For many years, the Department of Energy has misinformed the
public about the origin and true nature of the FUSRAP. In order to uncover the
truth about this program, F.A.C.T.S.'s attorney pursued in court a 1997 FOIA
request made to the Department of Energy.
Contrary to numerous oral and written statements by various DOE
officials, the FUSRAP (Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program) is not
a program or responsibility directly created by an act of Congress, i.e.
"mandated by Congress", as, for example, UMTRCA is. Instead it is an in-house
DOE project started in the 1970s to deal on an ad hoc basis with liabilities
incurred (often illegally) by DOE's predecessor agencies, the Atomic Energy
Commission and the Manhattan Engineer District. FUSRAP exists only to the
extent that Congress makes an annual appropriation for it. Starting in 1998,
and in each subsequent fiscal year to the present year, Congress has
transferred funding for the implementation of FUSRAP
projects to the U.S. Army's Corps of Engineers, despite the facts that DOE is
legally liable for these sites and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is the
federal agency with the statutory responsibility under
UMTRCA and expertise to make the cleanup
decisions at these sites.