Marolyn Parson – the newly elected chair of the Savannah River Site's Citizens Advisory Board – said one of her main goals as chair is to continue pressuring the Department of Energy to treat the high-level waste at SRS.

“I want to continue pressuring DOE to treat the high-level (waste) at the Site so there won't be further delays in cleaning it up,” Parson said.

While her term as chair won't begin until February, Parson has already set several goals for the Citizens Advisory Board.

In addition to waste cleanup, Parson is also pushing to make communications from SRS more “reader-friendly.” As an example, she said the 2012 Environmental Report was hard to understand for those who take an interest in the Site.

“A lot of the information that comes from the Site is a little complicated,” she said. “I think DOE has come a long way in making the information more readable; but I think we can do even better, so I'm pushing for that, as well.”

Parson said she was persuaded to run for the position by other board members who have served with her over her five-year run with the organization.

The next step for Parson was making sure she has the available time to give the position the attention it requires.

“I was urged to run by some of my fellow CAB members and decided that I had the time and energy to commit to the CAB chair position,” Parson said.

One of the main reasons her colleagues made the suggestion is Parson's decorated experience on the advisory board.

In her five years, Parson has served on four of the five committees, including the Nuclear Materials, Waste Management, Strategic & Legacy Management and Facilities Disposition & Site Remediation committees.

Parson currently chairs the Remediation Committee and is a former chair of the Legacy Management Committee.

A resident of Bluffton, Parson said her interest in the advisory board comes from her understanding of the Site's importance to the economy. She also feels the board's format of allowing public input at meetings is a vital part of its existence.

“Here in Bluffton our drinking water comes from the Savannah River, which has very small amounts of tritium that is from the operations at the Savannah River Site,” Parson said. “Thus, even though I live a long distance downstream of the Site, what goes on there can impact us.”

Derrek Asberry is a beat reporter with the Aiken Standard. He joined the paper in June. He is originally from Vidalia, Ga., and a graduate of Georgia Southern University. Follow him on Twitter @ DerrekAsberry.