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Appendix B Summary of Previous Studies and Programs Aimed at Incorporating Risk into DOE Environmental Management Decision Making 1988-1989 PROGRAM OPTIMIZATION SYSTEM In response to a congressional directive, the Program Optimization System (POS) was developed by the Department of Energy (DOE) to establish a prioritization system for funding environmental restoration. The DOE Defense Programs unit was responsible for developing the program because cleanup activities at nuclear weapons facilities were not yet organizationally separate from other units. The goal of POS was to use a bottom-up approach in which facility managers specified where and how funding cuts would be made and estimated the consequences of those cuts. This system was used in late 1988 to help plan the FY 1990 budget request and six months later as a basis for determining allocations among field offices. The POS suggestions for radical changes to the allo- cation of funds across the complex had little impact on fund allocations, but DOE headquarters supported the system because it provided them with detailed documentation regarding cleanup problems at the field of- fices (Jenni et al., 1995). 171
172 RISK AND DECISIONS ABOUT TRU AND HLW External Review Group The DOE design team responsible for developing and implementing a risk-based priority system met with representatives from states, Ameri- can Indian nations, national environmental groups, and the U.S. Envi- ronmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) through an External Review Group. Meetings were held from the fall of 1989 through the final meet- ing in February 1991. The design team presented the POS that DOE had developed for prioritizing environmental restoration activities to the Ex- ternal Review Group as an example of one type of system. The External Review Group raised concerns about the system and, in a February 1990 consensus statement, declared that they opposed âDOEâs unilateral ap- plication of any prioritization systemâ (Jenni et al., 1995, p. 404). In re- sponse to this and other External Review Group concerns, the DOE design team created a hierarchy of criteria, including several that had not been included within the POS, such as uncertainty reduction and socio- economic criteria. DOE also created a three-tiered screening component to address External Review Group concerns that any prioritization sys- tem give human health and the environment the highest priority and that DOE comply fully with all legal agreements. DOE developed plans for public involvement but did not specify how personnel in the field should carry out these plans. The system that was developed from the POS was called the Environmental Restoration Priority System, which is discussed in more detail below (Jenni et al., 1995). Creation of the Environmental Management Program The House Armed Services Committeeâs Subcommittee on Pro- curement and Military Nuclear Systems held a hearing in February 1989 on the priority-setting process used by DOE in conducting environmental restoration activities at its nuclear weapons facilities. In April 1989, the governors of ten states sent Secretary of Energy James Watkins a letter calling for federal action on the establishment of a comprehensive na- tional program for cleanup of all DOE facilities. The governors sug- gested the need for a national priority system for ensuring that the appropriate priorities for DOE cleanups were established (FFERDC, 1996, Appendix C). In July 1989, DOE reorganized to create the Office of Environmental Restoration and Waste Management, later renamed Environmental Man- agement (EM), to oversee and manage environmental activities at all
APPENDIX B 173 DOE sites. Specific goals of the program included managing and elimi- nating urgent risks throughout the nuclear weapons complex, emphasiz- ing the health and safety of workers and the public, and establishing stronger partnerships between DOE and its stakeholders. 1989 BRWM Letter Report In 1989, at the request of Secretary of Energy Watkins, the Board on Radioactive Waste Management (BRWM) of the National Research Council (NRC) issued a letter report reviewing DOEâs Predecisional Draft II of the Environmental Restoration and Waste Management Five- Year Plan. The DOE draft plan describes a 30-year cleanup program for ensuring that risks to human health and safety and the environment posed by DOEâs past, current, and future activities are either eliminated or re- duced to safe levels (NRC, 1989a). In its report, the BRWM agrees with DOE that the development of a priority ranking system with input from affected parties is of crucial importance. The letter report states that DOE plans for a National Priority System to provide the basis for subsequent resource allocations could serve as a demonstration of DOEâs new open- ness by involving stakeholders in its development. The letter report em- phasizes that the National Priority System will be useful only if it is developed through a credible process and recommends that DOE put in place a broadly supported allocation system negotiated among DOE, regulators, the states, American Indian nations, local governments, and interest groups during the program start-up, rather than later, when it may no longer be possible. The letter report also notes that DOEâs time frame for developing the system for setting priorities did not allow enough time to do it right, with an iterative process of public participa- tion. The letter report endorses DOEâs goal of âstriving toward âtechni- cally sound, risk-based standardsâ with the observation that what is meant is really risk-based environmental requirements rather than âstan- dardsââ (NRC, 1989a). 1989 NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL REPORT ON THE NUCLEAR WEAPONS COMPLEX In 1989, Secretary of Energy Watkins, in response to a congressional directive asked the NRC to provide recommendations concerning the health, safety, and environmental issues arising throughout the nuclear
174 RISK AND DECISIONS ABOUT TRU AND HLW weapons complex and the steps that would enhance the safety of opera- tions at the facilities. In the NRC report entitled, The Nuclear Weapons Complex: Management for Health, Safety, and the Environment, (NRC, 1 1989b), the NRC committee suggested that the evaluation of cleanup actions be guided by the consideration of contamination risks to human health and the environment. The NRC committee concluded that DOE needed to develop and apply a scientifically credible scheme to aid deci- sion making about appropriate cleanup standards and priorities for reme- diation activities under resource constraints (NRC, 1989b). The committee reviewed the DOE Environmental Restoration and Waste Management Five-Year Plan that the BRWM reviewed in a letter report (see above) and suggested that DOE use risk-based methodologies to the extent permissible by law to guide it in setting priorities. The committee recommended that DOE seek to achieve site-specific cleanup standards. It also recommended that consistent risk assessment method- ologies be used to bring scientific information into decisions regarding the extent of cleanup, cleanup methodologies, and priorities for environ- mental restoration. The committee noted that in order to ensure public acceptance of its cleanup decisions, DOE had to significantly increase public and state involvement in activities related to environmental issues at the sites (NRC, 1989b). 1990-1994 OPPORTUNITIES AND IMPEDIMENTS FOR RISK- BASED STANDARDS In January 1990, the Environmental and Occupational/Public Health Standards Steering Group âwas established by the directors of 13 DOE laboratories to organize a broad long-term education and outreach and research program focused on better scientific and public understanding of the risk associated with hazardous agents in the environment and workplaceâ (Hunter et al., 1994, p. 864). The Steering Group was inter- ested in environmental restoration at the DOE labs and sites, and sup- ported risk-based standards for remediation as a logical way to manage risks to public health and the environment caused by contamination at DOE facilities. In July 1991, the Steering Group held a workshop to 1 The NRC formed a different ad hoc committee for each of the studies listed in this appendix. For simplicity, the same term (NRC committee) is used to refer to each of them.
APPENDIX B 175 evaluate the use of risk assessment as a principal mechanism for guiding the management of hazardous materials and site remediation across the United States. The Steering Group concluded that risk assessment tech- niques are a useful tool for decision making, but cautioned that risk analysis itself cannot determine the best course of action for an agency or an individual site. The Steering Group determined that effective risk management requires both scientific risk assessment and responsive con- sideration to public risk perceptions. It also concluded that the following are areas for additional effort in risk analysis: developing methods to re- duce uncertainties in risk analysis; determining how quantitative data collected are used in decision making, such as whether risk managers should consider cost-benefit analyses in their decisions; and most impor- tantly, making sure that decision makers and the public are able to com- prehend the meaning of risk information communicated to them (Hunter et al., 1994). 1991 EVOLUTION OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL RESTORATION PRIORITY SYSTEM FROM THE PROGRAM OPTIMIZATION SYSTEM The External Review Group mentioned at the beginning of this ap- pendix was created to participate in the DOE development of a risk- based priority system. The review group met twice with the DOE design team and commented on the Program Optimization System (see above). Evolution from the POS to the Environmental Restoration Priority Sys- tem was influenced by the controversy that arose when DOE officials decided to use the POS to help plan for the FY 1992 budget without ex- ternal involvement, as requested by the External Review Group. DOEâs response to the negative reaction of the External Review Group was to modify the POS and develop what was called an Environmental Restora- tion Priority System with three major differences: (1) it included socio- economic criteria, activity screening, and information analysis; (2) it was not limited to DOE Defense Program facilities; and (3) it was to serve as an external tool, with outside involvement. (CRESP, 1999; Jenni et al., 1995). The quality of information available to support the scoring proc- ess differed dramatically across the complex, so scorers were directed to use the best possible information (Jenni et al., 1995). The Environmental Restoration Priority System (ERPS) was re- viewed in 1991 by the Technical Review Group (TRG), an ad hoc peer committee. The TRG stated that the system was useful for ordering pri-
176 RISK AND DECISIONS ABOUT TRU AND HLW orities, but was inappropriate for determining the budget for environ- mental restoration. The TRG recommended that the ERPS be used only to allocate funds among the DOE facilities. The TRG also noted that the system conflicted with regulatory requirements such as compliance agreements. DOE heard these same concerns again at a national work- shop it held in October (Jenni et al., 1995; NRC, 1994b). 1991-1994 RANKING HAZARDOUS WASTE SITES FOR REMEDIAL ACTION The NRC Committee on Remedial Action Priorities for Hazardous Waste Sites examined how priority setting was being used or considered by federal and state agencies to rank hazardous waste sites for remedial priority. The project was sponsored by the Department of Defense (DOD), the U.S. EPA, DOE, the American Petroleum Institute, Mon- santo, and the Coalition on Superfund (NRC, 1994b). The committee compared DOE, DOD, and U.S. EPA programs and determined that none had developed an overall priority-setting process that was explicit, adequately documented, and sufficiently open to scien- tific and public scrutiny. The committee found that the formal mathe- matical models developed to aid in the priority-setting process played little role in determining which sites were ultimately remediated. It noted that site-ranking models would play a greater role in priority-setting processes if they incorporated social and economic values to a greater extent, and if users and the public were more confident in the model out- comes (NRC, 1994b). The committee reviewed DOEâs Environmental Restoration Priority System (ERPS) and although there was not enough information to make a credible evaluation of the system as an objective ranking of sites for remediation, the committee noted that such a model would greatly assist in addressing conflicts by providing a more objective evaluation of the sites that should be cleaned up first and the degree of cleanup desired. The committee noted, as had others, that DOE had many preexisting compliance agreements that would override the relative evaluations of sites provided by the priority system. In 1993 the committee learned that DOE had decided not to use the system, (Jenni et al., 1995; NRC, 1994b) and Assistant Secretary for Environmental Management Thomas Grum- bly announced that technical problems combined with a lack of involve- ment by regulators or the public led to the postponement of the systemâs implementation (Jenni et al., 1995).
APPENDIX B 177 1991-1996 KEYSTONE DIALOGUE AND KEYSTONE REPORT In 1991, the Keystone Center, at the request of U.S. EPA convened meetings on the National Policy Dialogue on Federal Facility Environ- mental Management. Meeting participants included representatives from American Indian governments, local citizen groups, DOD, DOE, and U.S. EPA. The group discussed the role of health assessments and the consideration of risk in setting priorities for federal facility cleanup; how American Indian cultural issues should be factored into the priority- setting process; and the role that various governmental and nongovern- mental entities should play in setting priorities for federal facility clean- ups (FFERDC, 1996). In February 1993, the Federal Facilities Environmental Restoration Dialogue Committee (FFERDC) published an interim report entitled Recommendations for Improving the Federal Facilities Environmental Restoration Decision-Making and Priority-Setting Process (FFERDC, 1993), known as the Keystone Report. This report established a âfair- shareâ process for setting funding priorities for remediation activities among different facilities in the event of insufficient funds. Risk reduc- tion was included among the factors to be considered in the fair-share process (FFERDC, 1993). In 1996, the FFERDC set forth its consensus recommendations in The Final Report of the Federal Facilities Environmental Restoration Dialogue Committee: Consensus Precipices and Recommendations for Improving Federal Facilities Cleanup (FFERDC, 1996). The FFERDC recommended that priority setting at the facility level not be limited to prioritizing the relative risks posed by site contamination but instead go further to include prioritizing the activities that are designed to clean up the contamination. It noted that relative risks will have a bearing on the setting of priorities for cleanup activities but should not become the de facto priorities. The FFERDC supported the use of ârisk plus other fac- tors,â in which risk to human health and the environment and other fac- 2 tors are carefully considered in advance of the need to make priority- 2 Cultural, social, and economic factors, including environmental justice con- siderations; potential or future land use; ecological impacts of contamination and the proposed action to address it; regulator, American Indian nations, and other stakeholder acceptance of actions; statutory requirements and legal agreements; life-cycle costs; taking into consideration the ability to execute cleanup projects in a given year and the feasibility of carrying out the activity in relation to other
178 RISK AND DECISIONS ABOUT TRU AND HLW setting decisions at site-specific and national levels. The FFERDC noted that the priorities used in risk-based decision making for cleanup budgets should be set with the agreement of regulators and in consultation with stakeholders (FFERDC, 1996). The FFERDC recommended that all key decision makers adhere to the following when using risk assessments: (1) scientific uncertainties and data limitations should be delineated clearly in laymenâs terms as part of the analysis of risk; (2) stakeholders should be involved at the front end in the analysis of risk and risk reduction potential, and risk management and broader priority setting decisions based upon the analy- ses; and (3) communicate the assumptions used in conducting risk as- sessments should be communicated at the front end so that the results may be better understood (FFERDC, 1996). 1993 BROOKHAVEN NATIONAL LABORATORY AND LAWRENCE LIVERMORE NATIONAL LABORATORY PILOT STUDY The DOE Office of Environmental Restoration and Waste Manage- ment funded a study by researchers at Brookhaven National Laboratory and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. In 1993, a report documenting the results of a pilot study involving the Savannah River Site, Fernald Environmental Management Project, and Nevada Test Site was released. The report focused on lessons learned in human health risk assessments and was meant to demonstrate realistic risk assessments; produce estimates for the problems studied; and provide suggestions for changing the way in which risk assessments were conducted at DOE fa- cilities. The authors recommended âthe initiation of a systematic ap- proach to identify, prioritize, and reduce sources of uncertainty in risk assessments at DOE facilitiesâ (Hamilton et al., 1993, p. 26). The au- thors stated that in choosing remediation options, identifying acceptable contamination levels, and in prioritizing sites for cleanup resources, DOE must also consider the amount of risk reduction to workers and the public that could be achieved by using particular remedies. The authors noted a need for the development of data, assumptions, and methods to assess the risk reductions associated with the remedies likely to be selected for DOE facilities (Hamilton et. al., 1993). activities at the facility; overall cost and effectiveness of a proposed activity; and actual and anticipated funding availability.
APPENDIX B 179 1993-1994 NRC REPORT ON BUILDING CONSENSUS In September 1993, DOE Assistant Secretary for Environmental Res- toration and Waste Management Grumbly, asked the National Research Council to help him âfocus on whether a risk-based approach to evaluat- ing the consequences of alternative [cleanup] actions is feasible and de- sirableâ and how public credibility of the process can be improved (NRC, 1994c). The NRC committee noted that to be most effective and useful, the procedures and institutions adopted for risk assessment should satisfy several objectives: (1) they must be credible to stakeholders and the general public; (2) they must operate expeditiously without threaten- ing scientific validity; (3) they should consider the full range of risks of concern to stakeholders in the light of social, religious, historical, politi- cal, land use, and cultural values and needs; and (4) they should be effi- cient and cost-effective and should produce results that contribute to the identification of remedies and priorities that are themselves efficient and cost-effective. The NRC committee stated that the first and likely the most important step in effective risk assessment and risk management is to establish broad public participation that involves all stakeholders (NRC, 1994c). The NRC committee also recommended that DOE establish a culture receptive to the adoption of risk-based thinking as a component of mak- ing remediation decisions. The committee noted that DOEâs decentral- ized management approach allowed the creation of many different perspectives on, and applications of, risk assessment, which led to lack of communication across sites in the complex (NRC, 1994c). To ensure credibility, the NRC committee suggested the creation of two boards: (1) a national stakeholder oversight board with representa- tives from various groups; and, (2) a national scientific board that could help to maintain consistently high standards in risk assessment by re- viewing drafts of risk assessments, providing broad advice about meth- odological consistency, and helping to ensure national consistency in the plans (NRC, 1994c). 1994 CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE STUDY At the request of the chairman of the Defense Nuclear Facilities Panel of the House Committee on Armed Services, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) conducted an examination of the central issues accounting for the potential costs of DOEâs cleanup program. The CBO
180 RISK AND DECISIONS ABOUT TRU AND HLW stated that in order to make informed decisions, DOE needed better in- formation about the risks posed by wastes in the nuclear weapons com- plex. CBO noted that DOEâs lack of comprehensive risk measures for facility contamination hampered its planning efforts because the informa- tion collected by various sites and offices had not been coordinated into a unified framework that would facilitate comparisons. CBO also noted that a better understanding of risks would allow for informed debate among interested and affected stakeholders about how much risk is ac- ceptable and how soon cleanup levels should be reached. Understanding risks enables the identification of trade-offs between risks and costs to assist policy makers in setting the appropriate goals and priorities for cleanup. CBO stated that in situations involving budgetary constraints, DOE will have to decide, in consultation with regulators, stakeholders, and Congress, which cleanup activities to defer. CBO also noted that be- fore DOE makes choices about how to conduct cleanup projects it should determine final land uses in conjunction with stakeholders (CBO, 1994). 1994-1995 RISK REPORT TO CONGRESS In response to concerns about DOEâs ability to meet certain compli- ance goals and schedules for cleanup, Public Law 103-126, enacted on October 28, 1993, required the secretary of energy to submit by June 30, 1995, âa report to the Committees on Appropriations evaluating the risks to the public health and safety posed by the conditions at weapons com- plex facilities that are addressed by the compliance agreement require- mentsâ (U.S. Congress, cited in CERE, 1995, pp. 1-2). Congress did not request an exhaustive, formal risk assessment; instead it directed DOE to âestimate the risk addressed by cleanup requirements on the basis of the best scientific evidence availableâ (U.S. Congress, cited in CERE, 1995, pp. 1-2). In 1994, the EM Office of Integrated Risk Management was created to respond to the congressional mandate for a report evaluating the risks of the nuclear weapons complex to human health and the environment. The office mission was to develop policy, requirements, and guidance for ensuring coherent risk-based environmental decision-making processes and involving concerned and affected stakeholders in developing risk management decisions (DOE, 1995b). In March 1995, the Consortium for Environmental Risk Evaluation (CERE) interim report to DOE entitled Health and Ecological Risks at the U.S. Department of Energyâs Nuclear Weapons Complex: A Qualita-
APPENDIX B 181 tive Evaluation was released (CERE, 1995). CERE prepared this interim report to assist the DOE Office of Integrated Risk Management in fulfill- ing the congressional request for a report on risks. The report was in- tended to provide an independent qualitative evaluation of risks to the health and safety of the public, American Indian nations, workers, and the environment. The report was also to identify important information gaps, key uncertainties, and issues of concern to interested and affected parties (CERE, 1995, p. ES-1). CEREâs findings confirmed that DOE should continue to manage previously identified risks involving contaminated areas and facilities and the storage of radioactive and toxic waste materials. The CERE in- terim report concluded that there were no significant risks to the public, American Indian tribal health, workers, or the ecosystem as long as con- tinued facility management, limits to human access, and site remediation existed (CERE, 1995). The CERE noted that its â¦findings and conclusions do not provide a stand-alone basis for revision of plans or budget levels, either within an installation, or between installations. The usefulness of CEREâs investigation is in providing an overview of risks that may serve as one input among many in the deliberations on future EM fundingâ¦CEREâs work should not be considered as providing definitive an- swers to the difficult and complex questions of assessing the risks at the six DOE installations Limitations of the report as noted by the CERE (1995) and others (CTUIR, 1995; EMAB, 1995) are discussed in the summaries below. NUCLEAR RISKS IN TRIBAL COMMUNITIES In March 1995 the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Res- ervation (CTUIR) issued a report for DOE entitled Scoping Report: Nu- clear Risks in Tribal Communities to âadvocate reform of current risk assessment practice in order to make risk assessment a more effective tool for public policy and environmental management decision makingâ (CTUIR, 1995, p. 1). The report states that issues of importance to American Indian nations were not being addressed by risk assessment. These issues include the unique and multiple use of treaty-reserved rights and resources for subsistence, ceremonial, cultural, or religious practices; the multiple exposure pathways that result from cultural resource uses that are not included in typical exposure scenarios; how tribal community
182 RISK AND DECISIONS ABOUT TRU AND HLW life-styles result in disproportionately greater-than-average exposure po- tential; the value that American Indians place on future generations; en- vironmental justice issues, and the need for input from affected communities; and consideration of intangibles such as equity, peace of mind, and aesthetics (CTUIR, 1995). The CTUIR suggested the following data sources to provide a more comprehensive risk evaluation: (1) site-monitoring data; (2) a compre- hensive literature search; (3) a review of extensive tribal and public comments submitted in response to DOE documents, work plans, records of decision, and so forth; (4) public health surveys; (5) worker observa- tions; (6) chemical and toxicity profiles; (7) analyses of worst-case sce- narios; and (8) analyses of environmental impacts and alternatives to proposed actions (CTUIR, 1995). The CTUIR stated that without considering such information sources, CERE failed to provide a comprehensive or credible evaluation of risks at any DOE sites. Additionally, by not including meaningful in- volvement by American Indian nations or other members of the public throughout the evaluation process, there was an overdependence on risk experts and their values and judgments, rather than creating a balance by directly including affected communities (CTUIR, 1995). GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE REPORT In March 1995, the General Accounting Office (GAO) issued a re- port evaluating the progress made by DOE in cleaning up the nuclear weapons complex and provided recommendations to Secretary of Energy Hazel OâLeary for enhancing the effectiveness of DOEâs cleanup strat- egy. The GAO stated that future progress for DOEâs cleanup strategy depended on adopting a national risk-based strategy. It noted a need for a more comprehensive, risk-based cleanup strategy for establishing base- lines, rather than numerous separately negotiated compliance agreements that were not well suited to setting priorities among the sites under severe budgetary constraints. The GAO suggested that the results of the forth- coming DOE risk report to Congress be used to set priorities across, as well as within sites, and to further develop a national cleanup strategy for targeting the available resources to the highest priorities. The GAO noted that as DOE moved from developing to implementing a national cleanup strategy at individual facilities, it would have to retain the involvement of stakeholders, or they may view the DOE strategy as an attempt to cir- cumvent existing compliance agreements (GAO, 1995).
APPENDIX B 183 DOE RISK REPORT TO CONGRESS In June 1995, DOE issued its report to Congress entitled Risks and the Risk Debate: Searching for Common Ground, âThe First Stepâ (DOE, 1995c). DOE stated that the report âcaptured the spectrum of risksâ associated with EM activities, it âlinked the risks in a qualitative fashion to compliance and the budget,â and experienced field managers categorized the work. To prepare the risk report, DOE estimated risks by assessing compliance requirements, reviewing documents related to EM risk, performing a qualitative evaluation of EM activities and costs, and involving the public. Based on its analysis, DOE found that without containment and lim- ited public access to DOEâs inventory of hazardous and radioactive ma- terials, the sites and facilities would pose much greater risks. DOE found that it is difficult to integrate risk assessment methods and cultural and social values to produce meaningful priorities. The report stated that this is particularly true for American Indian nations and for minority and low-income populations affected by DOE activities. DOE found that public involvement of interested and affected communities was essential to developing a comprehensive, credible risk management process, as noted by CTUIR (see above). DOE also found that the regulatory process and compliance agreements had uneven results in the way they addressed categories of risks across DOEâs hazardous material inventories, sites, and facilities (DOE, 1995c). DOEâs preliminary conclusion of the complex-wide analysis was that the majority of EMâs budget did address high and medium risks. DOE stated that its next steps would be to expand stakeholder involve- ment and discuss with stakeholders whether it is accurately identifying and estimating risks to the pubic, workers, and the environment. DOE also stated that it would have to identify the degree to which risks should be reduced at each site and whether these risks should be the same across the complex. DOE added that it needed to put additional effort into de- veloping a consistent understanding and framework for comparing mul- tiple risks and hazards across the weapons complex. DOE also found that it would be necessary to improve the data collection process in order to better capture the risks to public health, worker safety, and the environ- ment, and their life-cycle costs, and to develop a targeted research agenda to reduce uncertainties in the data (DOE, 1995c).
184 RISK AND DECISIONS ABOUT TRU AND HLW Environmental Management Advisory Board Review In an August 25, 1995, letter to Thomas P. Grumbly, DOE assistant secretary for environmental management, the Environmental Manage- ment Advisory Board (EMAB, 1995) issued its recommendations to DOE on the draft risk report to Congress (see above); the CERE interim report to DOE (see above); and the interim Principles for Using Risks Analysis issued by Under Secretary of Energy Charles Curtis (Curtis, 1995). The full EMAB accepted the following recommendations and find- ings of its Risk Committee: (1) The risk process started by DOE was an important first step for relating risks to the budget and compliance in- formation. DOE had to improve the quality of information collected throughout the process by identifying assumptions used during informa- tion gathering and to develop accurate, credible, and consistent informa- tion and data through public, and peer review. (2) DOE should be more specific about its criteria for future land use, because risks to the public, workers, and the environment differ based on assumptions of future land use. (3) DOE should improve the way it integrates its understanding of risks with other long-term cost projections and future land use planning into the budget and other decision-making processes. (4) DOE should use creative approaches to engage stakeholders in the risk process in or- der to improve both the quality of information and the credibility of the process. To be effective, DOE would have to improve its communication with the public (EMAB, 1995). The Risk Committee was also tasked with meeting with members of CERE to discuss the interim risk report to DOE and to make recommen- dations on the report. The Risk Committee stated that the CERE interim report provided an extensive baseline collection and summary of more than 1600 publicly available risk documents for 6 of the 17 DOE sites. However, the report did not provide answersânor did it claim toâabout the real issues that the EM program had to address in order to arrive at credible and cost-effective decision-making choices. The CERE findings did not define what actions DOE should or should not take to avoid un- necessary increases in costs and risks to the public, workers, and the en- vironment. The report findings also did not provide a basis for budget allocation decisions among DOE weapons sites. The Risk Committee also stated that the report did not provide a framework for comparisons among DOE sites and did not examine important issues such as natural resource damage, off-site transportation, equitable distribution of risk, collective risk to populations, and intergenerational risk. The Risk Com-
APPENDIX B 185 mittee stated that focusing only on individual risks could lead decision makers to make poor choices regarding cleanup priorities. The Risk Committee concluded that the CERE report did ânot provide the basis for a sensible, broad-based approach to risk-management decision mak- ingâ (EMAB, 1995, Attachment 1-B, p. 3). In the letter to Assistant Sec- retary Grumbly, the full EMAB committee accepted the recommendations of the Risk Committee and acknowledged the contribution of the CERE report in improving access to and evaluation of information regarding the hazards, risks, and public concerns at the six DOE sites included in the study (EMAB, 1995). The EMAB also generally endorsed DOEâs Principles for Using Risks Analysis (Curtis, 1995). These principles were grouped according to general, risk assessment, risk management, risk communication, and priority setting using risk analysis. The Risk Committee suggested that the principles could be used for priority setting in phases, first on a site- specific basis then, and, if successful, across the entire complex (EMAB, 1995). 1995-1997 RISK DATA SHEET SCORING SYSTEM The Risk Data Sheet scoring system was initially developed for the risk report to Congress as a priority-setting tool for using risk informa- tion in making management decisions. Categories of analysis were site personnel safety and public health and safety; environmental impacts; worker risk; social, cultural, political, and economic impacts; stakeholder concerns; public perception; and stakeholder involvement. Categories were described by impacts leading to different levels of severity and by the levels of likelihood (high, medium, low) to represent the ranges of annual probability and expectations for the frequency of activities occur- ring in order to assess risk reduction. Categories were not weighed against each other in order to allow for qualitative analysis. A Risk Data Sheet was established for each activity or group of similar activities with the same risk, and data were provided to the field offices as a basis for their qualitative evaluation. The sheets were completed by the sites and forwarded to headquarters where the field information was aggregated and summarized to provide summary information by field office, by pro- gram, and for the overall EM program (DOE, 1995b, Appendix C).
186 RISK AND DECISIONS ABOUT TRU AND HLW CRESP Review of the Risk Data Sheets The Consortium for Risk Evaluation with Stakeholder Participation (CRESP) was asked by EM to conduct an independent review of the quality, completeness, and utility of the Risk Data Sheets it used to de- scribe risks for the report to Congress. On May 14, 1996, the CRESP Risk Data Sheet National Review Panel issued a final report. The panel unanimously viewed the process as a powerful tool that presented highly relevant information to the EM planning and decision-making process (CRESP, 1996, p. 1). However, the panel found inconsistent, incorrect, or incomplete information contained in Risk Data Sheets as well as a lack of cross-site consistency for several activities. It stated, however, that there were some Risk Data Sheets with sufficient quantities of high- quality and relevant information. The panel noted that the clear majority of the Risk Data Sheets were not completed according to DOE guidance. The panel suggested that there was a correlation between the quality of Risk Data Sheets and the level of interaction with external stakeholders. It noted that the Risk Data Sheets would be useful for internal budget activities but were not of high enough quality to withstand scrutiny by outside groups or to serve as support for budget requests to either Con- gress or the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Reviewers also stressed that transparency was lost due to the inadequate narratives con- tained in many of the Risk Data Sheets, which would impact public con- fidence in the decision-making processes used. Among the panel recommendations was that a two-tiered ranking system be implemented to improve assessments of activities related to the overall project. The overall project Risk Data Sheets could be prepared with detailed exami- nations of impact categories; then specific activity Risks Data Sheets could be evaluated in relation to their importance to the overall project (CRESP, 1996). NRC REPORT EVALUATING DOEâS ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAM On January 11, 1995, Assistant Secretary Grumbly requested assis- tance from the NRC in addressing remedial action and waste manage- ment problems throughout the nuclear weapons complex. In response, the NRC established a committee that produced the 1995 report, Improv- ing the Environment: An Evaluation of DOEâs Environmental Manage- ment Program (NRC, 1995b). As part of its study, the committee
APPENDIX B 187 evaluated EMâs priority-setting system and issued principal recommen- dations that included the following. A priority-setting system should be used consistently for a number of years in order to gain the acceptance of future administrations, or it will be discarded. The committee also noted that Congress has a key role in determining the longevity of the system because without predictable funding, âthere can be no priority-setting system that implements a long-term strategy aimed at the highest possi- ble cost-effectivenessâ (NRC, 1995b, p. 19). The committee also stated that there should be coherence throughout the complex, regular evalua- tion of the priority-setting tools, clarity and transparency, and stake- holder participation (NRC, 1995b). The NRC committee suggested that DOE look to the extensive list of evaluation criteria developed for the ERPS model (mentioned above) in setting priorities for environmental management activities, noting that the two criteria that would probably retain preeminence in any priority- setting system are risk and regulatory considerations. The NRC commit- tee stated that true priority-setting techniques provide enough informa- tion to assess whether to take action and what types of action to take. They are able to assist in identifying reasonable trade-offs across sites and activities. Thus, the tools needed for priority setting require activity- specific information; incremental information on risks associated with an action; and explicit recognition of the goals that DOE is trying to address (NRC, 1995b). 1995-1997 WASTE MANAGEMENT PROGRAMMATIC ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT In October 1990, DOE issued a notice of intent to prepare a pro- grammatic environmental impact statement (PEIS) on the proposed inte- grated EM program (DOE, 1996). The implementation plan for the waste management (WM) PEIS was issued in January 1994, identifying the proposed action of formulating and implementing âan integrated envi- ronmental restoration and waste management program in a safe and envi- ronmentally sound manner and in compliance with applicable laws, regulations and standardsâ (DOE, 1997b, p. 3; see also DOE, 1996). In January 1995, DOE issued a Federal Register notice proposing to mod- ify the scope of the PEIS to eliminate the environmental restoration ac- tivities analyses. DOE had determined that environmental restoration decisions are site specific rather than program-wide and should focus on local conditions and communities. In September 1995, DOE released the
188 RISK AND DECISIONS ABOUT TRU AND HLW draft WM PEIS and invited public comments. A controversial and oft- repeated issue raised during the public comment period was the potential human health impacts of treatment, storage, and disposal of wastes. Spe- cific concerns were raised about risk assessment methodologies used in the analysis; risks to minority, low-income, and densely populated areas; risks associated with subsistence fishing in some communities; impacts on future generations; and impacts of additional exposures on popula- tions affected by other DOE activities. Of the changes that DOE made in the WM PEIS to respond to comments about risk, the environmental jus- tice analysis was modified to better determine whether disproportionately high and adverse health impacts on minority or low-income communities could occur, and the chapter on cumulative impacts was revised to pro- vide a more comprehensive evaluation of other DOE actions that may affect the sites (DOE, 1997b; see also Harris and Harper, 1999). 1997-1998 HUMAN HEALTH RISK COMPARISONS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT BASELINE PROGRAMS AND INTEGRATION OPPORTUNITIES In May 1997, a contractor team issued a report on its analysis of the complex-wide baseline programs and alternatives. A separate report was issued in February 1998, documenting the human health risk models de- veloped for the baselines and alternatives (Eide et al., 1998). A simpli- fied risk model was developed to provide a consistent, comprehensive, and quantitative human health risk picture for the baseline activities and their alternatives; to evaluate the alternative program risks relative to the baseline program risks; and to provide a model that could be used to an- swer stakeholder questions about risk. The risk model was used for hu- man health and safety risk from normal, incident- free operations and accidents, and did not include programmatic or environmental impact risks. The risk model was developed for activities involving high-level waste, transuranic waste, low-level waste, mixed-level waste, and spent nuclear fuel. A typical risk model analysis consists of the following steps: (1) information collection, (2) development of a system flow dia- gram (disposition map), (3) breakdown of the system flow diagram into more basic risk states (e.g., disposal and specific material storage), (4) characterization of the curie and/or chemical flows through the system, (5) development of risk matrices, (6) combining individual risk matrix results into system risk results, and (7) if more detailed analyses are
APPENDIX B 189 available, comparing them with simplified risk modelâs risk estimates (Eide et al., 1998). 1997 PROJECT BASELINE SUMMARIES AND THE 2006 CLEANUP PLAN In July 1996, DOE Assistant Secretary Alm âarticulated a vision for the EM program of completing as much cleanup as possible by 2006â by accelerating the cleanup of EM sites and reducing the overall life-cycle costs of the EM program while staying in compliance with applicable environmental and legal requirements (DOE, 1997c, p. 1). As part of this national cleanup plan, by the fall of 1997 each field office was required to submit a project baseline summary to headquarters for every project approved. Risk was to be considered in setting priorities at and across sites, sequencing project work, measuring progress, and showing that EM was addressing the most urgent risks first. Project managers were required to perform a qualitative evaluation of risks to workers, the pub- lic, and the environment associated with each project, following a screen- ing evaluation to determine the need and appropriate level of detail for risk evaluation. The risk evaluation was intended to build upon previous evaluations and to address the interest and concerns of regulators, stake- holders, and American Indian nations. For each applicable risk category of public, worker, and environment, the level of risk was defined by the intersection of two qualitatively assessed parameters (i.e., impact and likelihood), and the risk was classified as urgent, high, medium, low, or not applicable (CRESP, 1999). 1997 CRESP REVIEW OF DOE-EM RISK INFORMATION In 1997, Assistant Secretary Alm endorsed two meetings convened by CRESP to discuss how to improve the content and format of the risk elements in DOEâs risk database. CRESP recommended that EM con- tinue to consider risks to workers, the public, and the environment and pay greater attention to how risks to workers and the public may arise from remediation activities. The group suggested that DOE revise the current EM risk database format and pilot-test the revised risk matrix to evaluate projects prior to final submission to headquarters. CRESP also recommended screening the revised database to identify circumstances in which further risk assessment is not needed. Finally, CRESP recom-
190 RISK AND DECISIONS ABOUT TRU AND HLW mended including site personnel with the training and experience neces- sary to help in devising a credible database of risk information (CRESP, 1997). 1998 ACCELERATING CLEANUP: PATHS TO CLOSURE Released in June 1998, Accelerating Cleanup: Paths to Closure (DOE, 1998b) provided a vision for completing site cleanup at 53 DOE sites by 2006, with the remaining 10 sites, including 5 of the largest sites continuing treatment for legacy waste streams. Each field office was re- quired to provide information in the form of the project baseline summa- ries (see above), which were management tools intended for the development of detailed projections of scope, schedule, and cost (base- lines) for each site, based on the aggregation of logical, discrete units of work (DOE, 1998b, p. 2-3). According to the report, the project baseline summaries were the main source of site information for headquarters and provided detailed information about each projectâs programmatic risks, technical approaches, end states, life-cycle performance measurements, annual performance targets, and other information such as data on risk, health, and safety. However, the main focus of this report was on pro- grammatic risk, which DOE describes as associated with project cost, schedule, and performance, rather than risks to workers, the public, or the environment. The categories of risk defined in the report are technol- ogy, scope, and intersite dependence (DOE, 1998b). CRESP Review of Project Baseline Summaries and Paths to Closure The Peer Review Committee of CRESP (1999) stated that the Project Baseline Summary program failed because DOE did not have a clear ba- sis for understanding or classifying risks, there were inconsistencies in implementation, assessments were inadequate and not well documented, and the summaries were not accepted by field offices. As defined in the national 2006 cleanup plan, the risk assessments did not require adequate evaluation of the exposure receptors of concern or of the toxicity of con- stituents of concern, which are of fundamental importance to any risk characterization. This management tool did not prove useful for compar- ing risks across sites; instead it was useful for comparing the value of projects at a single site. Without a clear and transparent definition of the basis for classifying risks and without consistent application of the proc-
APPENDIX B 191 ess across all sites and projects, it would be difficult to track project pro- gress adequately and make it credible and acceptable to stakeholders (CRESP, 1999; see also Gephart, 2003). After 1998, risk information for this program was no longer developed (GAO, 2002). As the CRESP peer review of Paths to Closure notes, risks in the re- port focus on the risks to cost, schedule, and technical performance re- sulting from failure to complete a given activity or schedule. The peer review committee states that with âno specific reference in the report to reduction of risks to health and the environment,â it gives the appearance that risks to health and the environment have been incorporated into the planning of projects and thus do not have to be mentioned or are unim- portant (CRESP, 1999, p. 32). The CRESP review committee notes that it is significant that traditional questions about risks to human health and the environment, risk reduction, and the allocation of funds across the complex to address risks were not included more directly in the report (CRESP, 1999). 1997-1999 CENTER FOR RISK EXCELLENCE AND RISK PROFILES The DOE Center for Risk Excellence (CRE) was created by EM to support the development of integrated risk programs and risk-based deci- sion making. The CRE, which operated through 2002, provided an on- line resource for evaluation of EM risk guidelines, requirements, and policies, and was intended as a focal point for integrating science-based information for risk practitioners and others interested in risk analysis and for facilitating involvement by stakeholders, including other agen- cies, in the risk evaluation process (CRE, no date). The CRESP review committee reported that the risk profiles were presented in a 1999 draft report entitled Results and Status of Environ- mental Management Site Risk Profiles: Public Hazard Management at Ten DOE Field Offices (CRE, 1999, cited in CRESP, 1999). This report resulted from a collaborative effort of CRE, the 10 field offices, and the EM Office of Science and Risk Policy to characterize the risks addressed by EM activities. The five stated objectives of the risk profiles are (1) to provide broad site-level risk information; (2) to make effective use of existing data from the sites; (3) to present clear information to a variety of audiences in support of the budget process and in response to outside requests for summary risk information; (4) to develop and follow an ob- jective and repeatable evaluation of EM progress over time; and (5) to
192 RISK AND DECISIONS ABOUT TRU AND HLW seek and incorporate extensive site and stakeholder input. CRESP re- viewed the report and states that, in general, the report does not meet its stated objectives. The reviewers state that the report should be construed as a hazard profile, rather than a risk profile report. It was found that al- though the report contains detailed volume and waste-type information for each site, essential information for evaluating the associated risks is not consistently and adequately documented. The terms risk and hazard are used interchangeably and inconsistently throughout the report, caus- ing confusion and ambiguity. Graphs in the report depicting relative change in site hazard or risk over time for each waste type do not answer the fundamental question of how and to what extent a given reduction in hazard corresponds to a reduction in risk. The report also failed to ad- dress ecological or occupational risks (CRESP, 1999, p. 34). In 2001, DOE eliminated the support group responsible for assisting the sites with this effort, and the risk profiles were generally no longer developed (CRESP, 1999). 1998 DOE GUIDELINES FOR RISK-BASED PRIORITIZATION OF DOE ACTIVITIES These guidelines were issued as a Defense Programs standard ap- proved for use by all DOE âcomponentsâ (offices and programs) and their contractors. These guidelines suggest that the most important first steps in risk-based prioritization may be the initial structuring and formu- lation of the problem and decision to be made, the decision objectives or goals to be reached, and any available options or alternatives for reaching these goals. The use of multiattribute utility theory is suggested because it is a quantitative-based decision analysis technique and management tool that provides a demonstrated way to combine quantitatively dissimi- lar measures of costs, risks, and benefits, along with decision-maker preferences, into high-level aggregated measures that can be used to evaluate alternatives. The risk-based prioritization is intended as an analysis of the predicted costs, risks, and benefits of various activities as a method for aiding decision makers with resource allocation, planning, and scheduling decisions. The guidelines state that the following charac- teristics are to be used for evaluating the quality of a prioritization sys- tem: (1) logical soundness, (2) completeness, (3) accuracy, (4) acceptability, (5) practicality, (6) effectiveness, (7) defensibility, and (8) quantification of costs and benefits (DOE, 1998c).
APPENDIX B 193 The risk-based prioritization standard provides guidance to decision makers for developing a clear understanding of how policy issues will be addressed in structuring prioritization efforts. One recommendation is for decision makers to be prepared to reprioritize each time new information is introduced, by either preparing contingency plans in the eventuality that the factors driving the preferred decision may change before the de- cision is fully carried out or planning for a âliving scheduleâ in which new information is processed regularly in an ongoing prioritization, so activities or allocations always reflect the most up-to-date information. Decision makers should make a determination of the threshold guidance for whether risk-based prioritization and the standard should be imple- mented, how a graded approach should be employed for the decisions made, and how the approach should be adapted to the decision context (DOE, 1998c). 1998 OUTCOME-ORIENTED RISK PLANNING Supported by the EM Office of Science and Risk Policy, the Joint In- stitute for Energy and Environment (JIEE) produced a series of reports directed toward DOE management that focused on a process for out- come-oriented risk planning as an alternative to the EM status quo and aimed to stimulate dialogue about implementing the lowest-cost, risk- based cleanup that is realistic about restrictions imposed by regulatory requirements and technical uncertainties. The authors suggest that in or- der for EM to lead arbitration over budgets, timeframes, endstates, and long-term stewardship, it must be able to place issues within a common framework and relate them to other relevant aspects of cleanup. EM must also be able to demonstrate the trade-offs associated with alternatives and the impacts they will have on the cleanup process. The authors state that this means âdefining the process that will lead to program decisions and not to making the decisions themselvesâ (Bjornstad et al., 1998, p. 4). The authors suggest a series of seven steps for achieving outcome- oriented risk planning; (1) separate community desires for additional funding from community desires for effective cleanup; (2) reorient cleanup from inputs to outputsâa logical output is the reduction and management of risks that result from the wastes and materials being cleaned up; (3) build the already existing risk principles, databases de- scribing physical attributes of the wastes, established uses of risk for pro- ject prioritization, and risk material developed by other agencies; (4) create a risk-planning system tailored to DOE cleanup needs by combin-
194 RISK AND DECISIONS ABOUT TRU AND HLW ing the risk principles with the particular attributes of the EM mission; (5) conduct a demonstration phase before formal implementation of a new risk-planning system that could serve to both anticipate possible analytical pitfalls and overcome EM inertia; (6) systematically begin to integrate the risk planning into the EM management system; and (7) re- orient cleanup from hazard elimination to risk management and from partnering waste inventories with best available technologies to associat- ing inventories with the appropriate risk levels (Bjornstad et al., 1998, pp. 4-10). 1999-2000 INTEGRATOR OPERABLE UNIT AND COMPOSITE ANALYSES The 1999 CRESP review committee observed a gap between DOE Environmental Management activities that are necessary to comply with various environmental statutes and regulations and those generated by a risk evaluation across the complex. The review committee noted that successful accomplishment of DOEâs environmental management mis- sion at large sites containing multiple sources of contamination will re- quire that interim measures necessitated by relevant regulatory requirements be appropriately linked to the long-term goal of completing the overall cleanup process and ensuring lasting protection against risks from any residual hazards that may remain at a given site. Conducting source-by-source analysis and cleanup only, is inefficient at large sites and may not adequately capture the full scope of current and potential risks (CRESP, 1999). The integrator operable units and composite analy- ses were an attempt to link risk concepts with regulatory innovations. 2002 GAO REVIEW OF DOEâS COMPLIANCE AGREEMENTS The General Accounting Office reviewed DOEâs compliance agree- ments from July 2001 through May 2002 (GAO, 2002). The GAO found that DOEâs compliance agreements are site specific and are not intended as a way to manage environmental risks across the DOE complex. DOE had not developed a comprehensive, relative ranking of the risks that it faces across its sites and, as a result could not systematically make deci- sions among sites based on risk. The compliance agreements do not in- clude information on risks being addressed, nor do they provide a means of prioritizing among sites; therefore, they do not provide a basis for de-
APPENDIX B 195 cision making across all sites. Instead, DOE was providing relatively stable funding to its sites each year and generally allowed local stake- holders to determine site priorities for sequencing work. The GAO dis- cussed DOEâs current initiative to improve the cleanup program and how accelerated risk reduction was identified as a central theme of the top-to- bottom review of the EM program, which is discussed below (DOE, 2002d). GAO identified âfollowing through on its plan to develop and implement a risk-based method to prioritize its various cleanup activi- tiesâ as one of the two main challenges for DOE going forward with its initiative to accelerate risk reduction and reduce cleanup costs (GAO, 2002, p. 27). 2002 DOE REVIEW OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAM In August 2001, DOE Assistant Secretary for Environmental Man- agement Jessie Roberson, created the Top-to-Bottom Review Team, which was tasked with conducting a programmatic review of EM and its management systems, with the goal of making recommendations for how to improve program performance quickly and significantly. On February 2, 2002, the top-to-bottom review of the Environmental Management Program was released (DOE, 2002d). One of the major findings of the review was that the EM complex-wide cleanup strategy is not based on a coherent, comprehensive, technically supported prioritization of risks. Many wastes are managed according to their origins, rather than risks. This approach has resulted in expensive waste management and disposi- tion strategies that are not proportional to risks posed to human health and the environment. The review team recommended that DOE move EM to an accelerated, risk-based cleanup strategy by initiating an effort to examine how current DOE orders, requirements, and regulatory agreements are addressing risk reduction, and that it begin conversations with regulators to work toward achieving regulatory agreements that re- duce risk based on technical risk evaluation. The following steps were suggested for incorporating this new strategy: (1) cleanup work should be prioritized to achieve the greatest risk reduction at an accelerated rate; (2) realistic approaches to cleanup and waste management should be based on technical risk evaluation, with consideration given to antici- pated future land uses, points of compliance, and points of evaluation; (3) cleanup agreements should be assessed for their contribution to re- ducing risk to workers, the public, and the environment; and (4) waste
196 RISK AND DECISIONS ABOUT TRU AND HLW acceptance criteria at facilities for permanent disposal should be reevalu- ated to identify other waste streams that could be sent to these facilities without increasing risk to workers, the public, or the environment (DOE, 2002d, p. ES-4). 2003 THE ROLE OF RISK AND FUTURE LAND USE IN CLEANUP AT THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Following the EM top-to-bottom review, DOE project teams were set up to implement some of the reviewâs recommendations. The team examining ârisk-based end statesâ asked 36 DOE sites to complete a self-assessment questionnaire. Based on the results, the authors con- cluded that although there are some âlaws and regulations that take risk into account, the lack of site-specific data on exposures and risk scenar- ios, and the lack of attention to future land use or end states has poten- tially resulted in a disconnect between risk and cleanup, risk and final end states, and the cleanup levels and end state or subsequent land useâ (Burger et al., 2003, p. 10). Considering the final end state before and during cleanup can ensure that risk and other factors inform the decisions (Burger et al., 2003). The authors provide the following recommendations to DOE: (1) risk balancing should occur consistently at all cleanup sites and should in- volve regulators, state and tribal governments, and other stakeholders; (2) risk balancing should occur among remediation sites, methods, and schedules (balance risks of acting now against those of delaying until better technologies are available); (3) risk balancing should occur among DOE facilities to address environmental management in a consistent pat- tern (understand risks before making budget decisions; consider site- wide tradeoffs, and include the participation of American Indian and lo- cal government officials, regulators, and other stakeholders); (4) risk, remediation decisions, and future land use designations should be consis- tent; (5) types of stakeholder participation and information transfer cate- gories should be consistent; (6) tools to meld risk, cleanup goals, and end states should be available to all DOE sites; and, (7) decision-matrix tools for risk balancing should be further developed and made available to all sites (Burger et al., 2003, pp. 11-13).
APPENDIX B 197 2003 DOE POLICY ON THE USE OF RISK-BASED END STATES DOE Policy 455.1 on the use of risk-based end states was approved on July 15, 2003. The goal of this policy is the reevaluation of DOEâs cleanup activities to ensure that DOE actions are appropriate for, and aligned with, the end state conditions it aims to achieve. This policy re- quires each site to formulate a risk-based end state vision âin cooperation with regulators, and in consultation with affected governments and American Indian nations, and stakeholders (as appropriate)â (DOE, 2003, p. 2). After the vision document is developed, sites should create an implementation plan that assesses current cleanup strategies and base- lines at each site, to bring them into line with the end state vision. As needed, sites will work with regulators to modify site cleanup strategies, agreements, and baselines and will then update the baselines and per- formance plans to be consistent with the end state strategy. Sites are re- quired to incorporate the following elements in their efforts to achieve risk-based end states: base the end states on integrated site-wide perspec- tives, including current and future land use, rather than isolated operable units or release sites. Use the end states as the basis for exposure scenar- ios developed in the baseline risk assessments that help establish accept- able exposure levels for developing remediation alternatives. Cleanup strategies and decision documents should include risk reduction meas- ures, life-cycle costs, uncertainties, and other relevant policy factors. When remedies result in long-term stewardship, risk control concepts should include institutional controls that are layered, redundant, and commensurate with the risks to maintain protection of human health and the environment. All federal, state, and treaty requirements must be complied with, and when the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) is the governing statute, all nine CERCLA remedy selection criteria must be evaluated. Site manag- ers should establish communication plans for working with stakeholders through all phases of preparation of the site vision. Once the end state is achieved, DOE will address how it plans to manage âthe impacts of fu- ture risks, uncertainties, and vulnerabilities, including the creation of contingency plans and the identification of responsible parties in the event that site conditions change after cleanup is completedâ (DOE, 2003, p. 3).
198 RISK AND DECISIONS ABOUT TRU AND HLW Guidance to Support Implementation of DOE Policy 455.1 On September 22, 2003, EM issued guidance to assist sites in devel- oping the draft risk-based end state (RBES) vision documents. This guidance provides the steps that sites must use for RBES documents. Historically, land use plans, site maps, and conceptual site models, were generated by the sites using a variety of tools and procedures. In contrast, the guidance uses a standardized approach for generating and using site maps and conceptual site models. The guidance requests site maps that present and allow comparisons between current and future land use and enable graphical depictions of hazards and the associated risks, as well as the affected receptors or populations. The maps should serve as a tool to aid in management decisions at the sites and headquarters. They should also be used for communication and risk assessment tools for discussions with state and federal regulators and with the public about cleanup activi- ties, requirements, and future land use. Conceptual site models, which provide information on hazards, pathways, receptors, and barriers be- tween hazards and receptors, are integral to the RBES approach since they are used as an additional means for communicating risk information to DOE managers, regulators, and the general public (Roberson, 2003a). On December 9, 2003, at the request of site managers, Assistant Sec- retary Roberson extended the deadlines for submitting the draft RBES documents to headquarters from October 31, 2003, to February 1, 2004, and the final RBES vision document to March 30, 2004 (Roberson, 2003b). On December 23, 2003, Gene Schmitt, the DOE deputy assistant sec- retary for environmental cleanup and acceleration, issued an RBES guid- ance clarification to respond to the RBES vision documents received at headquarters up to that date. There appeared to be confusion and misin- terpretation of the intent of the guidance. Therefore, the guidance clarifi- cation document explained that the RBES vision documents were intended as a means for sites to communicate to readers the current state of cleanup progress at the site and alternative end states. Thus, it was expected that the documents would be used to examine future actions based on alternative scenarios associated with land use plans, hazard in- formation, and risk assessments, rather than only to describe current and planned cleanup actions (Schmitt, 2003).