Communities Against a Radioactive Environment
Tri-Valley CAREs' Executive Director, Marylia Kelley, was invited by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to participate in a national "Federal Facilities Cleanup Dialogue" aimed at improving the openness and quality of cleanup programs at contaminated facilities owned by the Departments of Energy and Defense. The meeting was held in Washington, DC on October 19 and 20.
The meeting was organized by Mathy Stanislaus, Assistant EPA Administrator and head of the agency's Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response. It was a diverse and inclusive meeting, with around 60 participants. High level management from DoD, DOE and EPA were present, as were key tribal, state and local governments and non-governmental organizations representing constituencies around contaminated federal sites.
"I was honored to be asked to represent directly-affected community perspectives," noted Kelley. "I used my presentation time to highlight positive as well as negative aspects of the Livermore Lab Superfund program, and to offer national policy recommendations stemming from those examples. In particular, I focused on the need for policies that promote long-term, sustained community involvement in decision-making on cleanup issues that affect peoples' land, air, water and lives."
Most, if not all, of the participants agreed that while this national meeting was a good start in improving federal facility cleanup, an ongoing dialogue will be needed to realize the gathering's full potential.