State and Tribal Government Working Group (STGWG) Fall Meeting

12/5/2017

Meeting Information

Alternative TextSTGWG held its fall meeting on Nov. 15, 2017, in San Antonio, Texas. The meeting was held in conjunction with five other intergovernmental groups’ meetings and the larger Intergovernmental Groups Meeting with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Nov. 16-17. 

STGWG members had the opportunity to interact with DOE Officials for headquarters and field offices. They also met with members of the Energy Communities Alliance, the Environmental Council of the States, National Association of Attorneys General, National Governors Association's Federal Facilities Task Force, and NCSL’s Nuclear Legislative Work Group (NLWG), during the Intergovernmental meeting. The purpose of the meeting was to provide opportunities for increased communication and coordination with DOE and among states, tribes and local communities affected by the cleanup of the nuclear weapons complex. 

STGWG Fall Meeting Agenda Overview 

STGWG members came together for a closed Tribal Executive Session, closed State Executive Session and STGWG Business Meeting in the morning. State and tribal representatives prepared for discussions with DOE officials from headquarters and field offices and discussed working group priorities and recent activities. STGWG members were joined by DOE officials in the afternoon. 

STGWG Discussion with DOE Officials | Advancing Timely Site Decisions while Promoting Complex-Wide Efficiencies 

Remarks by STGWG Leadership
  • Debbie Duren, STGWG state co-convener, Tennessee
  • Raymond Martinez, STGWG tribal co-convener, Pueblo de San Ildefonso
Remarks by DOE-EM Leadership
  • Jim Owendoff, acting assistant secretary, DOE-Office of Environmental Management (DOE-EM)
  • Stacy Charboneau, associate principal deputy assistant secretary, Field Operations, DOE-EM
  • Mark Gilbertson, associate principal deputy assistant secretary, Regulatory and Policy Affairs, DOE-EM

Making Progress on Site Cleanup

DOE site officials from Hanford, Idaho, Los Alamos, Nevada, Oak Ridge, Portsmouth/Paducah, Savannah River and West Valley sites participated in a discussion with STGWG state and tribal representatives on the opportunities and challenges at the site level. Participants considered how STGWG can continue to support and advance effective site decision making and key cleanup strategies and shared examples of best practices, key initiatives and other updates.

Long-Term Stewardship (LTS) | Closure for Seventh Generation

STGWG LTS committee co-chair and tribal attorney for Pueblo de San Ildefonso, Peter Chestnut, provided an overview of the 2017 edition of the 1999 “Closure for the Seventh Generation” report including recommendations and next steps. The report was produced through a collaborative effort among states, tribes, DOE field offices and DOE headquarters. The report highlights progress made and identifies key areas to address to ensure the protection of human health and the environment in communities near cleanup sites for the next seven generations.  

Open Discussion with DOE-EM, DOE-LM and STGWG
  • Mark Gilbertson, associate principal deputy assistant secretary for regulatory and policy affairs, DOE-EM
  • Rob Seifert, director, Office of Regulatory Compliance, DOE-EM
  • Carmelo Melendez, director, DOE Office of Legacy Management (DOE-LM)

Making Progress on Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration (NRDAR)

STGWG State Co-Convener Debbie Duren led a discussion on NRDAR. STGWG is committed to continue to prioritize NRDAR as a key issue for progress and timely decisions. 

DOE Program Update
  • Rob Seifert, director, Office of Regulatory Compliance, DOE-EM
Meeting Adjourned

Spring Intergovernmental Groups Meeting with DOE

Six intergovernmental groups including STGWG met on Nov. 16 and 17. See the meeting webpage hosted by the National Governers Association for presentations and more information. (coming soon)

The Dr. Russell Jim Scholarship Fund

STGWG discussed recognizing the contributions of long-time STGWG representative Dr. Russell Jim of Yakama Nation. A scholarship honoring the Yakama Tribal elder and Traditional Knowledge Scholar was created in 2017. This endowed fund will award scholarships to Heritage University Native American students each year and for generations to come. You may make a donation online to the Dr. Russell Jim Scholarship fund,  select “other” in the designation menu and then type “Dr. Russell Jim Scholarship Fund” in the comment box. 

You can also make a gift by mail.  Mail your gift to:

Heritage University
Attn:  Advancement Department
3240 Fort Road
Toppenish, WA  98948

On the memo line of your check, please write Dr. Russell Jim Scholarship Fund. When your gift is received we will send you a donation confirmation letter and tax receipt for your records.

Additional Information and Resources