The Energy Department's Office of Environment Does Not Have a Large Role in Decision-Making

EMD-80-50: Published: Jan 29, 1980. Publicly Released: Jan 29, 1980.

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The Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Environment (OE) has had problems influencing DOE decisions to select and develop energy technologies.

OE does not have a large role in decisions to select and develop energy programs and projects. However, OE has developed several processes which have made program officials more aware of the need to comply with environmental regulations as well as the need to incorporate environmental concerns into developing energy technologies. In addition, it was found that OE played a large role in influencing the DOE position on the Environmental Protection Agency's New Source Performance Standards for sulfur dioxide emissions. Although OE has taken steps to establish a good relationship with other Government agencies, agencies and environmental groups at the local level feel that it is difficult to make their views known. OE has been concentrating its efforts on assessing DOE actions to determine its compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act, reviewing environmental impact statements, and identifying environmental concerns which need to be integrated into the planning and development of energy programs and projects. Thus, because of a lack of good program planning, OE efforts have not been fully incorporated into the decisions program offices make in developing technologies. OE has proposed that it be given a more positive role in the decision making process.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Energy, in considering the OE proposal for a role in decision making, should provide for a means by which environmental factors can be given full consideration throughout the process of selecting energy programs and projects. The Secretary should also assure that the current examination of the DOE field structure include a re-assessment of the regional offices' environmental responsibilities, and establish a clear policy requiring early involvement by the regions in the environmental planning and assessment process.

    Agency Affected:


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