By Ashley Huff
Developing a budget for the massive cleanup efforts undertaken by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management, or OREM, requires advanced planning and careful prioritization of the program’s near-term and long-term goals. DOE’s vision for a clean future largely depends upon funding designated for the Oak Ridge site by Congress each fiscal year.
Appropriations for Oak Ridge cleanup comprise only a part of the overall budget for DOE’s EM Program, which includes a number of additional sites also dealing with the lingering inheritances of the Manhattan Project. The Oak Ridge site has traditionally fared well both in the president’s request and in the actual appropriations determined by Congress. OREM experienced a $36 million increase in its enacted budget for Fiscal Year 2014, meaning the site received $36 million above what the president even requested for the Oak Ridge cleanup mission. In FY 2015, the site received $46 million above the president’s request. For the current year, OREM welcomed a generous “plus-up” from Congress. Appropriations for FY 2016 were $102 million above President Obama’s request for the program.
“The additional funding of $102 million above the president’s request for FY 2016 has allowed OREM to accelerate progress on spending priorities already well established,” said Karen Thompson, OREM’s branch chief for Planning and Baseline Management Branch, who spoke to the Oak Ridge Site Specific Advisory Board at its March 9 meeting on developing the FY 2018 budget. [Read more…]