Federal Research:

Information on Site Selection Process for DOE's Super Collider

RCED-90-33BR: Published: Oct 4, 1989. Publicly Released: Oct 4, 1989.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Department of Energy's (DOE) site selection process for the superconducting super collider (SSC), focusing on whether DOE: (1) assigned weights to the technical criteria used to evaluate the sites; (2) complied with timing requirements for the draft and final environmental impact statements; (3) considered all the geological information the states submitted subsequent to the initial site proposals; (4) considered whether transfer of federal properties in four site proposals would conflict with the properties' intended use; and (5) considered the $1-billion financial inducement that Texas offered to defray costs.

GAO found that: (1) although DOE listed the technical evaluation criteria in descending order of importance in the invitation for site proposals, it did not assign weights to the criteria or rank the sites according to their performance on the basis of the technical evaluation; (2) the Secretary of Energy considered not only the technical evaluations, but the environmental impact statements and comments, and state representatives' presentations; (3) DOE complied with the timing requirements for both the draft and final environmental impact statements; (4) DOE incorporated all the supplemental geological information that states submitted into its technical evaluations; (5) the federal agencies that owned land proposed for sites had no insurmountable conflicts in using the lands for SSC; and (6) DOE did not consider inducements that Texas or any other proposers offered to defray costs.

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