THE ROLE OF LAND USE IN ENVIRONMENTAL DECISION MAKING AT THREE DOE MEGA-CLEANUP SITES FERNALD & ROCKY FLATS & MOUND
Description: This paper explores the role that future land use decisions have played in the establishment of cost-effective cleanup objectives and the setting of environmental media cleanup levels for the three major U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) sites for which cleanup has now been successfully completed: the Rocky Flats, Mound, and Fernald Closure Sites. At each site, there are distinct consensus-building histories throughout the following four phases: (1) the facility shut-down and site investigation phase, which took place at the completion of their Cold War nuclear-material production missions; (2) the decision-making phase, whereby stakeholder and regulatory-agency consensus was achieved for the future land-use-based environmental decisions confronting the sites; (3) the remedy selection phase, whereby appropriate remedial actions were identified to achieve the future land-use-based decisions; and (4) the implementation phase, whereby the selected remedial actions for these high-profile sites were implemented and successfully closed out. At each of the three projects, there were strained relationships and distrust between the local community and the DOE as a result of site contamination and potential health effects to the workers and local residents. To engage citizens and interested stakeholder groups - particularly in the role of final land use in the decision-making process, the site management teams at each respective site developed new public-participation strategies to open stakeholder communication channels with site leadership, technical staff, and the regulatory agencies. This action proved invaluable to the success of the projects and reaching consensus on appropriate levels of cleanup. With the implementation of the cleanup remedies now complete, each of the three DOE sites have become models for future environmental-remediation projects and associated decision making.
Date: January 14, 2011
Creator: MA, JEWETT
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