Oak Ridge Reservation Environmental Management
Site Specific Advisory Board
Approved October 7, 1998, Meeting Minutes
The Oak Ridge Reservation Environmental Management Site Specific Advisory Board (ORREMSSAB) held its regularly scheduled monthly board meeting on Wednesday, October 7, 1998, at the Ramada Inn Ballroom, Oak Ridge, beginning at 6:00 p.m.
Bill Pardue, Chair
Deputy Designated Federal Official and Ex-Officios Present
Rod Nelson, Deputy Designated Federal Official
Marianne Heiskell, DOE-ORO
John Owsley, TDEC
Connie Jones, EPA Region 4, standing in for Camilla Warren
Jim Hall, Manager, DOE-Oak Ridge Offices
Chuck Rice, INEEL CAB
Roy Mink, INEEL CAB
Chuck Jenkins, SSAB Support Staff
Sheree Black, SSAB Support Staff
Pete Osborne, SSAB Support Staff
Sixteen members of the public were recorded to have attended the meeting.
Mr. Jim Hall, Manager, DOE-Oak Ridge Offices (DOE-ORO), gave an overview of ORO and the DOE complex. He explained that ORO budgeting is complicated by the fact that there are 138 Congressional control points with various reporting requirements to be considered. Mr. Hall said there was some good news in the FY 1999 budget, particularly the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS); it's the only billion dollar plus line item in the DOE budget. The museum is another good news story, as Martha Krebbs of Energy Research has stepped in and said she'll keep the museum going.
On defense programs, he said that although at one time there was to be a downsizing to the point of no production, today we're doing remanufacturing work and producing the W-87; deliveries will be made to the Air Force in December and will extend for several years. The budget supports the extension of mission and utility and facility upgrades. The 1999 budget includes conceptual design for a Y-12 storage facility--a $70 to $100 million project. Some funding for a new secondary plant is also in the works. All these factors point to a long-term mission for Y-12. On the Work for Others program, he said that the Department of Defense work is helping call attention to Y-12.
The big news in the Environmental Management (EM) budget was the shortfall in the Decontamination and Decommissioning (D&D) fund, which was not as bad as it could have been. $245M is what's in the works now; that will keep British Nuclear Fuels, Ltd. (BNFL), going and keep DOE from missing critical milestones. It's not the $277M asked for, but it will help. By next year there will be around $2B in the D&D fund, but since it has to be appropriated out, it's always a problem to get to it. DOE's $33M request for the on-site disposal cell is in good shape; the total project will cost around $100M.
Reindustrialization is paying dividends, and 42 leases have been signed at the East Tennessee Technology Park (ETTP). BNFL is under contract, and there's a contract out on the K-1420 facility, which was originally on the "ain't no way" list. DOE is saving $26M on cleaning up the facility, plus $3M in annual surveillance and maintenance (S&M) costs. $2M in excess equipment has been sold at ETTP. Of the $3B needed for cleanup at ETTP, it was original estimated that $2B could be reindustrialization cleanup; DOE is currently at $800M in terms of leases toward that goal.
$60M in upgrades to the High Flux Isotope Reactor are in the works. That combined with SNS will make Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) the neutron research center of the world. Also, Oak Ridge has been Congressionally designated in the FY 1999 budget as the electronics recycle center for research and development for recycling old computers.
During the question and answer period, Mr. Bob Peelle asked about the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act status of leased buildings at ETTP. Mr. Hall's answer was that leased buildings have clauses in their contracts stating what the cleanup standard will be. At the end of the contract, the buildings come back to DOE. The whole ETTP site, he added, should be off National Priorities List somewhere close to the year 2010.
Ms. Lorene Sigal asked if Work for Others limits had been relaxed. When she was employed at ORNL, Work for Others couldn't exceed 18-20%. Mr. Hall replied that those limits were a self-imposed standard to keep the focus on ORNL work. He said that we're not at that level and don't expect to exceed it, although half the Oak Ridge Environmental Information System budget is Work for Others, and much work is also done at the Y-12 Plant.
Ms. Pat Rush asked about putting the ORNL contract up for bid. Mr. Hall responded that a draft request for proposals would be out early this fall. Congressional pressure had a lot to do with why the contract is up for bid. He's committed that the possibility of changing out the contractor will not affect SNS.
Mr. Charles Washington said that downsizing is affecting minorities disproportionately. What kind of oversight does DOE have regarding minority layoffs? Mr. Hall said that DOE reviews every layoff for that issue, and contractors have guidelines for minority staffing. That doesn't mean we don't need to look into this more, he added, and offered to take Mr. Washington's concerns back with him.
Mr. Randy Gordon said he felt ETTP reindustrialization had gotten off to a slow start, and he asked Mr. Hall to elaborate on the process and duration. Mr. Hall responded that since April or May 1996, 19 companies are on site, and 42 leases have been signed. Initial outlays have been recouped now. Somewhere around the year 2010, ETTP will be a private facility with a private infrastructure and landlord; there will be no DOE money going into that site at all, and there could still be around 3000 persons employed there.
Mr. Gordon asked if there are problems with the Community Reuse Organization of East Tennessee (CROET). In reply, Mr. Hall agreed that there is some controversy associated with CROET, partly because there are so many people and organizations involved. To use "3161" funds there must be an organization that represents the public, and he thinks it's working well. He judges success by getting out of S&M and cleanup costs and if jobs are being created.
Sherrie Farver, a member of the Coalition for a Health Environment, said Mr. Hall hadn't mentioned health and safety. Mr. Hall replied that DOE has spent a lot of money researching health and safety issues.
Mr. Ed Slaven asked Mr. Hall how many employees work in buildings that are contaminated, and what will DOE do about retaliation against whistle blowers. Mr. Hall said that as far as he knows no employees are working in building that are contaminated unless they are there to perform remediation activities. DOE doesn't retaliate, and contractors who do will be dismissed.
Mr. Slaven accused DOE of mismanagement and of retaliating against whistle blowers. He said he's never received a reply to his question about how many employees work in contaminated buildings. He questioned Ms. Huntoon's ability to lead EM-1 and suggested the Board to consider looking at the appointment.
Mr. Daniel Axelrod remarked that because of diminishing oil supplies he has advocated building 1000 nuclear power plants, and he asked Mr. Hall's opinion of that proposal. Mr. Hall said that the future of nuclear power will be up to the private sector, and stockholders aren't supporting it. Nuclear waste disposal is a major hurdle that we as a nation can't seem to overcome.
Mr. Michael Huston presented the Board with a letter (Attachment 1) urging the Board to take a broader view of the Oak Ridge Reservation and consider a long-term land use approach for management of the reservation. He took issue with ED-1, saying there was little sense in using up another pristine area when there are so many previously contaminated areas that could be used.
Deputy Designated Federal Official and Ex-Officio Comments
Mr. Rod Nelson, SSAB Deputy Designated Federal Official, welcomed Chuck Rice and Roy Mink of the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory Citizens Advisory Board (CAB), who were visiting ORREMSSAB. He reported that Carol Huntoon's name is to be submitted for appointment as Assistant Secretary for EM.
Announcements and Other Board Business
The next Board meeting was set for Wednesday, November 4, 1998.
The October 2 workshop was canceled because only eight members could attend. It will be rescheduled soon.
Ms. Campbell reported on the LandTech demonstration and said that the ad hoc committee had questions (mostly about funding) they wanted answered before making a recommendation to the Board next month.
Project Team leaders will continue as team leads until after the Board process workshop.
Mr. Chuck Rice, Chair of the INEEL CAB, thanked the Board for having him and Mr. Mink here and expressed appreciation to DOE for the site tour. In response to a question about Pit 9, he said it probably shouldn't have been privatized, but Lockheed Martin felt they could do it on a fixed-price basis. It wasn't DOE's fault, in his opinion. He went on to say that ORREMSSAB's localized membership may lead it to have less influence with state legislators. It's important to cultivate relationships with legislators early; they just might go on to become president. INEEL CAB meets with its legislators at the beginning of every session. The INEEL site contractor president and the DOE site manager meet with editorial boards of key newspapers throughout the state to form a better relationship with them and strengthen public relations. He also strongly recommended that ORREMSSAB change its membership selection process so that the Board could choose its members rather than allowing DOE to appoint them.
Motions and Recommendations
Ms. Pat Rush moved to approve the amended minutes of the September 2 Board meeting. Mr. Charles Washington seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously approved.
Mr. Bill Pardue moved that the Board approve for submittal to DOE-Headquarters the "Comments on Draft DOE Order 435.1 and Draft Manual 435.1 on Radioactive Waste Management" drafted by the Waste Cell Management Project Team. No second was required. The motion was unanimously approved. (Attachment 2)
Mr. Randy Gordon moved to send the amended letter to Mr. Earl Leming on transfer of Nevada Test Site low-level mixed waste to the Toxic Substances Control Act Incinerator. Ms. Pat Rush seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously approved. (Attachment 3)
Mr. Randy Gordon moved (on second reading) that Article III.B.2., 'Members,' of the ORREMSSAB bylaws be amended to read "Members may be twice reappointed for additional consecutive 2-year terms." The motion carried, twelve for, two against. Those voting against the motion were Mr. Bob Peelle and Mr. Peter Hillis. (Attachment 4)
Ms. Rikki Traylor moved (on second reading) that Article VII.C.3, 'Projects and Project Teams,' of the ORREMSSAB bylaws be amended to read "Any Board member except Chair may serve as a project team leader." The motion carried, nine for, four against. Those voting against the motion were Mr. Randy Gordon, Ms. Lorene Sigal, Mr. Ken Parks, and Mr. Bob Peelle. (Attachment 4)
Ms. Lorene Sigal moved that the Board send the letter to Mr. Owendoff. Mr. Charles Washington seconded the motion. The motion carried, thirteen for, one against. Mr. Gordon's vote against the motion was based on process rather than content. (Attachment 5)
Peter Hillis, Secretary