Source: EM Update | Vol. 9, Issue 19; Contributor: Michael Nartker | October 10, 2017
EM’s strong record of achievement in fiscal year (FY) 2017 will provide momentum for continued cleanup success, Roger Jarrell, Senior Advisor to the Energy Secretary for EM, said at a conference here last week.
Speaking at this year’s Energy Technology and Environmental Business Association’s (ETEBA) Business Opportunities Conference, Jarrell highlighted cleanup accomplishments in FY 2017, including:
- Resuming transuranic waste shipments to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant from several cleanup sites, including Idaho, Savannah River (SRS), and Oak Ridge;
- Commissioning and startup of the SRS Salt Waste Processing Facility;
- Progress toward completing portions of the Hanford Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant (WTP) for the Department’s direct feed low-activity waste approach, intended to begin treating Hanford tank waste as soon as 2022;
- Nearing completion of demolition of the Hanford Plutonium Finishing Plant to slab-on-grade;
- Initiating demolition of the Poplar Creek facilities, which are some of the most contaminated facilities remaining at Oak Ridge’s East Tennessee Technology Park; and
- Completing retrieval of approximately 65,000 cubic meters of transuranic waste at the Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project at the Idaho Site.
“It can be cleanup challenges that often get the most attention, but the fact is EM has a proven record of results,” Jarrell said. “We need to continue getting out and sharing the positive accomplishments we are achieving to keep building support and momentum for the EM mission.”
Work is underway at EM headquarters in Washington, D.C. on management initiatives to help streamline decision-making and better foster a sense of urgency in the DOE cleanup program to continue to sustain and build on momentum generated to date, Jarrell said.
“The fact that the cleanup dollars we spend are really taxpayer dollars — earned by hardworking American families — is never far from my mind as we identify opportunities to get the best value possible for every dollar we spend,” he said.
Such initiatives include the 45-day review of the EM program led by Acting EM Assistant Secretary Jim Owendoff and efforts to streamline regulatory requirements. Jarrell noted steps EM has taken to improve procurement practices, such as exploring ways to accelerate procurements, including contract awards; working to reduce the cost of developing proposals; developing more consistency in evaluating past performance in contract bids; and working to ensure meaningful opportunities for small businesses.
“We rely on our contractors — both large firms and small businesses — to perform our mission in a safe and efficient manner so that we continue making steady progress,” Jarrell told the conference’s attendees. “We also rely on you and your companies to help us identify and develop new and innovative solutions to the challenges we face so that we can continuously improve the EM program and continue to serve as good stewards of taxpayer resources.”
“Those who have heard me speak before know I like to say in the end, we in EM have one key stakeholder — the American taxpayer,” he said.
ETEBA is a non-profit trade association representing approximately 170 small, large and mid-sized companies and affiliate members that provide environmental, technology, energy, engineering, construction, and related services to EM and other government and commercial clients.