Long Range Planning for Stewardship at DOE Sites
Karen Lowrie, Social, Land Use, Economic and Geographic Task Group; CRESP
As the U.S. Department of Energy prepares to move from clean-up to stewardship at some of its major sites, the issues of future land use planning, property transfer and institutional controls will become among the most important to be addressed. Local planning officials will need to be key players in the steward-ship process. Before environmental management activities are completed, and especially now as clean-up and reuse decisions are being made, it is necessary to develop a process to coordinate on-site planning with off-site municipal, county and regional planning activities.
CRESPís survey studies of local planners have found:
- Low levels of involvement in site decision-making;
- High levels of interest in site future uses and impacts;
- Dissatisfaction with current methods of communication with local officials;
- Low levels of trust of information from site officials.
These study findings point to the need to improve the relationship between site officials and local officials on the impacts, the role and the responsibilities for planning for the future use and reuse of portions of the land now occupied by the sites.
Benefits of Improved Site/Local Relations
- Critical information is exchanged;
- Community land use concerns are addressed;
- And sites are integrated into regional development plans.
Possible Policy Changes
- Setting up communication networks between on-site planners and off-site planning agencies;
- Managing and linking stewardship databases;
- Joint review of comprehensive plans and land development plans.
Further Possible Policy Changes
At the request of EM-40, CRESP will assist in a new stewardship initiative. It will be coordinated with other Department stewardship activities, and will consist of research, development, implementation and evaluation phases.
- Defining emergency planning roles and responsibilities for stewardship;
- Standardizing procedures for property transfer;
- Considering the creation of new regional planning entities charged with long-term planning responsibilities and management of institutional controls.
CRESPís EM-40 Stewardship Initiative Tasks
- Gather information from the major sites about the status of land use planning coordination;
- Form an Advisory Committee on Regional Planning Coordination;
- Develop recommendations on regional planning coordination for stewardship.
- Select one (possibly two) major site(s) to test the process
- Engage site officials, local planners and other land use stakeholders.
- Evaluate the success of the process.
- Revise and recommend formal regional planning coordination guidelines.
Outcomes from this project will address these important Departmental needs:
- The development of the recommedations on long-term planning for stewardship will help each site to implement processes to better communicate and integrate long-term plans with regional development plans.
- Outreach to local planning officials will help to improve the Departmentís image, increase trust, and demonstrate respect and appreciation for the local role in site stewardship.