WASHINGTON, DC – The Subcommittee on Environment, chaired by Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL), held a hearing today examining two bills focused on the Department of Energy’s (DOE) cleanup responsibilities.
“DOE’s Office of Environmental Management (EM) faces a significant workload to complete decontamination work at legacy Cold War sites. Since its establishment about 30 years ago, EM has successfully remediated 92 sites, but the most technologically challenging projects remain in process at 17 locations,” said #SubEnvironment Chairman Shimkus.
Congressman Tom Reed (R-NY) gives his testimony to #SubEnvironment.
Congressman Tom Reed (R-NY), and sponsor of H.R. 2389, explained why nuclear cleanup sites need to be at the top of Congress’ priority list, saying, “There are still nuclear sites in the United States that need to be managed and cleaned up. The Western New York Nuclear Service Center in my district is one such site. The Department of Energy estimates that making the investments needed now in nuclear site remediation will save our nation hundreds of millions of dollars in the coming decades.”
Mr. Noah C. Shaw, General Counsel and Secretary, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, told #SubEnvironment that “Congressional reauthorization of the important appropriation for the clean-up of the site is essential to ensuring the least-cost, most efficient process,” stating, “over the last 36 years at West Valley, DOE and NY State have successfully overcome unique technical and legal challenges that could have delayed progress towards the safe and successful completion” of the West Valley Demonstration Project (WVDP).
Mr. Mark Gilbertson, Associate Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Regulatory and Policy Affairs, Office of Environmental Management, U.S. Department of Energy, touted the DOE having “achieved significant progress in its cleanup efforts at the WVDP with the treatment and removal of over 600,000 gallons of radioactive waste from underground tanks, including vitrification of the high-level waste” and stated that “EM is committed to achieving its mission and will continue to apply innovative environmental cleanup strategies to complete its work at West Valley safely, on schedule and within budget.”
Carmelo Melendez, Director, Office of Legacy Management, U.S. Department of Energy, claimed that the “DOE will continue to work closely with Tribal, local, state, and federal officials to ensure the protection of public health, safety, and the environment by moving contaminated materials away from public places. The Department of Energy looks forward to continuing to work with this subcommittee on responsible disposal management of the Nation’s legacy sites.”
The Majority Memorandum, witness testimony, and an archived webcast are available online HERE.