SRS Deputy Manager Terry Spears said the Savannah River Site Citizens Advisory Board, or CAB, has submitted more than 300 recommendations to DOE and held more than 125 board meetings in its 20-year history.

Spears was one of several speakers during the 20-year anniversary celebration of the CAB on Monday. The event came after the first day of the CAB’s full board meeting and gave members and others a chance to celebrate CAB’s accomplishments.

“DOE has saved tens of millions of dollars by simply listening to our citizens, so the importance of the CAB cannot be taken for granted,” Spears said.

Attendees included former and current CAB members and local community members who have routinely looked to the CAB for guidance.

Before they cut the cake and mingled during the social hour, members and friends took a walk down memory lane and watched a slide show commemorating the various meetings and events held over the last 20 years.

The celebration also featured several other speakers from various organizations, including the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Health and Environmental Control, or DHEC.

Current CAB Chair Marolyn Parson said the celebration demonstrated that DOE has a commitment to listen to what the public thinks and values public participation.

“At a time when so many people are skeptical of the federal government, this is an opportunity for all of us to recognize that the decisions that DOE makes are not done in total isolation from the public, and that the Citizens Advisory Board is an important part of that,” she said.

The Savannah River Site Citizens Advisory Board was formed in 1994 and is one of eight Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Boards funded by DOE.

The various committees within CAB meet to discuss environmental management issues involving the Savannah River Site and its impact on the CSRA.

Derrek Asberry is a beat reporter with the Aiken Standard.