Mullis Hits Ground Running with Intergovernmental Groups

Source: EM Update | Vol. 13, Issue 49; Contributor: Ben Rivera | December 21, 2021

New EM senior leader Jay Mullis shared the cleanup program’s priorities and strategic vision in addressing two key stakeholder groups recently.

Mullis assumed duties on Nov. 1 as acting associate principal deputy assistant secretary for regulatory and policy affairs. The former field manager of the Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management is no stranger to interactions with state regulators and community leaders.

On Nov. 16, Mullis met with regulators from the National Governors Association’s Federal Facilities Task Force. He provided a comprehensive update on EM’s radioactive waste management program, including progress being made on disposition of tank, transuranic and low-level radioactive wastes.

On Nov. 17, Mullis conferred with DOE’s State and Tribal Government Working Group (STGWG). Raymond Martinez, representing the Pueblo de San Ildefonso, of New Mexico, outlined improved communications, natural resource damage assessment and climate resiliency as key areas of interest to tribal nations. Mullis shared EM’s priorities, stating “EM’s mission is more than just tearing buildings down. it’s about meeting our obligations to the most impacted communities.”

The meeting also provided a focused discussion on DOE’s Long-Term Stewardship Working Group and a follow-up discussion on DOE’s Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Plan.

“There were many thought-provoking ideas shared,” said EM Tribal Affairs Program Manager Jill Conrad, adding that many STGWG priorities align with Biden administration goals.

Established in 1989, STGWG includes representatives from states and tribes near DOE sites or facilities. The Federal Facilities Task Force, formed in 1993, brings together governor-designated representatives from states near DOE sites or facilities.