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2 Clarify the Role and Mission of OST In 1998, DOE Office of Environmental Management (EM) published its Strategic Plan for Science and Technology,is which includes He following mission statement for its science and technology efforts (DOE, 1998b, p. 3~: Provide He full range of science and technology resources and capabilities, from basic research to development, to demonstration and deployment to technical assistance, Mat are needed to deliver and support fully developed, deployable scientific and technological solutions to EM cleanup and long-te~m environmental stewardship problems. However, an overarching issue raised in the six reports is how He role and mission of EM's Office of Science and Technology (OST) should be deemed, and how OST's role and mission relate to those of over parts of DOE-EM. There are several possibilities, which are not mutually exclusive: develop new technologies, hmd applicable technologies, adapt existing technologies to address DOE-EM problems, communicate or negotiate with users and other Interested and affected parties, and |5 DOE-EM also released a Research and Development Program plan in late 1998 (DOE, 1998a). Due to the limited time available to prepare this report, the extensive study that would be required to evaluate the efficacy of these two new plans, and the board's task (i.e., to summarize and synthesize recent NRC reports), the board did not conduct a detailed evaluation of these documents or their possible impacts. 18

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CLARIFY THE ROLE AND MISSION OF OST . market OST-developed technologies. 19 Several of the committees have provided insights on this issue. The Subsurface Contaminants Committee recommended that DOE-EM continue to invest in developing groundwater and soil remediation technologies because existing technologies are not adequate for cleaning up large quantities of contaminated groundwater and soil, as required by federal law (Subsurface report, p. 13~. The Mixed Waste Committee recommended that waste formic development no longer be the primary focus of the Mixed Waste Focus Area (MWFA) because currently available waste forms are sufficiently developed to enable proper disposal of DOE's lcnown and expected mixed waste inventory. Instead the committee recommended that the MWFA emphasize engineering design, integration, and scale-up of its proposed treatment processes and Weir demonstration and deployment at the DOE sites (Mixed Waste report, p. 984. The D&D Committee questioned whether simply testing and providing information about commercially developed technologies is a suitable role for the DDFA (D&D report, p. 25~. The board did not attempt to settle the matter, but believes that to be effective, OST's role should be clear, and it has not been. It is also not clear how the OST mission relates to that of EM, DOE, and the sites. The board concludes that there is a role for centralized research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) activities in providing economical, effective, acceptable, and practicable technologies for use in DOE-EM site cleanups. Although OST accounts for only a small part of the DOE-EM budget, its work can have substantial beneficial impact in reducing the cost (and risk) associated with environmental remediation activities, which are estimated to be over $100 billion (Decision Making report, p. 74, 86~.~7 To realize this potential role, the committees offered a number of findings and recommendations to improve OST's strategic planning and prioritization processes (including ways to enhance participation by the sites) and to target its mission to short-term and long-term objectives. {6 A "waste form" is a solid material that is the product of one or more treatment processes (Mixed Waste report, p. 21. t7 The Decision Making Committee did not consider other possible organizational structures to accomplish the RD&D needed in DOE-EM. Therefore this conclusion from the Decision Making report (and others) are specific to the context and associated challenges provided by the DOE-EM organizational structure examined in the course of this study (Decision Making report, p. 10~.

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20 TECHNOLOGIES FOR ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT STRATEGIC PLANNING AND PRIORITIZATION A consistent theme in the six reports is Me lack of well-defined strategic goals for OST. ~8 Program implementation has suffered because Were existed no formal strategic plan on which to base discussions, select alternatives, and manage the program, and because strategic goals developed by OST have not been sharply focused in the past. i9 Such criticisms were not universal, however. For example, He Mixed Waste Committee complimented the Mixed Waste Focus Area (MWFA) and recommended continuing Be practice of identifying, prioritizing, and responding to technology deficiencies (Mixed Waste report, p. 99~. The committee also recommended that OST integrate treatment technologies into a mixed waste treatment strategy (Mixed Waste report, p. 102~. In addition, as pointed out by He Decision Making Committee, this issue is not solely an OST problem, because the strategic goals for OST must be guided and constrained by priorities established by other DOE-EM offices priorities that also have varied over the years (Decision Making report, p. 80~. The committee also found that OST's strategic goals do not provide an adequate level of guidance for program managers as they attempt, in collaboration with users, to assign priorities to technology needs (Decision Making report, p. 79~. The board recommends the following actions to address this issue: . OST managers, in conjunction with other top-level EM managers, should produce strategic goals and plans that define explicitly the technical problems that OST program units will and will not address (Decision Making report, p. 6~. Any top-level strategic goals developed by OST should be consistent with the EM mission and be derived in concert with technology user plans and needs (Decision Making report, p. 80~. '8 "OST's strategic goals do not provide an adequate level of guidance for program managers as they attempt, in collaboration with users, to assign priorities to technology needs" (Decision Making report, p. 79~. "The overall goals of SCFA's [Subsurface Contaminants Focus Area] technology development program have to be better defined in order to evaluate success" (Subsurface report, p. 214~. ]9 "There is a lack of top-down evaluation and prioritization of DDFA activities." (D&D report, p. 2) "SCFA should identify key technical gaps and prepare a national plan for developing technologies to fill these gaps" (Subsurface report, p. 2141.

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CLARIFY THE ROLE AND MISSION OF OST LONG-TERM OBJECTIVES 21 Due to the time generally required to research, develop, and deploy new technologies, it is unrealistic to expect unproven, truly innovative technologies to affect major cleanup tasks by 2006 (D&D report, p. 221. Ten years or more is a realistic time frame for development, demonstration, and deployment of truly innovative technologies. Such long-term efforts should target both site-specific and complex-wide problems that are either intractable or very difficult (e.g., expensive) with current technologies (D&D report, p. 22~.