Source: EM Update | Newsletter, Vol. 9 Issue 4 | February 28, 2017

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Acting EM Assistant Secretary Sue Cange discusses EM’s ongoing cleanup priorities at a meeting hosted by the Energy Communities Alliance in Washington, D.C. on Feb. 23. Roane County, Tenn. County Executive Ron Woody, right, introduced Cange.

Acting EM Assistant Secretary Sue Cange emphasized the role and value of local communities in the DOE cleanup mission in remarks to the Energy Communities Alliance (ECA) on Feb. 23.

“The local communities near our sites can be some of our most passionate and driven advocates that we have for our mission,” Cange said. “That’s because you understand the EM mission — why we do what we do — because your communities have been home to our nation’s defense nuclear weapons production programs and government-sponsored nuclear energy research in some cases for over 70 years.”

“You understand the extraordinary value of our site workers because your communities are where they live and where their children go to school,” Cange told representatives from local communities near a variety of EM sites. “You understand that cleanup not only reduces risks, but also drives significant jobs and positive opportunities because you witness it in your hometowns every day.”

Cange highlighted how EM’s partnerships with local communities and other stakeholders helped achieve success across the DOE cleanup program in 2016, including completing the demolition of the former uranium enrichment process buildings at Oak Ridge’s East Tennessee Technology Park.

 When I was the field manager at Oak Ridge, we were successful because of strong partnerships across the board — with the Oak Ridge community, as well as our elected officials and other important advocacy groups. In addition, we had meaningful partnerships with our contractors and our regulators. The importance of growing strong partnerships is a principle that I’ve brought with me to Washington, D.C.,” she said.

“EM is committed to partnering with communities and other stakeholders on aggressive, achievable cleanup plans that recognize both the difficult technical challenges and budget realities, while making substantial progress on shared goals,” Cange said, including the planned completion of demolition of the Hanford Site’s Plutonium Finishing Plant to slab-on-grade; continued commissioning and startup activities at the Savannah River Site’s Salt Waste Processing Facility; and deactivation and decommissioning activities at the West Valley Demonstration Project.

“Cleanup progress translates to safer, cleaner sites and new opportunities in communities like yours,” Cange told ECA representatives. “I know that you are counting on the entire EM team, and I want to assure you that we are committed to our mission and are working hard to be ready to face the next slate of challenges.”