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Department of Energy Announces Next Steps for Asset Revitalization Initiative

September 16, 2011 - 11:49am

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WASHINGTON, DC - The Department of Energy today announced next steps under the Asset Revitalization Initiative, a Department-wide initiative to examine ways to work with local communities to support the reuse of DOE resources at former Cold War weapons sites around the country.  These steps build on the recommendations from the Task Force on Asset Revitalization, which was convened by Secretary Chu in February 2011, and will facilitate local efforts to support beneficial reuse options at DOE sites,   including reindustrialization, manufacturing, clean energy development, nature preserves, and educational centers.

As part of the path forward for the Department, Under Secretary for Nuclear Security Thomas D’Agostino will convene a Phase II of the Asset Revitalization Taskforce.  Under Phase II, representatives from across DOE will continue to work together to support the review, coordination and acceleration of asset revitalization and beneficial reuse efforts for former DOE assets.

“By bringing together experts with experience in asset revitalization from across the Department, we’ve been able to share best practices and lessons learned in a way that helps us complete our mission for the American people,” said Under Secretary D’Agostino. “I fully expect the benefits of this cross-cutting initiative to continue during Phase II of this important task force.  I look forward to working closely with the group to advance these recommendations and support local community reuse at Department of Energy sites across the country.”

The Department has a successful record to date in pursuing asset revitalization, including reducing the legacy cleanup footprint by over 2,585 square miles through the cleanup and closure of nearly 90 sites that played a role in winning the Cold War.  From 1996 to the present, DOE has transferred over 8,000 acres of property that have been used to build industrial parks, research and demonstration centers, food processing facilities, training centers, parks and recreational facilities, and conservation sites.

Moving forward, Phase II of the taskforce will examine specific steps to help achieve a 2020 vision for the DOE Complex that includes a strong asset revitalization component.  At each of the field sites in the Complex in 2020, DOE will:

  • Seek to conduct operations sustainably, incorporating clean energy technologies wherever possible;
  • Develop modern, adaptable and efficient site infrastructures and closely coordinate multi-agency efforts at the sites;
  • Promote public-private partnerships and commercial opportunities; and
  • Engage local communities and stakeholders in the development and asset revitalization process.

The Taskforce identified a number of potential strategies that could be implemented to help achieve this 2020 vision.  Once implemented, these strategies may also help spur economic growth around the sites and create new jobs for workers in the community.

Phase II of the Taskforce will focus on specific steps to help advance these strategies and recommendations.  These include:

  • Accelerate the current shift to multiple site uses and users.  By co-locating multiple federal agencies and commercial partners at a site, we can maximize the use of DOE infrastructure, including site facilities, roads, security.  Additionally, multiple users can then benefit from the trained workforce at the sites, including scientists, engineers, and skilled laborers.  Expanding the number and types of site users can enable more effective and efficient pursuit of DOE’s mission and goals.
  • Inform the workforce of upcoming changes as soon as possible, so they can adapt to meet future site needs.  As federal and contractor workers finish overseeing and conducting cleanup operations, supplying qualitative and quantitative information on projected changes in site missions will help to retain needed expertise for DOE and to help others find new jobs in the public and private sectors.
  • Strengthen partnerships with other organizations, agencies, and groups.  By attracting resources from the private sector and partnering with non-DOE entities, including other federal agencies, local governments, tribal nations, Community Reuse Organizations, public utilities, and businesses, DOE can leverage limited federal funding to more effectively revitalize site infrastructure.
  • Promote DOE’s national energy security and clean energy goals.  Attracting investments in sites and communities with funding from multiple sources (public and private) can help achieve President Obama’s objectives to strengthen America’s energy security and to deploy clean energy resources.
  • Streamline transfer processes for real and personal property to meet timetables necessary for private-sector investment.  By projecting when land or infrastructure will become available at a site and what it can be used for, National Environmental Policy Act work can be conducted in advance.  This will enable sites to have transition plans in place ready to implement once mission work is completed, and it can accelerate the land transfer process.
  • Actively engage stakeholders to generate the best ideas and accelerate positive outcomes.  Actively engaging key stakeholders in planning, outreach, and execution will help all parties to better understand the potential for revitalization at any given site.

DOE expects to name a director for Phase II of the Taskforce later this fall.

 

News Media Contact: (202) 586-4940

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