Environment, Safety, and Health:

Status of Department of Energy's Implementation of 1985 Initiatives

RCED-86-68FS: Published: Mar 4, 1986. Publicly Released: Mar 4, 1986.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Department of Energy's (DOE) effectiveness in protecting worker health and safety and the surrounding environment at its nuclear facilities.

GAO monitored the implementation of several initiatives to strengthen DOE environmental, safety, and health (ES&H) programs and found that DOE has focused its attention on: (1) reorganizing the headquarters ES&H function; (2) revising DOE orders that will provide additional authority in ES&H matters; and (3) developing preliminary plans outlining the scope, methodology, and tentative schedules for environmental and technical safety survey appraisals. GAO also found that: (1) the Secretary of Energy has approved the revised ES&H organizational structure; (2) 118 out of 128 ES&H staff positions have been filled; (3) 6 draft ES&H orders for DOE-wide coordination and review have been approved; (4) 41 environmental surveys and 51 technical safety appraisals will be conducted at DOE nuclear and nonnuclear sites; (5) DOE is planning to develop an information system that it can use to monitor ES&H problems at its facilities; and (6) DOE is providing its program and field offices with additional and clearer environmental guidance to meet its regulatory deadlines.

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