The purpose of this Long-Term Stewardship (LTS) Resource Center is to provide a central location to share information on the coordinated efforts from multiple federal agencies conducting both cleanup and stewardship activities. This resource center will help promote a greater level of consistency, effectiveness and public health and environmental protection at contaminated properties associated with federal government activities throughout the country and should help foster a smooth transition from remediation to post-remediation activities.
During World War II and the Cold War, the federal government developed the “nuclear weapons complex,” a vast network of industrial facilities for the research, production, and testing of nuclear weapons and nuclear devices. The production and testing of nuclear weapons and energy research activities left a legacy of radioactive and chemical waste, contamination, and hazardous facilities and materials.
Long-Term Stewardship (LTS) issues impact nearly every state since many federal cleanup sites throughout the United States will have residual contamination that does not allow for unrestricted use. Over 600 federally and privately-owned sites played a critical role in America’s nuclear history.
LTS includes the physical controls, institutions, information, and other mechanisms needed to ensure protection of people and the environment at sites or portions of sites where DOE has completed or plans to complete cleanup, such as landfill closures, remedial actions, corrective actions, removal actions, and facility stabilization, and where legacy contamination will remain hazardous.
Procedures for LTS include a combination of land-use controls, monitoring and maintenance, and information management practices. Many of these controls are required as part of the decision process established by various laws, such as the Nuclear Waste Policy Act; the Atomic Energy Act; the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA); the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA); and cultural resource management statutes. In other cases, there are no specific statutory requirements and DOE has decided to use institutional controls to bolster the integrity of engineered remedies or to supplement active remediation, pollution control, public, physical security and resource protection.