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Environmental Protection

ORNL conference center overlooking the pond

Information about the laboratory's environmental protection policies and activities is included below.

Environmental Policy

The laboratory's environmental policy is to:

  • Provide and continually improve research, services, products, and management systems of the highest quality consistent with the needs, expectations, risk tolerance, and resources of our customers.
  • Provide a safe and healthy workplace by developing and implementing work processes and equipment that abate hazards, operating in a manner that protects and restores the environment, and integrating sustainability (including pollution prevention) into planning and decision-making.
  • Comply with applicable requirements for performing work and work-related activities on and off site, including requirements in the ORNL’s Standards-Based Management System.
  • Systematically integrate environmental, safety, health, quality, and physical and cyber security principles into management and work practices at all levels.
  • Maintain a positive, proactive, and constructive relationship with the community (including environmental justice aspects and intentional engagement of disadvantaged communities), regulators, DOE, and our other stakeholders.
  • Communicate appropriate environmental management system information to staff, subcontractors, customers, and other stakeholders.

Significant Environmental Aspects

Environmental aspects are elements of an organization’s activities, products, or services that can interact with the environment. Environmental aspects associated with UT-Battelle activities, products, and services have been identified at both the project and activity level. Activities that are relative to any of these aspects are carefully controlled to minimize or eliminate impacts to the environment. The following aspects have been identified as potentially having significant environmental impacts:

  • Hazardous waste 
  • Radioactive waste 
  • Mixed waste 
  • Permitted air emissions
  • Regulated liquid discharges
  • Storage, use, and transportation of chemicals 
  • Storage, use, and transportation of radioactive materials
  • Nonrenewable energy use/intensity (electricity)
  • Greenhouse gas emissions