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Mission

Our Mission:

The Office of the Associate Under Secretary for the Office of Environment, Health, Safety and Security (AU) is the Department of Energy’s (DOE) central organization responsible for developing health, safety, environment, and security policy; providing corporate-level leadership and strategic vision to coordinate and integrate these vital programs. AU is responsible for policy development and technical assistance; safety analysis; and corporate safety and security programs. The Associate Under Secretary for Environment, Health, Safety and Security advises the Under Secretary and Deputy Under Secretary for Management and Performance on all matters related to environment, health, safety and security across the complex.

Functions

  • Directs and oversees the management of AU operations in the pursuit of continuous improvement in the environmental, health, safety and security posture of DOE.
  • Directs and manages AU to promote communication and to assist Headquarters and field elements with interpretation and integration of health, safety, environment, and security policies into operations.
  • Serves as corporate advocate for Department health, safety, environment, and security programs and initiatives, including Integrated Safety Management, Integrated Safeguards and Security Management, Environmental Management Systems, Voluntary Protection Program, and the Federal Technical Capabilities Program.
  • Reports on the status of the Department’s health, safety, environmental, and security programs and the status of Departmental improvement actions to the Deputy Under Secretary for Management and Performance.
  • Serves as the appointing Official for Accident Investigation Boards
  • As requested by the Secretary, concurs in the final decision to startup, restart, or shutdown facility operations.
  • Serves as the Department’s senior official for strengthening Federal environmental, energy and transportation management in accordance with Executive Order 13423.
  • Promotes open communication between the Department offices that develop and implement health, safety, environmental and security policy and guidance and independent evaluators who examine the performance and effectiveness of those policies within the Department. Maintains balance and objectivity in recommending policy and performance improvements for the benefit of the Department.
  • Represents DOE on the Joint Coordinating Committee for Radiation Effects Research (JCCRER), a bilateral Government committee representing agencies from the United States and the Russian Federation.
  • Develops health, safety, environmental, and security rules, policies and implementation guidance.
  • Provides concurrence, approval, and recommendations to the Under Secretary/Deputy Under Secretary for Management and Performance regarding requests for variations or use of alternative methods from safety, health, and environmental requirements, pursuant to the authority contained in DOE regulations and directives (e.g., 10 C.F.R. Parts 830, 835, and 851).
  • Manages the development and implementation of corporate safety quality assurance programs.
  • Manages the DOE Corporate Operating Experience Program to provide systematic identification, collection, screening, analysis, evaluation, and dissemination of performance indicators, lessons learned, and operating experience to prevent adverse events and to expand sharing of lessons learned.
  • Provides management and oversight protection for the Department’s Executive Protection Program.
  • Serves at the pleasure of the Chair of the Executive Secretariat of the Department’s Special Access Program Oversight Committee (SAPOC), maintaining related directives and guidance, and providing oversight of Headquarters and field implementation.
  • Manages development and promotes deployment of new technologies to improve security.
  • Implements the functions of the Department’s Chief Medical Officer responsible for the conduct of thorough outreach and research keeping fully abreast of emerging national and international developments in public and occupational medical issues; and serves as subject matter expert for Occupational Medicine to support DOE’s worker safety and health programs; and for Occupational Medicine to support DOE’s nuclear security programs.
  • Manages the DOE Headquarters security program to protect personnel, facilities, property, classified and controlled unclassified information under normal and abnormal (i.e. emergency) conditions.
  • Oversees the infrastructure of the Office of the Associate Under Secretary for Environment, Health, Safety and Security in the areas of: (1) Financial Management; (2) Procurement Management; (3) Information Management; (4) Human Resources; (5) Administrative Services; and (7) Strategic and Program Planning.
  • Provides high-level leadership, oversight, guidance, coordination, advice, and support in connection with the promotion of a strong nuclear safety culture in DOE by maintaining operational awareness of its nuclear facilities.
  • Establishes collaboration between the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, DOE Chief of Nuclear Safety, DOE Field Elements, and Program Secretarial Offices including NNSA on matters concerning nuclear safety at DOE defense nuclear facilities.
  • Develops relationships with the national and international nuclear safety community engaged in resolving issues related to the improvement of nuclear safety operations and mission reliability.
  • Responsible for seeking investments in nuclear safety workforce development, specifically in the exploration of expanded Federal, joint labor-management and university-based support for advanced science, technology, engineering, and mathematics training and collaborates with the Office of Independent Enterprise Assessment’s National Training Center and the Federal Technical Capabilities Program to develop the skilled workforce needed to support an effective waste management program as well as a viable domestic nuclear industry.
  • Manages the Employee Concerns Program which encourages the free and open expression of employee concerns and provides DOE federal, contractor, and sub-contractor employees with an independent avenue to raise any concern related, but not limited, to the environment, safety, health, security, quality and management.
  • Receives and processes contractor employee whistleblower complaints pursuant to 10 C.F.R. Part 708.

Our Focus Areas and Approach:

We accomplish our overall mission in the following focus areas 1:

Environment, Health and Safety Policy and Support:

  • Protecting the health and safety of DOE’s federal and contractor workforce, addressing the health effects legacy of the Nation’s nuclear weapons program, and conducting national and international health studies.
  • Minimizing DOE’s radiological and other environmental footprints and improving DOE’s safety performance through analysis, policy development, and sharing lessons learned.
  • Promoting the safe design, construction and operations of DOE’s facilities, both nuclear and non-nuclear, and providing cross-organizational leadership in resolving related issues.

Security Policy and Support:

  • Establishing effective policies, through a collaborative, enterprise approach, by which the national security assets entrusted to the Department are protected and secured.
  • Furthering DOE’s national security, nonproliferation and open governmental goals through the identification of classified, controlled and unclassified information.
  • Providing specialized security services to DOE Headquarters facilities and securing the work environment for Federal and contractor personnel.

As the Department’s “environment, health, safety and security advocate,” AU supports the Department by identifying the risks in these areas that could jeopardize DOE’s mission2. We work closely with DOE line management who is ultimately responsible for ensuring that the Department’s work is managed and performed in a manner that protects workers and the public as well as the Department’s material and information assets.

EHSS Strategic Plan, 2015 - 2018

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1A high-level summary of the roles and contributions of each AU Office in support of the DOE mission, as well as the key issues which they address, can be found in Attachment 1.
2Strategic Objective 11 of DOE’s 2014-2018 Strategic Plan:  “Operate the DOE enterprise safely, securely, and efficiently while using sustainability practices.”

As part of this partnership, AU develops and promulgates environment, health, safety and security policy and provides expert advice and implementation assistance to help line management accomplish the Department’s mission in a safe and secure manner. AU represents the Department in national and international environment, health, safety, and security matters.

AU plays a leadership role in meeting the Department’s expectation that all its organizations embrace a healthy organizational culture where safe and secure performance of work and involvement of workers are deeply, strongly, and consistently held by managers and workers. 

AU contributes to more efficient and cost-effective mission accomplishment by providing quality products and timely expertise aimed at eliminating or mitigating major risks that can lead to adverse impacts to mission. AU informs Secretarial decisions and improves DOE performance by providing expert advice to the Department’s senior nuclear safety and nuclear security decision makers. As a strong, top-level environment, health, safety and security organization, AU’s work is critical to helping the Department deliver the innovative and transformative scientific and technological solutions to energy, security, economic, and environmental challenges facing the United States in the 21st century.