EM Acting Assistant Secretary William "Ike" White outlined EM successes from this year and shared his vision for the future of the cleanup program during an address last week to the Energy Communities Alliance (ECA), the organization of local government officials from communities around the DOE complex.

White noted that land has been transferred to the City of Oak Ridge and the Community Reuse Organization of East Tennessee for reuse following the successful completion of the East Tennessee Technology Park cleanup at Oak Ridge last year. The effort transformed a former enrichment complex that presented a liability to the community into a marketable asset that is attracting new businesses and economic development.

With operations underway at the Salt Waste Processing Facility at the Savannah River Site (SRS), EM is treating record-setting amounts of waste and dispositioning more decontaminated salt solution at the site, White said.

Other EM priorities for this year have been completed or are well underway, White said, including the pending demolition of the final DOE-owned building at the Energy Technology Engineering Center site in Ventura County, California; and the completion ahead of schedule and under budget of Saltstone Disposal Unit 7 at SRS, a mega-volume disposal unit that can hold up to 33 million gallons of decontaminated salt solution.

White noted that Secretary Granholm has been clear that the EM mission is about more than tearing down buildings and managing waste.

“It’s about keeping our promises to the American people and helping communities that have shouldered the burden of our safety achieve a vibrant and sustainable future,” he said.

ECA Chair Ron Woody, county executive of Roane County, Tennessee, introduced White during the virtual meeting.

“Ike provides leadership for the safe cleanup of the environmental issues at our sites and in our communities,” Woody said. “The program is now a $7 billion-plus program with thousands of workers across the country and in our communities, and we appreciate him prioritizing local government partnerships and interaction.”

White told the ECA members that EM would like their feedback on a draft Strategic Vision being formed for 2022-2032. The Strategic Vision is a blueprint to the program’s anticipated accomplishments over the next decade that will protect the public and environment.

“I want to express my appreciation for your continued dedication to the EM mission, particularly during these challenging times,” White said to the ECA members.

ECA is the only non-profit membership organization of local governments adjacent to or impacted by DOE activities. ECA brings together local government officials to share information, establish policy positions, and promote community interests to address their constituents needs.