Today, more than thirty nuclear watchdog organizations sent an urgent letter to U.S. Energy Secretary Janet Granholm and the White House, noting that she and the Biden administration face a critical decision that will have far-reaching environmental justice implications: the nomination of the Department of Energy (DOE) Assistant Secretary for Environmental Management (EM).

The letter cites the “inadequate cleanup, missed milestones, and broken cleanup promises” that have characterized EM in recent years and catalyzed today’s call for “big and bold action… from new EM leadership.”

The letter is from the national Alliance for Nuclear Accountability (ANA), a unique, thirty-four year old network whose member groups represent tens of thousands of community residents living at and near the fence lines of highly-contaminated DOE sites across the country.

The ANA letter states: “…DOE sites have more than $500 billion in environmental liability (about seven times more than the Department of Defense).

And it points out: “That liability is increasing, an indication of the inadequacy of past cleanup practices. Failure to achieve genuine cleanup will cause incalculable health impacts to workers and the public – and significant long-term damage to environmental justice communities.”

Marylia Kelley, ANA Board President, summed up the network’s demands: “Business as usual at EM will not get the job done!”

Kelley continued, “As one measure of the priority the Biden administration puts on public health and environmental justice, the nominee for EM-1 should be someone with a proven commitment to Environmental Justice in cleanup of DOE sites.”

View/download the letter here & below