State and Tribal Government Working Group

9/19/2018

The State and Tribal Government Working Group (STGWG) brings together representatives from states and tribes that host or are otherwise affected by U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) sites or facilities associated with the production and cleanup of the nuclear weapons complex.

STGWG members participate in semi-annual meetings with leadership and technical staff from the DOE Office of Environmental Management (EM) and other offices.

At those meetings they receive program and budget updates, address cleanup concerns, and help ensure DOE facilities are operated and cleaned up in compliance with all applicable federal and state laws and regulations, and protected tribal rights and interests.

For more than 20 years, NCSL has provided staff support to STGWG through a cooperative agreement with DOE-EM. 

Mission

STGWG provides a forum for enhanced communication at all levels among DOE and states and tribes affected by DOE sites and activities. STGWG representatives provide recommendations to ensure that  the DOE facilities and sites are operated and cleaned up in compliance with all applicable federal and state laws and regulations, and Tribal rights including those retained by treaty, and conferred by statute and the trust responsibility. Recommendations aim to protect human health and safety and environmental health. 

Issue Area Focus

In recent years, STGWG has focused on three priority issue areas: long-term stewardship; natural resource damage assessment and restoration; and tribal issues related to the cleanup and closure for DOE sites.

States and tribes affected by radioactive waste transportation, nuclear energy production and related policy issues have opportunities to engage with DOE through other national venues and working groups. For more information, contact NCSL staff. 

Closure for the Seventh Generation Report—2017 Edition

STGWG continues to prioritize long-term stewardship (LTS) of the nuclear weapons complex and considers this a key responsibility to future generations. Planning and implementing long-term stewardship activities can ensure the effectiveness of cleanup and protect human health, the environment and cultural resources.  STGWG published the original edition of this report —“Closure for the Seventh Generation”—in 1999 to evaluate long-term stewardship activities at various DOE sites.   

In the updated edition, published nearly one generation later, STGWG highlights the progress made by DOE and examines long-term stewardship activities across the DOE complex including successes and shortcomings in selected remedies. The recommendations presented in this report draw on progress and conclusions highlighted in 15 site survey responses completed with DOE field offices. The report serves as a framework for ongoing dialogue and cooperative action on LTS among DOE, states, Native American tribes and stakeholders. STGWG’s Long-Term Stewardship Committee, with coordination from the National Conference of State Legislatures, developed the report.

Organization and Leadership

STGWG was first convened in June 1989 in response to a letter signed by 10 governors to then Energy Secretary John Watkins. In the letter, the governors shared their concerns related to the management and cleanup of the nuclear weapons production and research sites. The secretary of energy invited representatives from these 10 states, plus two American Indian tribes, and three national organizations—NCSL, the National Governors Association and the National Association of Attorneys General—to meet and participate in the department’s five-year planning process.

tree The working group expanded to include 16 states and 11 tribes affected by the cleanup of the nuclear weapons complex. Individuals serve as representatives of member states and tribes. Over the years, as sites have been cleaned up and closed, participation in the group has evolved. For more information on historical participation, contact NCSL staff. Tribes or states interested in joining STGWG as a new member should contact the STGWG Lead at DOE-EM.

Co-Conveners—one state and one tribal representative—provide leadership to the working group throughout the year and facilitate meetings. Each of the issue committees are overseen by two co-chairs.  An Executive Committee, made up of the co-conveners and committee co-chairs, also contributes to strategic planning throughout the year. 

Membership

 Co-Conveners

 Raymond Martinez, Pueblo de San Ildefonso

 Debbie Duren, State of Tennessee 

 NCSL Contact: Mindy Bridges 

Current Members

States
Native American Tribes
Colorado Cochiti Pueblo

Idaho

Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation

Kentucky

Consolidated Groups of Tribes and Organizations (affected by the Nevada National Security Site)

Missouri

Jemez Pueblo

Nevada

Nez Perce Tribe

New Mexico

San Ildefonso Pueblo

New York

Santa Clara Pueblo

Ohio

Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians

Oregon

Seneca Nation of Indians

South Carolina Shoshone-Bannock Tribes

Tennessee

Wanapum Tribe

Texas

Yakama Nation

Washington

 

Upcoming Meetings

Past Meetings

For meetings prior to 2012, contact NCSL staff for more information. 

Additional Resources