Oak Ridge Reservation Environmental Management
Site Specific Advisory Board
Approved April 7, 1999, Meeting Minutes
The Oak Ridge Reservation Environmental Management Site Specific Advisory Board (ORREMSSAB) held its regularly scheduled monthly board meeting on Wednesday, April 7, 1999, at the Garden Plaza Hotel, Oak Ridge, beginning at 6:00 p.m.
Bill Pardue, Chair
Bob Peelle, Vice-Chair
Deputy Designated Federal Official and Ex-Officios Present
Rod Nelson, Deputy Designated Federal Official
Marianne Heiskell, DOE-Oak Ridge Offices (DOE-ORO)
John Owsley, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC)
Jon Johnston, Federal Facilities Branch Chief, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 4
Connie Jones, EPA Region 4, standing in for Camilla Warren
Katy Kates, DOE-ORO
Walter Perry, DOE-ORO
Chuck Jenkins, SSAB Support Office
Sheree Black, SSAB Support Office
Pete Osborne, SSAB Support Office
Eleven members of the public were recorded to have attended the meeting.
Ms. Katy Kates, DOE-ORO Realty Officer, discussed "Real Estate Land Actions at ORO." The presentation provided a brief overview describing the processes of land acquisition; issuance of real estate grants (leases, easements, licenses) to others for underutilized Federal land; and the eventual disposition or transfer of excess Federal land (Attachment 1). At her request, Ms. Kates' presentation was not video or audio recorded.
Following her presentation, Mr. Gordon asked Ms. Kates if significant historical data on contaminated lands were archived somewhere. Ms. Kates replied that the DOE Real Estate Department doesn't have that data, but it does have historical records on land transfers. Mr. Gordon asked if quit claim deeds were used exclusively to dispose of lands. Ms. Kates replied yes. Mr. Gordon asked if there are minimum cleanliness standards for lands to be released from DOE control. Ms. Kates replied that those levels and processes were beyond her scope. Mr. Gordon asked if a situation had ever occurred where contamination had migrated to property adjoining DOE lands, requiring acquisition by DOE. Ms. Kates responded that there have been no land acquisitions since 1969.
Ms. Sigal asked about disposal processes and transfer of contaminated property to the General Services Administration (GSA). If GSA adds contaminated property to its inventory, who is responsible for institutional controls? GSA regulations say that DOE is responsible for 1 year and 1 month following a transfer, Ms. Kates, replied; after that responsibility is GSA's. However, DOE is always responsible monetarily for remediation. GSA has contaminated property but not from DOE. Ms. Sigal expressed concern about contaminated lands being turned over to GSA to shift responsibility for cleanup. Ms. Kates offered to give her more information about the transfer process. Ms. Sigal asked what the criteria were to determine if land is underutilized. Ms. Kates directed her to the overheads (Attachment 1). Ms. Sigal asked what were priorities of the criteria. The Oak Ridge Management Team makes determinations, Ms. Kates replied.
Mr. Alexander asked who the decision maker is for the breeder reactor site. Ms. Kates answered that the site was transferred with the understanding that the Tennessee Valley Authority and the City of Oak Ridge would make decisions jointly. Mr. Alexander asked why original landowners aren't given consideration regarding excessed lands. Ms. Kates responded that there is no law to enforce such consideration.
Mr. Peelle asked if parcel ED-1 had been designated excess. Ms. Kates responded that ED-1 is a DOE outgrant (a long-term lease), not a transfer. If the land is ever deemed to be excess, since it is a self-sufficiency parcel, the City of Oak Ridge will have first opportunity to buy it. Mr. Peelle asked how the land could be determined underutilized while part of the environmental research park. Ms. Kates replied that among other activities on the parcel, it was still part of the National Environmental Research Park, and there were still some types of monitoring being accomplished. Mr. Peelle also asked how far into the future DOE looks in considering lands excess. Utilizations surveys are prepared for possible uses, Ms. Kates replied.
Mr. Norman Mulvenon asked if there are special conditions attached to the transfer of the water treatment plant that is being conveyed to the city. Ms. Kates response was that the facility would be transferred on April 1, 2000, and that there are no associated costs for the city. Other details haven't been worked out. Mr. Mulvenon asked what mapping data is available. Ms. Kates answered that data from the Shared Data Mapping Initiative will be available to the public.
Deputy Designated Federal Official and Ex-Officio Comments
Mr. Rod Nelson, SSAB Deputy Designated Federal Official, informed the group that DOE had met with EPA Region 4 and TDEC last week to work out issues of concern to the agencies. A compromise was reached on the 1999 funding shortfall; four line items were closed out from previous years, and money from those items will be reprogrammed to be used for cleanup. The watershed Record of Decision approach was also discussed, and misunderstandings were cleared up.
Ms. Marianne Heiskell reported that Jim Werner may not be able to attend the May Board meeting due to restrained travel budgets. She'll let the Board know when she hears something further from him.
Mr. Jon Johnston, EPA Region 4, echoed Mr. Nelson's comments about the meeting between DOE, EPA, and TDEC. He explained that EPA Region 4 is involved in about 50 boards in the southeast and that EPA tries to fit in with the local environment of each one. He pledged to work more closely with the SSAB but cautioned that EPA has finite resources. He asked the Board for feedback on EPA interactions with the Board and reiterated EPA's commitment to involve the Board early in Scarboro sampling. He reassured the Board of more regular updates, even if there's nothing much going on at the moment.
Mr. Peelle asked Mr. Johnston about a recent letter expressing EPA's concern about temporarily setting aside material from the Boneyard/Burnyard and asked if that issue had been cleared up in the recent meeting. Mr. Johnston replied that he wasn't cognizant of the details of that project, although he promised quick follow up on the letter to better explain EPA's position.
Mr. Luther Gibson commented on the presentation at the February Board meeting concerning the Environmental Monitoring Program. Having worked on supplying results to the program at the East Tennessee Technology Park (ETTP) since 1983, he thought it important to recognize that the differences between DOE and commercial enterprise practices can contribute to the perception that the decision to outsource DOE work can be construed as an effort to circumvent its own rules. However, there are issues involved besides the number of measurements being reported near background or reporting limits. He mentioned a lack of reference to the DOE Order 5400 series and suggested it be considered if the Board makes a recommendation about the monitoring program. Mr. Gibson went on to state that emissions of chemicals from the Toxic Release Inventory are not monitored directly but are estimated by calculations that tend to overestimate their values. Additional source monitoring may be needed and less ambient monitoring in those cases.
Mr. Gibson also commented on the current status of DOE contractor awards and recognition programs. He pointed out that Mr. Nelson had made mention of Bechtel Jacobs awards at the February Board meeting but had not said anything about LMES and Lockheed Martin Energy Research employees who make contributions to the Environmental Management Program.
Mr. Ed Slavin questioned the diversity of the Board and said he believes DOE is violating the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) by having too many persons on the Board who are tied to DOE through work with subcontract organizations. Mr. Slavin quoted a passage from An Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Local SSABs, by Judith Bradberry and Kristi Branch (February 1999), and noted that while the report appeared to point to a lack of diversity on the Board, a new member was recently appointed who is a project manager with Lockheed Martin Energy Systems. Mr. Slavin also thought President Clinton should apologize for "what was done to the people of Oak Ridge."
Chairman Pardue read a letter from Mr. Daniel Axelrod (Attachment 2) for the record.
Mr. Jim Phelps, a local stakeholder, seconded some of the comments Mr. Slavin had made and questioned why three Board members had resigned last year. He chided the Board for not being representative of the community and said he considered it a sign of failure that these members had resigned.
Mr. Phelps mentioned his request for continuous on-line monitoring at the Toxic Substances Control Act Incinerator. He suspects that cyanide and beryllium may have been introduced into the environment through the incinerator. He recommended that instead of bringing other sites' wastes here to be burned that the incinerator be shipped to some other location, like Paducah, Kentucky. Mr. Phelps also mentioned that the coal-fired power plants located in Oak Ridge aren't figured in environmental risk assessments, and he considers that a mistake.
Mr. Phelps later said that from his perspective, the reason the public attends ORREMSSAB meetings was to have issues addressed. He recommended that members of the public be given a written explanation of the process for having issues addressed. He then recounted his experience on the End Use Working Group in addressing issues with the Molten Salt Reactor Experiment and the Gunite Tanks. Mr. Phelps said that no member of the public should have such difficulty getting their concerns addressed.
Ms. Sherry Farver, a local stakeholder, reported that she had attended a meeting with "sick workers from the K-25 Site" and asked the Board to help get information about toxic substances declassified so that people who need this information can get it.
Announcements and Other Board Business
The next Board meeting will be held a week later than usual on Wednesday, May 12, 6:00 p.m., at the Garden Plaza Hotel in Oak Ridge. Mr. Jim Werner, DOE-Headquarters Office of Public Accountability and Governmental Affairs, will discuss stewardship.
The next Executive Committee meeting will be Monday, April 26, 7:00 p.m., instead of 6:30 p.m.
Demetra Nelson was approved (in absentia) as the Board's representative to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). Mr. Peelle volunteered to serve as an alternate.
Revisions to Board Bylaws were presented for review. Board members were urged to read the revisions carefully, as they will be voted on at the May meeting.
Two members the Nevada Test Site Community Advisory Board will be here on May 19, and Chairman Pardue urged Board members to help welcome them.
Mr. Gordon asked the Board to consider keeping back some portion of the technical assistance contract for getting non-technical members up to speed on technical issues.
Mr. Gordon asked if any additional Board members wished to attend the Fernald Transportation Workshop, and Mr. Peelle volunteered.
Chairman Pardue distributed a draft comment letter on the "Site-Wide Environmental Impact Statement for Modernization of the Oak Ridge Y-12 Plant" (see Attachment 3), and he moved that the Board send the letter. Mr. Peelle seconded the motion, but the it was withdrawn until the May meeting to allow time for development of a fuller set of comments. Mr. Kopp volunteered to help revise comments.
Mr. Kopp reported on Community Reuse Organization of East Tennessee (CROET) activities and noted that a radioisotopes company had recently signed on at ED-1. The lease brought up the issue, however, that CROET currently has no guidelines for evaluating companies for placement in "greenfield" areas.
Motions and Recommendations
Mr. Bowden presented the motion to approve the amended minutes of the March 10, 1999, Board meeting. The motion was unanimously approved.
Mr. Pardue moved that Demetra Nelson be named as the Board's ATSDR representative. Mr. Peelle seconded the motion, and the motion was approved, 10 votes for, 1 abstention (Mr. Gordon).
Mr. Pardue moved that the Board approve comments on the "Site-Wide Environmental Impact Statement for Modernization of the Oak Ridge Y-12 Plant." Mr. Peelle seconded the motion, but the motion was withdrawn until the May meeting to allow time for creation of a fuller set of comments.
Rikki Traylor, Secretary
1. The Executive Committee will consider Mr. Gordon's suggestion that more meetings be held after 5:00 p.m. to better accommodate stakeholders who work during the day.
2. The Watershed Cleanup Team will consider including an EPA representative in its discussions of watershed documents.