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Cleanups at Federal Facilities

Policy on Future Environmental Compliance Agreements

The Secretary of Energy

Washington, DC 20585

April 27, 1989


SUBJECT: Policy on Future Environmental Compliance Agreements

As I have maintained in both internal and external statements, I am firmly committed to environmental compliance and cleanup at all of the Department's facilities. The Department's mission can be fulfilled only if it is carried out safely and in a manner that addresses public health and environmental concerns. As one of my first high priority initiatives, I have appointed Mr. Leo Duffy to head a task force to prepare an integrated 5 year plan to characterize and prioritize all cleanup activities at Department of Energy Sites. This 5 year plan will be completed in August 1989, and it will coordinate and consolidate all Department environmental restoration, corrective actions, and waste management activities into a single, integrated plan of action. I am fully committed to the terms and intent of the President's Fiscal Year 1990 budget and to the congressional review process now occurring. The 5 year plan will be used in part to reaffirm Fiscal Year 1990 programs and provide a baseline for Fiscal Year 1991 and outyear budget requests. It is important to ensure that all environmental compliance agreements are consistent with the 5 year plan and compatible with the priorities established.

I understand that a number of environmental compliance agreements are in various stages of discussion or negotiation with Federal and State agencies. It is mandatory that my staff and I review any proposed agreement before commitment are made and that these draft agreements be closely coordinated with the 5 year plan development. The Office of Environment, Safety, and Health is responsible for the coordination of significant environmental compliance issues and agreements and for oversight of Departmental compliance activities to ensure consistent application of Departmental environmental policy and guidance. Leo Duffy is responsible to ensure that pending and future environmental compliance agreements are consistent with the 5 year plan.

In order to support my commitment to environmental compliance and cleanup while the 5 year plan is being developed and implemented, the following policy guidance will be followed by all Departmental elements:

  • All current draft or pending environmental compliance agreements should immediately be forwarded to the Office of Environment, Safety, and Health for distribution and coordination with Leo Duffy, the Office of General Counsel, and the appropriate program offices at DOE Headquarters.

  • Field Offices may proceed with negotiations on environmental compliance agreements consistent with the commitments that are contained in the Fiscal Year 1989 and 1990 budgets for Department programs. These negotiations should be conducted in accordance with Field Office prepared negotiating strategies that are preapproved by the appropriate Headquarters offices.

  • Proposed agreements may contain commitments to activities in Fiscal Years 1989 and1990, provided that they are consistent with budgets that have been endorsed by the Administration.

  • Activities that require funding beyond Fiscal Year 1990 may not be discussed in definitive dollar form during negotiations unless first discussed with Mr. Duffy, as head of the team developing the 5 year plan.

  • Environmental compliance agreements with commitments beyond 1990 must be consistent and compatible with the overall Department of Energy program and priorities to be established in the 5 year plan. These agreements must be approved by the Secretary prior to their submittal to State or Environmental Protection Agency officials for their final approval.

All affected Federal and State agencies will be reassured by Department of Energy Headquarters in the near future that the Department remains committed to an environmental compliance program that is conducted in a systematic fashion for the entire Department, in cooperation with Congress, other Federal agencies, and State officials. Adherence to this policy on future environmental compliance agreements is essential to the establishment of a framework that will allow the Department most effectively to address its environmental concerns in the Nation's best interest.

James D. Watkins

Admiral, U.S. Navy (Retired)