APPENDIX E RESPONSE TO SUPPLEMENTARY STATEMENT IN APPENDIX D

Dr. John Ahearne

February 14, 1997

Dr. Lewis correctly charges (Appendix D) that the Department of Energy's Environmental Management Program (DOE-EM) does not have a set of clear objectives. This is a point made forcefully by several previous National Research Council (NRC) reports,1 on one of which I was a member. I agree that setting out such clear objectives would be of great value, not just for the EMSP, but for the overall EM program. However, this small study is not the place to take on this major task. Perhaps another NRC committee can be chartered and funded to do so—this is a major task, which must include examining whether changes will be needed to federal legislation (e.g., the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act; the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act; and the Federal Facilities Compliance Act), as well as negotiated agreements among states, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the DOE. The committee concluded that, even in the absence of such objectives, it is possible to fund basic science that may contribute significantly to meeting whatever objectives are finally agreed upon.

Dr. Lewis also disagrees with the committee's conclusion that the program should be a joint EM-ER program. The committee discussed this issue at length. While having some sympathy for Dr. Lewis's view that research is best left to the research community to administer, the

1  

National Research Council, 1995, Improving the Environment: An Evaluation of DOE's Environmental Management Program (Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press); National Research Council, 1996, Barriers to Science: Technical Management of the Department of Energy Environmental Remediation Program (Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press); National Research Council, 1996, Environmental Management Technology-Development Program at the Department of Energy: 1995 Review (Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press).



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OCR for page 85
Building an Effective Environmental Management Science Program: Final Assessment APPENDIX E RESPONSE TO SUPPLEMENTARY STATEMENT IN APPENDIX D Dr. John Ahearne February 14, 1997 Dr. Lewis correctly charges (Appendix D) that the Department of Energy's Environmental Management Program (DOE-EM) does not have a set of clear objectives. This is a point made forcefully by several previous National Research Council (NRC) reports,1 on one of which I was a member. I agree that setting out such clear objectives would be of great value, not just for the EMSP, but for the overall EM program. However, this small study is not the place to take on this major task. Perhaps another NRC committee can be chartered and funded to do so—this is a major task, which must include examining whether changes will be needed to federal legislation (e.g., the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act; the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act; and the Federal Facilities Compliance Act), as well as negotiated agreements among states, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the DOE. The committee concluded that, even in the absence of such objectives, it is possible to fund basic science that may contribute significantly to meeting whatever objectives are finally agreed upon. Dr. Lewis also disagrees with the committee's conclusion that the program should be a joint EM-ER program. The committee discussed this issue at length. While having some sympathy for Dr. Lewis's view that research is best left to the research community to administer, the 1   National Research Council, 1995, Improving the Environment: An Evaluation of DOE's Environmental Management Program (Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press); National Research Council, 1996, Barriers to Science: Technical Management of the Department of Energy Environmental Remediation Program (Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press); National Research Council, 1996, Environmental Management Technology-Development Program at the Department of Energy: 1995 Review (Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press).

OCR for page 85
Building an Effective Environmental Management Science Program: Final Assessment committee concluded that to ensure a working relationship between the researchers and those who own the problems, a joint program is better. The management solution we recommend is the committee's conclusion on how to best ensure that this relationship will work. Therefore, much as I like and respect Dr. Lewis, I believe this report does provide DOE with substantial and significant advice on making the EMSP a viable program.