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Walden, Shimkus, Upton Statement on GAO Recommendations for DOE Cleanup Efforts

Statement

Date: Oct. 22, 2019
Location: Washington D.C.

Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader Greg Walden (R-OR), Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee Republican Leader John Shimkus (R-IL), and Energy Subcommittee Republican Leader Fred Upton (R-MI) released the following statement on the Government Accountability Office (GAO) report detailing recommendations to improve cleanup efforts at the Department of Energy (DOE):

"Bolstering DOE's ability to protect communities from hazardous and contaminated sites has long been a priority for the Energy and Commerce Committee. That's why, last Congress, we requested that GAO examine how DOE can adopt a risk-informed, performance-based approach to improve decision-making for Environmental Management cleanup projects. We are encouraged that GAO provided constructive recommendations.

"Secretary Perry has made improving cleanup missions a top priority at the Department of Energy, which is evident in the progress made cleaning up radioactive waste at the Hanford Site in Washington State. Secretary Perry's leadership has put DOE on a better footing to tackle this national challenge, and that momentum must continue.

"This report makes clear that DOE must incorporate risk-informed decision-making in order to strengthen its cleanup program to protect communities and taxpayer dollars. As was our goal in requesting this report last Congress, GAO outlines steps DOE can take to more efficiently and effectively tackle these environmental challenges. Under Secretary Perry's leadership, DOE has taken important strides to cost effectively address these risks to public health and our environment, and we encourage DOE to implement the recommendations in this report to build on that progress," said Walden, Shimkus, and Upton.

Background

Under then-Chairman Walden's leadership last Congress, the Energy and Commerce Committee Majority asked the nonpartisan U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) to assist the committee's review of the Department of Energy's (DOE) environmental cleanup operations and its use of modeling and assessments to ensure the most cost-effective reduction of public health risks.


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