EM’s Moab Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action project safely moves residual radioactive material away from the Colorado River to a disposal cell near Crescent Junction, Utah.

The Office of Environmental Management (EM) sites are regulated by federal environmental regulations, including the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA or Superfund), Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, and state and local regulations. The regulations are implemented through 72 individual compliance agreements, consent decrees, and other forms of legal oversight arrangements, which contain enforceable milestones, of which the department has limited authority to modify. In addition, each site has been required to acquire permits for conducting work, such as RCRA permits for the management of hazardous waste or cleanup plans under CERCLA. Once these permits and regulatory agreements have been issued, modification of milestones requires extensive technical negotiation with the regulators and/or legal decisions. The department entered into many of these legal agreements in the early 1990s and while the milestones were designed to be updated on a regular basis to make them current, the environmental regulators often impose fines and penalties prior to renegotiating the agreement milestones.

EM remains committed and has demonstrated capabilities in protection of human health and safety through a strong nuclear safety protection program. However, while the department has authority over its nuclear safety and radioactive waste management program, it has limited decision making over its environmental protection program. 

A Liquid Effluent Retention Facility basin at the Hanford site.

Additional Information

Additional Information

Regulatory Compliance – National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
During the early stages of the planning process for a proposed action, the DOE considers National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) compliance.
Low-Level Waste Disposal Facility Federal Review Group (LFRG)
LFRG is an independent group within EM that ensures, through review, that DOE radioactive waste disposal facilities are protective of the public.