Today, Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) and Ranking Member Frank Lucas (R-OK) sent a letter to Government Accountability Office (GAO) Comptroller Gene Dodaro requesting an evaluation of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Environmental Management (EM) science and technology (S&T) development priorities that would aid in efficiently and expeditiously implementing its cleanup mission. DOE’s EM is responsible for most of the Department’s cleanup activities of hazardous and radioactive waste from energy research and nuclear weapons production dating back to the Manhattan Project. Site cleanups have in many cases been carried out for decades longer than initially expected. The 2017 National Defense Authorization Act included language instructing the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to conduct a review of EM’s S&T development.

“The National Academies found that while S&T can increase the efficiency and reduce future costs of clean up, this has been a diminishing priority for EM,” said Chairwoman Johnson and Ranking Member Lucas in the letter. “However, substantial research from the National Academies, the Consortium for Risk Evaluation with Stakeholder Participation, and other advisory bodies has identified the importance of ongoing development of new technologies for EM’s cleanup mission.”

A copy of the full letter can be found here.