The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Legacy Management (LM), in partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), unveiled a historical display on the Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program (FUSRAP) today.
The display, titled "FUSRAP: A Legacy of Service," is a free-standing, interpretive exhibit that communicates the history of FUSRAP and the program’s significance. The historical display was collaboratively developed by LM and USACE’s FUSRAP teams. The exhibit is intended to be used during conferences, meetings, events and by request in FUSRAP communities. The exhibit is accompanied by an interactive virtual display that allows the public to click through images and text.
The in-person event took place at DOE headquarters in the James V. Forrestal Building in Washington, D.C., and included speakers from LM and USACE, including LM Director Carmelo Melendez, LM Deputy Director Peter O’Konski, LM FUSRAP Site Manager Darina Castillo, and USACE Environmental Division Chief Lara Beasley.
“In fall 2019, when we began work on this historic display, our vision was to tell the fascinating story of not just LM’s and USACE’s legacy of service, but also of the legacy of service of 55 different communities throughout our nation,” Castillo said during the event. “COVID-19 postponed this moment, but now we come together to showcase the FUSRAP program, our partnership with USACE, and our 25th year of working together.”
A predecessor agency to DOE, the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission established FUSRAP in 1974 to identify, investigate, and clean up or control sites across the United States that were contaminated during World War II and the Cold War. USACE joined the program 25 years ago, when Congress transferred administration and execution of FUSRAP cleanups from the DOE to USACE in October 1997.
In 2003, DOE assigned FUSRAP to the newly established LM office to fulfill the Department’s post-closure responsibilities and ensure the future protection of human health and the environment. Today under FUSRAP, USACE performs active remediation of sites before transferring them to LM for long-term stewardship.
“The FUSRAP historic display shows the timeline and evolution of the FUSRAP program, beginning with ‘The Race for the Bomb,’ the U.S. government’s compelling call to action with the creation of the Manhattan Engineering District, most commonly referred to as the Manhattan Project,” Castillo said. “Our hope is that the FUSRAP historic display exhibit communicates FUSRAP history and significance in these communities across the nation.”
LM’s long-term stewardship of FUSRAP sites includes site-records management and response to stakeholder inquiries, with many sites being released for unrestricted use and ownership transferred to private owners or public entities for beneficial reuse.
“The many complete FUSRAP sites now utilized by their surrounding communities serve as powerful testaments to USACE and LM’s commitment to restoring and benefitting communities who served their country during the Manhattan Engineering District and Atomic Energy Commission eras,” Melendez said. “We look forward to continuing our productive relationship with USACE and working together to close out the final chapter of the Manhattan Project and AEC legacy story and provide FUSRAP communities with blank slates on which to write new stories of beneficial reuse.”
For more information on the historical display and an interactive version, visit: /lm/fusrap-historical-display.