The Department of Energy supports the environmental sciences through the Office of Science Biological and Environmental Research (BER) program. BER supports fundamental research in climate change, environmental remediation, genomics, proteomics, radiation biology, and medical sciences. BER supports leading edge research facilities used by public and private sector scientists across the range of BER disciplines. BER works with other federal agencies to coordinate research across all of its programs. BER validates its long-range goals through its advisory committee, the Biological and Environmental Research Advisory Committee (BERAC).
For over 50 years the BER program has been advancing environmental and biomedical knowledge that promotes national security through improved energy production, development, and use; international scientific leadership that underpins our nation’s technological advances; and research that improves the quality of life for all Americans. BER supports these vital national missions through competitive and peer-reviewed research at National Laboratories, universities, and private institutions. In addition, BER develops and delivers the knowledge needed to support the President’s National Energy Plan and provides the science base in support of the Energy Policy Act of 1992.
The Department’s Environmental Management (EM) program provides technical solutions and alternative technologies to assist with the accelerated cleanup of the nuclear weapons complex. Emphasis is on critical, high-payback activities where step improvements in cleanup technologies can be gained, as well as high-risk technologies to be used at closure sites. These technologies will enable cleanup to be accomplished at reduced costs and accelerated schedules, while decreasing worker exposure and reducing overall risk. Activities underway include applied engineering and development, technology demonstrations, cost sharing for technology deployment, multidisciplinary technical analysis, and development of alternative cleanup technologies.