Clean Air, Soil and Water
The quality of the air Americans breathe has improved significantly over the last 20 years, but many challenges remain in protecting public health and the environment. One of the most significant challenges is to reduce airborne pollutants released from the nation’s power plants, especially those fueled by coal. DOE’s Fossil Energy Research & Development program is developing a new array of pollution control technologies and new power generating processes that virtually eliminate the release of air pollutants from fossil fuel power plants.
Often when oil and natural gas are produced, water also flows from the formations. Handling this “produced water” properly is an important aspect of making future oil and gas operations more environmentally acceptable. DOE’s Fossil Energy (FE) program is developing improved methods for managing this “produced water” and other production wastes from oil and gas fields in ways that protect the environment.
The Department’s Office of Environmental Management (EM) program is committed to cleaning up – and keeping clean – the soil and water at and around its former nuclear weapons sites. Whether a small spill or a large disposal area, EM takes actions to protect human health and safety. EM cleans up contaminated soil using a variety of methods and sites are then monitored for years to ensure that no further contamination occurs.
The Office of Health, Safety and Security (HSS) establishes policies, standards and guidance on the safe and environmentally responsible conduct of the Department of Energy mission. This includes DOE policy and standards for radiation protection of the public and the environment, and guidance to foster and facilitate DOE compliance with environmental laws and regulations. HSS serves as a corporate resource in DOE on environmental management systems to prevent pollution and protect air, water, land, and other natural and cultural resources at DOE sites across the Nation.
To help protect our air, the Department of Energy's Clean Cities Program supports public-private partnerships that deploy alternative fuel vehicles and build supporting alternative fuel infrastructure.
Further, the Department of Energy's Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) works to reduce the cost and environmental impact of the Federal government by advancing energy efficiency and water conservation, promoting the use of distributed and renewable energy, and improving utility management decisions at Federal sites.
FEMP provides technical support to Federal facility managers to help identify opportunities for successful water conservation projects.
The Office of Hearings and Appeals considers and resolves appeals relating to Uranium Enrichment Decontamination and Decommissioning, Nuclear Utility Assessments, and Uranium and Thorium Processing Site Remediation.