Since the early days of weapons production, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has generated, stored and disposed of various types of radioactive wastes. DOE's complex-wide capabilities for radioactive waste treatment, storage, and disposal often require sharing resources. Sites must cooperate and consider both the availability of resources and the life-cycle costs associated with the use of commercial versus DOE resources. The Office of Environmental Management (EM) maintains the Department's waste management policies, assures the availability of these corporate resources, seeks efficiencies in operations, develops solutions to unique circumstances, provides a complex-wide perspective, and addresses regulatory and policy issues.
The Low Level Waste Disposal Facility Federal Review Group (LFRG) was established to develop and implement a review process for low-level waste (LLW) disposal facility Performance Assessments and Composite Analyses. The LFRG was chartered to provide EM the information necessary to determine that LLW disposal facilities are designed, constructed, operated, maintained, and closed in a manner that protects the public and environment.
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. HHS 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.
In addition, the Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) resolves payment disputes between DOE and counties or states that arise under the Payments-Equal-to-Taxes provisions (PETT) of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act. PETT entitles a county or state containing a candidate high-level nuclear waste repository site to receive payments representing the amount it would receive if it were authorized to tax DOE activities at the site.