State and local officials from Oak Ridge and Anderson and Roane counties recently attended the U.S. Department of Energy’s Annual Intergovernmental Conference in New Orleans. Participants met with federal, state, and local leaders from DOE sites across the nation, including top managers overseeing DOE’s Environmental Management, or EM, program.
Two senior DOE officials were keynote speakers at the conference. David Huizenga, senior advisor for DOE’s Office of Environmental Management, provided an update on the EM program, which is responsible for environmental restoration, waste management, and long-term stewardship at DOE sites across the complex.
Neile Miller, recently named acting administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration and acting undersecretary for nuclear security, addressed the relationship between NNSA and EM, and how the programs work together at sites with multiple missions like Oak Ridge.
The conference was sponsored by DOE’s Office of Intergovernmental Programs, which supports DOE’s EM mission through liaison, communications, coordination, and interaction with state, tribal, city, and county governments.
Intergovernmental groups represented at the conference included: Energy Communities Alliance, Environmental Council of the States, National Association of Attorneys General, National Conference of State Legislatures, National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, and DOE’s State and Tribal Government Working Group.
“It is important that our state and local officials working with the Department of Energy stay informed about the programs that affect our communities,” said Oak Ridge Mayor and Energy Communities Alliance Chairman Tom Beehan. “We also need to communicate to DOE and its intergovernmental partners our local priorities for economic growth and quality of life for our citizens.”
Travel expenses for local participants were paid through cooperative agreements among the DOE EM program, National Governors Association, the National Conference of State Legislators, and the Energy Communities Alliance.