Washington, DC – U.S. Representative Chuck Fleischmann (TN-03) released the following statement strongly supporting the proposal to build a new onsite disposal facility on the Oak Ridge Reservation.
“Moving forward with the Environmental Management Disposal Facility is critically important to the Oak Ridge Reservation. The Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Y-12 National Security complex contain the Department of Energy’s (DOE) largest inventory of high-risk facilities, including over 200 buildings currently slated to be demolished. These facilities, some dating back to the Manhattan Project of the 1940s, present an ongoing environmental and public health risk and occupy land that should be used for critical national security and scientific missions.”
“With the current disposal facility slated to be near capacity no later than 2028, and possibly even earlier, it is of the highest urgency that the new waste disposal cell moves forward as quickly as possible. If that fails to occur, DOE’s Office of Environmental Management will lose access to onsite disposal, which will essentially halt demolition and cleanup activities at Oak Ridge. These scenarios are unacceptable, and will be accompanied by massive job loss, force the Oak Ridge community to live longer with facilities that pose health and environmental hazards, deprive Tennessee of hosting future DOE missions, and significantly drive up the cost of cleanup.”
“Reliance exclusively on offsite disposal at Oak Ridge will escalate cleanup costs to almost twice as much as onsite disposal, and as an Appropriator, I can say without hesitation that the funds do not, and will not, exist to make up the gap that would be created by offsite disposal. The new facility will allow for the essential work at Oak Ridge to continue and keep our workforce, community, and environment healthy and safe.”
“I urge DOE to approve the creation of the new Environmental Waste Disposal Facility and move forward with construction and operation of this facility.”