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Fugitive Emissions

DOE is committed to using science, technology, and effective management to minimize fugitive emissions throughout the Department. To assist in achieving this goal the Department created the Fugitive Emissions' Working Group. Fugitive emissions refers to the release of greenhouse gases (GHGs) from pressurized systems.  The Fugitive Emissions Working Group (FEWG) is a network of scientists, engineers, technicians, and environmental professionals representing more than 20 U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) laboratories, power marketing administrations, program offices, and National Nuclear Security Administration facilities that are working to reduce emissions of high-impact fugitive GHGs such as sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) from DOE operations. SF6 is the most potent GHG, with a global warming potential nearly 24,000 times greater than carbon dioxide (CO2).

FEWG members share information and best practices in inventory management, monitoring and control technologies, and environmentally preferable substitutes for high-impact fugitive greenhouse gases (GHGs) among the DOE sites.


Energy Secretary Steven Chu presented DOE's Fugitive Emissions Working Group (FEWG) with the Secretary's Achievement Award for uniting more than 20 DOE laboratories, power marketing administrations, and National Nuclear Security Administration facilities in a successful campaign to significantly reduce DOE emissions of the most highly potent greenhouse gases (GHGs). The award is the Department's highest nonmonetary honor for a group or team effort. For more information, see the article in the December 2011 DOE NEPA LLQR and/or the blog post.

The New York Times praised DOE for addressing fugitive emissions.