The Office of Environmental Management (EM) was established to mitigate risks and hazards posed by the legacy of nuclear weapons production and research. The most ambitious and far ranging of these missions is dealing with the environmental impacts of the Cold War. EM operational requirements are unique and include the packaging and transportation of large quantities of contaminated wastes and soil, and a vast number of contaminated structures during remediation of contaminated sites. The Department of Energy (DOE) completed more than 7,700 off-site hazardous material shipments over public roads totaling more than 2.6 million miles in fiscal year (FY) 2017 with no Department of Transportation recordable packaging and transportation accidents. Of that, EM completed approximately 5,700 (about 74% of DOE’s total) radioactive, hazardous material and waste shipments totaling approximately 1.8 million miles.
The mission of the DOE Office of Packaging and Transportation (OPT), positioned within EM, is to protect the public and the environment by ensuring safe, compliant and efficient packaging and transportation of materials critical to successful DOE operations. OPT achieves this mission by conducting packaging and transportation assessments and oversight; assisting field sites; and developing, managing and advocating policies, orders, guidance and tools in accordance with DOE requirements and government regulations.
OPT provides centralized support, expertise and efficiency that cannot be provided through a site-by-site approach. This report serves to communicate accomplishments of the program and activities that OPT continues to champion while providing support for the DOE complex.
Major OPT accomplishments in FY 2017 include:
- Transporting hazardous materials more than 2.6 million miles with no Department of Transportation recordable packaging or transportation accidents.
- Completing 51 packaging certification actions related to review and approval of new transportation packages, amendments, renewals, special approvals, and terminations.
- Completing 7 Motor Carrier Evaluation Program evaluations on motor carriers involved in transporting the Department’s hazardous and radioactive materials.
- Providing 117 Transportation Emergency Preparedness Program courses in 17 States to train more than 1,960 first responders. These sessions were planned and presented in partnership with State and tribal instructors, emergency responders, as well as with instructors from the DOE Radiological Assistance Program and the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant.
- Hosting the 2017 Annual Meeting of the National Transportation Stakeholders Forum in partnership with the Council of State Governments – Northeast Regional Conference and the Tribal Radioactive Materials Transportation Committee in Pittsburgh, PA.