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DOE Surpasses Cleanup Target Ahead of Schedule: Recovery Act Investment Saves Money, Trains Workers, Creates Jobs

May 12, 2011 - 12:00pm


WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Energy announced today it has surpassed one of the Obama Administration’s High Priority Performance Goals five months ahead of schedule in its effort to clean up the legacy of the Cold War.

Through a $6 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act investment, the Department’s cleanup footprint has been reduced by 45 percent, from 931 square miles to 516 square miles. By achieving this reduction, the Department is on track to reduce its overall cleanup footprint by approximately 90 percent by 2015. Footprint reduction lowers costs associated with site surveillance and maintenance and helps protect the environment. In addition, the areas cleaned up may become available for reuse by surrounding communities.

“The Recovery Act has allowed us to invest in a clean energy future by creating jobs, training workers and making progress on important legacy cleanup work across the country,” said Secretary of Energy Steven Chu.

Work that led to the 415-square-mile reduction included the removal of 635 debris piles, decommissioning of 38 radioactive and industrial structures, and cleanup of contaminated soil. Much of the work to reduce the complex’s footprint occurred at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina and the Hanford Site in Washington, but cleanup continues across the nation.