Environmental Restoration Projects was established in 1993 to complete Brookhaven National Laboratory's cleanup activities. We are responsible for the cleanup of legacy contamination that resulted from the early operation of Brookhaven National Laboratory as a national research center including the decommissioning of the nuclear reactors at the Laboratory that are no longer in operation.
Ongoing Environmental Restoration Projects activities are dominated by the decommissioning of the Brookhaven Graphite Research Reactor (BGRR). Between 1993 and 2005, Environmental Restoration Projects and the Laboratory safely and successfully completed the construction phase of several environmental restoration and decommissioning projects spanning several broad areas including the Peconic River cleanup, groundwater remediation and contaminated soil cleanup.
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009
On March 31, 2009, Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced $6 billion in new funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to accelerate environmental cleanup work and create thousands of jobs across 12 states – including a major investment in New York State.
“These investments will put Americans to work while cleaning up contamination from the cold war era,” said Secretary Chu. “It reflects our commitment to future generations as well as to help local economies get moving again.”
These projects and the new funding are managed by the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Environmental Management (EM), which is responsible for the risk reduction and cleanup of the environment, one of the largest, most diverse and technically complex environmental programs in the world.
Funding for New York (totaling $148 million) includes $42 million for Brookhaven National Laboratory to accelerate the following projects:
DOE EM issued a News Flash in December 2009 titled, "Recovery Act Funding Used to Accelerate Environmental Clean-up at Brookhaven Lab" highlighting the environmental restoration projects at BNL.
For further information about the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, please visit the DOE EM website at EM Recovery.
Environmental remediation at Brookhaven National Laboratory is carried out under requirements of the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) of 1980. CERCLA requires that the selected cleanup remedy must protect human health and the environment. The clean-up remedy also must be cost-effective, comply with other laws, and technologies, and resource-recovery options.
Ongoing Environmental Restoration Projects Mission- Decontamination and Decommissioning (D&D) of BGRR and HFBR
Environmental Restoration Projects Vision
Environmental Restoration Projects (ERP) Vision is to deliver best-in-class performance in completing the Brookhaven Graphite Research Reactor (BGRR) and High Flux Beam Reactor (HFBR) projects. ERP is committed to the safe, timely and cost effective completion of these projects, and through its actions, exemplifies this best-in-class standard as follows:
We recognize the value in completing the projects as urgently as possible, but never at the expense of worker health and safety or environmental protection. All project activities are planned and implemented, accordingly.
We will continue to foster the constructive working relationships that have been developed with the involved regulatory agencies and officials. These relationships are grounded by open, timely and honest communications, regulatory compliance, and consistently meeting regulatory commitments.
We will complete the projects with the participation of the Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) community and other involved stakeholders.
ERP fosters a safety and completion-focused culture, and will continue to seek and deploy innovative strategies with the objective of surpassing both Laboratory and Department of Energy performance expectations. This Vision will only be realized through the commitment and involvement of the entire Team. We rely on each individual member of the ERP Team to meet the fundamental requirements of their appointed positions.
ERP’s managers provide and direct the resources required to safely do the job right the first time and meet the project schedule. They oversee the project work through direct observation and communication with the front line supervisors and hands-on physical workers, and take the time to consider and promptly respond to emergent issues and questions raised by any member of the ERP Team.
Front-line as well as hands-on physical workers will also follow procedures, work safely, do the job right the first time, and promptly identify issues requiring attention and follow-up action.
We will maintain a constant focus on and commitment to this Vision and to that end, we as individual members of the ERP Team will:
Brookhaven Graphite Research Reactor
The BGRR was the world's first research reactor constructed solely for the peaceful use of atomic energy. The BGRR operated from 1950 to 1968. The Record of Decision calling for the removal of the graphite pile and biological shield was approved in Fiscal Year 2005. This project including the removal of the graphite pile and biological shield and preparation of the BGRR reactor building for safe storage is scheduled to be complete in Fiscal Year 2012.
High Flux Beam Reactor
The HFBR is a research reactor that operated at Brookhaven National Laboratory between 1965 and 1996. The nuclear fuel was removed from the reactor and transported to another Department of Energy (DOE) in 1998. The HFBR was transferred to Environmental Restoration Projects in 2000 for surveillance and maintenance pending the development of a plan and schedule for its decommissioning. More...
Fiscal Year 2005 Cleanup Milestones - Completion of Peconic River , Groundwater and Soil Cleanup Projects
Several major Brookhaven National Laboratory cleanup milestones were safely and successfully achieved by Environmental Restoration Projects in Fiscal Year 2005. These were major milestones in that they signified the completion of numerous cleanup projects , some of which were ongoing since 1993.
Peconic River and Sewage Treatment Plant Projects
These projects were completed under Operable Unit V. Operable Unit V is an area in the eastern-central portion of BNL. This area includes the Laboratory’s sewage treatment plant, an active facility used to process sewage from the Laboratory’s facilities. Operable Unit V also includes areas of the Peconic River impacted by past Laboratory operations, as well as sewer pipes and groundwater beneath the eastern portion of the Laboratory. The Record of Decision that documents the Operable Unit V cleanup requirements is included in the Administrative Record. More...
Groundwater Remediation Projects
The construction phase for several groundwater remediation projects was ongoing for several years and was completed in 2005. This work was completed under Operable Units I, III, IV, V, and VI. The major thrust of the construction phase was to build a fleet of treatment systems designed to safely remove and dispose of groundwater contamination that resulted from historical Laboratory operations. The Records of Decision that documents the cleanup requirements for these Operable Units is included in the Administrative Record. More...
The soil remediation projects were ongoing for several years and were completed in Fiscal Year 2005. This work was completed under Operable Units I, II, IV and VII. These projects were primarily involved in the removal and disposal of contaminated soil. In limited instances, contaminated soil was stabilized on the Laboratory site. The Records of Decision that document the cleanup requirements for these Operable Units is included in the Administrative Record. More...
Long Term Response Actions
The post-construction, long-term operations, monitoring and reporting responsibilities that are part of the above projects were transferred to the Long Term Response Actions (LTRA) Group of the Laboratory’s Environmental Protection Division, (formerly called Environmental and Waste Management Services Division) at the end of Fiscal Year 2005. The LTRA Group’s responsibilities include the preparation, regulatory review and issuance of Five Year Reviews. More...
Last Modified: May 11, 2012