The Oak Ridge Office of EM works with multiple regulatory agencies that promote safety and environmental quality regionally and nationally. Specifically, our office works with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Together the three agencies comprise the Federal Facility Agreement (FFA) and develop milestones to complete cleanup projects throughout the Oak Ridge Reservation that will remove risks and improve the safety of local residents and workers.
Many of the current compliance-related actions revolve around waste and material disposition. These include National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Environmental Impact Statements and Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) Records of Decision. Readers can learn more about these programs in the provided links.
Public involvement is another core component of our environmental stewardship mission. We realize that our missions and decisions have a significant impact on thousands of local residents. We enjoy a close partnership that derives its strength from years of listening, teamwork, and a unified vision for the region. This knowledge drives us to prioritize risks, plan cleanup strategies, conduct the safest operations possible, and provide transparent communication about our projects.
The Oak Ridge Site Specific Advisory Board hosted the 1999 Department of Energy (DOE) Site-Specific Advisory Board (SSAB) Stewardship Workshop. The Stewardship Workshop was the third in a series of national SSAB workshops to focus on specific issues that affect all DOE sites. 55 SSAB members, representing nine sites, and 75 other participants, including representatives from DOE, numerous state agencies, and other organizations, attended the Oak Ridge workshop.
The goal of the workshop was to:
1. Improve stakeholder understanding of stewardship-related issues and decision making processes.
2. Foster dialog among SSABs about stewardship issues and create opportunities for continuing that dialog.
3. Identify areas of shared concern where DOE should consider additional activities for stewardship planning and implementation.
Organized public involvement in stewardship issues for the Oak Ridge Reservation began with the End Use Working Group, a broad-based stakeholders group formed in 1997 by the Oak Ridge Site Specific Advisory Board. The group was asked by the Department of Energy to study the contaminated areas on the Reservation and to make recommendations about future uses of the land.
During End Use Working Group deliberations, it was apparent that some level of radioactive and chemically hazardous contamination would remain and that a stewardship program would be needed to protect human health and the environment from future risks associated with contamination. Thus, in collaboration with the Stewardship Committee from Friends of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, members of the Local Oversight Committee Citizens’ Advisory Panel, the City of Oak Ridge Regional Planning Commission, and other stakeholders, an End Use Working Group Stewardship Committee was formed.
The product of the End Use Working Group Stewardship Committee, the Oak Ridge Reservation Stakeholder Report on Stewardship, was widely distributed and has influenced stewardship planning at local and national levels. The report presents the attributes and basic elements of a long-term stewardship program; describes the existing and proposed statutory provisions for stewardship and institutional controls; and presents recommendations for a Reservation stewardship program, including stewards, physical and institutional controls, information systems, research, and funding options.
The Oak Ridge Reservation End Use Working Group, a broadly-based voluntary citizens group, was formed in January 1997 to develop and evaluate guidelines and recommendations for future uses of contaminated areas following the Environmental Management program's remediation of the Oak Ridge Reservation. The purposes of this Final Report of the End Use Working Group are to:
- Document the history and purpose of the End Use Working Group
- Outline the process used by the End Use Working Group to make recommendations for end uses of contaminated areas on the Oak Ridge Reservation
- Describe the end use recommendations
- Briefly describe the need for a long-term stewardship program for the Oak Ridge Reservation.