ECOS Requests Stronger FY14 Congressional Budget for DOE’s Nuclear Cleanup Work
On Aug. 6, 2013, ECOS sent a letter urging Congress to provide a stronger Fiscal Year 2014 budget for cleanup of the nuclear weapons complex. The letter requests a fully funded budget to allow the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to remediate these sites on schedule per legally binding state-federal cleanup agreements. The letter also expresses alarm over the negative impacts to the cleanup program borne as a result of sequestration and other recent budget cuts, including worry that state oversight workers may face layoffs and will have a diminished ability to provide quality assurance of ongoing cleanups. The letter also requests better and more timely opportunities be provided for states to consult with DOE regarding the possible implications of any future budget cuts so that cleanup priorities can be jointly determined as circumstances change over time and unanticipated environmental and public health concerns emerge.
ECOS and the Quicksilver Caucus Urge Dept of Energy to Request Funds to Establish a Storage Facility for Elemental Mercury
On May 8, 2012, the Quicksilver Caucus sent a letter to Dr. Steven Chu, Secretary of Energy, urging his agency to request the congressional funding needed to finalize the process for establishing a storage facility for elemental mercury- pursuant to the Mercury Export Ban Act of 2008.
David Martin of New Mexico Appointed Chair of the ECOS Federal Facilities Forum
On March 21, 2012, ECOS President Tom Burack (New Hampshire) announced his appointment of David Martin (New Mexico) as Chair of the ECOS Federal Facilities Forum, effective immediately. David succeeds Colleen Cripps (Nevada) who previously served as Federal Facilities Chair until being appointed Chair of the ECOS Water Committee the day before (on March 20). David is the Cabinet Secretary of the New Mexico Environment Department.
Materials Available from 2012 ECOS Spring Meeting in Austin, Texas
AGENDA for the Federal Facilities Forum in Austin
NOTES from Federal Facilities Forum in Austin
PRESENTATION from Alice Williams of DOE
NGA Passes New Policy on Natural Resources
On Feb. 27, 2012, the National Governors Association passed a new policy on natural resources (NR-03i). In the policy, the Governors oppose the assertion of sovereign immunity by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers regarding Formerly Used Defense Sites (see Section 3.5.1).
ECOS Thanks the Dept of Energy for Engaging in Stakeholder Meeting
On Feb. 21, 2012, ECOS joined several other associations in sending a thank-you letter to U.S. Department of Energy Senior Advisor for Environmental Management, David Huizenga. The letter expresses appeciation for DOE's engagement with ECOS and other stakeholder groups at a meeting held Dec. 14- 16, 2011 in New Orleans.
ECOS Members Attend Intergovernmental Meeting with DOE
ECOS and ITRC sent a contingent of 7 state environmental officials to attend the 2011 Intergovernmental Meeting with the U.S. Department of Energy held Dec. 14- 16 in New Orleans. The contingent included representatives from CO, KY, NV, OH, TN & WA. Additional state environmental officials attended the meeting under the auspices of the National Governor's Association and the National Conference of State Legislatures, including representatives of ID, MO & NM. A total of 19 state environmental officials attended the meeting, including 2 agency directors and 1 deputy director. Meeting sessions focused primarily on issues related to cleanup of the nuclear weapons complex.
Materials Available from 2011 ECOS Annual Meeting at Indianapolis, Indiana
AGENDA for the Federal Facilities Forum at Indianapolis
NOTES from Federal Facilities Forum at Indianapolis
PARTICIPANT LIST from Federal Facilities Forum at Indianapolis
PRESENTATION from Bill Levitan of DOE
Dept of Defense Issues New DERP Goals
On July 22, 2011, the U.S. Department of Defense sent a letter to ECOS in order to share its new goals for the Defense Environmental Restoration Program (DERP).
Pentagon Thanks ECOS for Support of FUDS Program
On July 18, 2011, ECOS received a letter from Maureen Sullivan, Director for Environmental Management with the U.S. Department of Defense. The letter expresses gratitude for ECOS' support of the Formerly Used Defense Sites (FUDS) cleanup program, and for defending the program against cuts proposed for its fiscal year 2012 budget.
ECOS Urges Congress to Fully Fund FY 2012 Budget for DOE Nuclear Cleanup Work
On May 17, 2011, ECOS sent a letter urging Congress to fully fund DOE's budget request of $6.13 B for fiscal year 2012 to support the agency's nuclear cleanup work. The letter refers to ECOS Resolution #10-3 that urges Congress to "appropriate the levels of funding necessary to ensure EM (Environmental Management) annual budgets are fully funded and fully compliant"’noting that "stable funding leads to greater efficiencies in cleanup cost and schedule." Click here to see a copy of the letter.
ECOS Successfully Tours the Nevada National Security Site
Twenty-four (24) state officials toured the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS) on April 12, 2011 as part of a two-day event organized by ECOS. The highlight of the trip was when members had the opportunity to view the Area 5 Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Cell. Participants from CO, ID, KY, MO, NV, OH, SC, TN and WA attended the tour. A copy of the information packet distributed by DOE during the tour may viewed in the following 3 files:
NNSS Handout 1 of 3
NNSS Handout 2 of 3
NNSS Handout 3 of 3
On April 13, participants attended a working breakfast of the ECOS Federal Facilities Forum to discuss cleanup of the nuclear weapons complex. Later that day, ECOS hosted a luncheon with guest speaker Ms. Shirley Olinger (Associate Principle Deputy for Corporate Operations, DOE-EM). A copy of Ms. Olinger's presentation to ECOS may be viewed here. Notes from these meetings are available to state environmental officials by request-- contact staffer Matt Jones (firstname.lastname@example.org) to receive a copy.
ECOS Visits DOE Headquarters in Washington DC
On March 30, 2011, fourteen officials from seven states visited U.S. Department of Energy headquarters in Washington, DC. Participants met with Frank Marcinowski (Deputy Assistant Secretary for Technical and Regulatory Support for DOE-EM) and other DOE and NNSA officials to discuss cleanup of the nuclear weapons complex and related issues. Officials from the following states participated: CO, IL, OH, TN, UT,’WA and WY (see participant list here). Many of the participants were top ECOS members (agency directors or deputy directors).
Materials Available from 2011 ECOS Spring Meeting in Alexandria VA
AGENDA for Federal Facilities Forum 28 March 2011
NOTES from the Federal Facilities Forum 28 March 2011
PRESENTATION by Roger Petrie, Tennessee
PRESENTATION by Maureen Sullivan, Dept of Defense
PRESENTATION by William Levitan, Dept of Energy
ECOS Webinar Held on Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA)
Archive Video Available for Viewing
The ECOS Federal Facilities Forum (FFF) held a webinar on Oct. 21 to discuss the Sept. 2010 ECOS Green Report, State Experiences with Natural Resource Damage Assessment [NRDA] at Nuclear Weapons Complex Sites.
Those who missed the webinar may watch a video of the event by clicking this link here. A copy of the program agenda is here.
The webinar focused primarily on NRDA at nuclear weapon sites, but other sites contaminated with hazardous substances were also discussed. A slideshow was presented by ECOS staff and consultants on the Green Report and its outline of the NRDA regulatory framework.
Slideshows were also presented by Carl Spreng (CO), Amy Bush (MO), Tom Schneider (OH),Debbie Duren (TN), Rachel Jacobson (US Interior Dept) and Larry Zaragoza (US EPA). Larry Goldstein (WA) and Matthew Duchesne (US Energy Dept) spoke to participants as well.
Given the patchwork of state and federal laws that control NRDA, the webinar provided an opportunity for members to share insights on the assessment process and lessons learned from experience. For some sites, it was revealed that assessments have already been undertaken, and restoration and compensation activities have occurred. For other sites, negotiations are ongoing or have not yet been initiated.