2005 CPEO Military List Archive

From: Lenny Siegel <lsiegel@cpeo.org>
Date: 14 Dec 2005 17:13:38 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Strengthening Long-Term Public Involvement at Nuclear Weapons Complex Cleanup Sites
Today CPEO announced the publication of "Strengthening Long-Term Public
Involvement at Nuclear Weapons Complex Cleanup Sites," an updated
eight-page summary of our earlier report, Re-Evaluating Remedies:
Strengthening Public Involvement in Long-Term Stewardship." To download
the new 124K Word document, written by  Peter Strauss and Robert Hersh
go to 

Here are the introductory paragraphs of the summary report:

For the past quarter century, the focus of the cleanup process at major
hazardous waste sites within the United States has been site
investigation and remedy selection. In fact, other than recent efforts
to involve the public in Five-Year Reviews at "Superfund" sites, public
involvement has generally ground to a halt with the signing of remedial
decision documents.

There is growing recognition, however, that the process continues at
most major sites, even after remedies are in place or construction is
complete, if contamination remains. At facilities that are or were part
of the U.S. nuclear weapons production complex, this is a significant
challenge, because vast quantities of contaminants are expected to
remain on site, at hazardous levels, and many of those substances -
particularly radioactive wastes-are likely to remain hazardous
indefinitely. Robust long-term - that is, inter-generational - public
involvement is essential to effective long-term stewardship at these
facilities, perhaps continuing for centuries and beyond.

In 2005, CPEO conducted case studies at three nuclear weapons complex
sites. Two of these, Weldon Spring, Missouri and Mound, Ohio, are no
longer in operation. The third, the Lawrence Livermore National
Laboratory, continues its work under the management of the National
Nuclear Security Administration. These studies formed the basis of our
88-page, October 2005 report, "Re-Evaluating Remedies: Strengthening
Public Involvement in Long-Term Stewardship," available from 
http://www.cpeo.org/pubs/Re-EvaluatingRemedies.doc as a 408 K Word
document. The studies were funded by the Citizens' Monitoring and
Technical Assessment Fund (see http://www.mtafund.org).

This CPEO Federal Facilities Brief summarizes that report, incorporates
feedback received after publication, and compiles the report's major
recommendations. The general thrust of these findings and
recommendations is not new, but they remain, by and large, unaddressed.

DOE must recast community involvement from a marathon to more of a relay
race, in which local communities from one generation to the next have
the competence to review and improve cleanup performance over the life
of the hazards. That is, because of inevitable institutional,
demographic, technological, and environmental changes, communities
should be vested with the resources to pass information from one
generation to the next and to act, when necessary, upon that information
to protect themselves and their environment.


Lenny Siegel
Director, Center for Public Environmental Oversight
c/o PSC, 278-A Hope St., Mountain View, CA 94041
Voice: 650/961-8918 or 650/969-1545
Fax: 650/961-8918
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