Medical Officer responsible for the conduct of thorough outreach and research keeping fully abreast of emerging national and international developments in public and occupational medical issues; and serves as subject matter expert for Occupational Medicine to support DOE’s worker safety and health programs; and for Occupational Medicine to support DOE’s nuclear security programs. 
  • Manages the DOE Headquarters security program to protect personnel, facilities, property, classified and controlled unclassified information under normal and abnormal (i.e. emergency) conditions.
  • Oversees the infrastructure of the Office of the Associate Under Secretary for Environment, Health, Safety and Security in the areas of:  (1) Financial Management; (2) Procurement Management; (3) Information Management; (4) Human Resources; (5) Administrative Services; and (6) Strategic and Program Planning. 
  • Provides high-level leadership, oversight, guidance, coordination, advice, and to promote a strong nuclear safety culture. 
  • Establishes collaboration between the DNFSB, DOE Chief of Nuclear Safety, DOE Field Elements, and Program Secretarial Offices including NNSA on matters concerning nuclear safety across the DOE complex.
  • Develops relationships with the national and international nuclear safety community chartered with resolving issues related to the improvement of nuclear safety operations and mission reliability.
  • Responsible for seeking investments in nuclear safety workforce development, specifically in the exploration of expanded Federal, joint labor-management and university-based support for advanced science, technology, engineering, and mathematics training and collaborates with the Office of Independent Enterprise Assessment’s National Training Center and the Federal Technical Capabilities Program to develop the skilled workforce needed to support an effective waste management program as well as a viable domestic nuclear industry.
  • Manages the Employee Concerns Program which encourages the free and open expression of employee concerns and provides DOE federal, contractor, and sub-contractor employees with an independent avenue to raise any concern related, but not limited, to the environment, safety, health, security, quality and management, as well as harassment, intimidation, retaliation, and discrimination (HIRD).
  • Establishes classification program requirements under the Atomic Energy Act and E.O. 13526, Classified National Security Information.  Ensures the Department’s compliance with E.O. 13526 and Title 10 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 1045, Nuclear Classification and Declassification, through on-site classification program evaluations.
  • Serves as the Senior Agency Official for DOE under E.O. 13526, appoints Secret and Confidential Original Classifiers for DOE (not including NNSA), coordinates with NNSA on Secret and Confidential original classification delegations, when necessary and reports delegations of original classification authority to the Information Security Oversight Office.
  • Determines when RD may be transclassified to FRD or TFNI, determines when RD and TFNI may be declassified and, in coordination with the Department of Defense, when FRD may be declassified.
  • Makes the final appeal determination concerning the denial of any RD, FRD, or TFNI contained in a document requested under the Freedom of Information Act or the mandatory declassification review provisions of 10 CFR § 1045.42, coordinating with the NNSA Chief of Defense Nuclear Security for information under NNSA cognizance.
  • Makes the final internal appeal determination concerning the denial of any NSI contained in a document requested under the Freedom of Information Act or the mandatory declassification review provisions of E.O. 13526 for NSI. Ensures that the challenger is informed of his or her right to appeal to the Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel (ISCAP).
  • Makes the final appeal determination concerning any formal classification challenges for RD, FRD, and TFNI.  Makes the final internal appeal determination for any formal classification challenges for NSI and ensures that the challenger is informed of his or her right to appeal to the ISCAP.
  • Serves as the Senior Agency Official under E.O. 13556, Controlled Unclassified Information.
  • Serves as Co-Chair of the Safety Culture Improvement Panel to support continuous improvement in meeting the Department’s safety culture and safety conscious work environment (SCWE) objectives across the complex and to ensure consistent leadership and focus on all aspects of DOE's safety culture initiatives.
  • Serves as Chairman of the Nuclear Safety Coordinating Committee.

Our Focus Areas and Approach:

We accomplish our overall mission in the following focus areas 1:

Environment, Health and Safety Policy and Support:

  • Protecting the health and safety of DOE’s federal and contractor workforce, addressing the health effects legacy of the Nation’s nuclear weapons program, and conducting national and international health studies.
  • Minimizing DOE’s radiological and other environmental footprints and improving DOE’s safety performance through analysis, policy development, and sharing lessons learned.
  • Promoting the safe design, construction and operations of DOE’s facilities, both nuclear and non-nuclear, and providing cross-organizational leadership in resolving related issues.

Security Policy and Support:

  • Establishing effective policies, through a collaborative, enterprise approach, by which the national security assets entrusted to the Department are protected and secured.
  • Furthering DOE’s national security, nonproliferation and open governmental goals through the identification of classified, controlled and unclassified information.
  • Providing specialized security services to DOE Headquarters facilities and securing the work environment for Federal and contractor personnel.

As the Department’s “environment, health, safety and security advocate,” AU supports the Department by identifying the risks in these areas that could jeopardize DOE’s mission2. We work closely with DOE line management who is ultimately responsible for ensuring that the Department’s work is managed and performed in a manner that protects workers and the public as well as the Department’s material and information assets.