Many Voices Working for the Community
Site Specific Advisory Board
Approved June 2, 1999, Meeting Minutes
The Oak Ridge Site Specific Advisory Board (ORSSAB) held its regularly scheduled monthly board meeting on Wednesday, June 2, 1999, at the Garden Plaza Hotel, Oak Ridge, beginning at 6:00 p.m.
Bill Pardue, Chair
Bob Peelle, Vice-Chair
Rikki Traylor, Secretary
Anne-Marie Wiest, ORHS Participant
Deputy Designated Federal Official and Ex-Officios Present
Marianne Heiskell, DOE-Oak Ridge Offices (DOE-ORO)
Connie Jones, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 4
Sheree Black, SSAB Support Office
Richard Hammond, EPA Region 4
Pete Osborne, SSAB Support Office
Dr. Solomon Pollard, EPA Region 4
Eight members of the public attended the meeting.
Mr. Richard Hammond, EPA Region 4, opened the presentation with an explanation of the Sentinel Environmental Disease and Injury Management Information System (SEDIMIS), which was originally to be used in analyzing the Toxic Release Inventory/Geographic Information Survey (TRI/GIS) data the Board had requested. Because SEDIMIS has no effective method of including pathways in its analysis (which is important in determining adverse health or environmental effects of chemicals), the program is no longer actively supported by EPA and was not used to generate the information EPA sent the Board on March 19.
Dr. Solomon Pollard, EPA Region 4, followed with an explanation of the Potential Risk Indicator System (PRIS), which is the program EPA used for the Oak Ridge information, and a detailed explanation of the data and the methodology used in its compilation. A copy of Dr. Pollard's slides is included as attachment 1.
Mr. Washington asked if EPA had performed any analysis of the synergistic effects of chemicals. Dr. Pollard referred Mr. Washington to a book published by the National Cancer Foundation but admitted that PRIS doesn't take synergistic effects into account, other than with respect to additivity. Synergism, he said, is a topic that has been "vastly overlooked" by the scientific community.
Ms. Nelson asked how the TRI/GIS data could be used in the absence of modeling. Can it be applied to real life situations? Dr. Pollard's reply was that the usefulness of the data depends on how you're using them. The certainty of the data is best when you're asking a specific question. If you're asking where the most toxic releases are in the state, the data can give you that information. But if you're asking where the most toxic releases are to minority populations, the data will not give you that answer because they do not take into account any sort of exposure information. Modeling of such data is very difficult and depends of the outcome of debate on its use.
Mr. Peelle suggested that "what's needed next is the ability to answer the question that every county executive will have: Will the emissions in my county and in the neighboring counties hurt anybody?" According to Mr. Peelle, this means going one step further and considering modeling and receptors.
Mr. Gordon asked Ms. Nelson how the Board should proceed with its inquiry into the TRI/GIS information. Ms. Nelson replied that the Health & Safety Team would discuss it at its next meeting and report back to the Board.
Mr. Daniel Axelrod, a local stakeholder, asked what EPA's annual and Superfund budgets were. Ms. Jones volunteered to get answers to Mr. Axelrod. Mr. Axelrod asked how significant pollution is in this area. Dr. Pollard termed it "moderate" or "a little bit less than that," compared to other locations in the state. Mr. Axelrod asked Dr. Pollard to compare radioactive versus chemical releases in this area. Dr. Pollard said that while reporting from Oak Ridge is beginning to "find its way into TRI," it's impossible to make that comparison until releases from all Oak Ridge facilities are recorded. Mr. Axelrod asked how much EPA is spending to address chemical releases in comparison to what DOE spends on addressing potential radioactive releases from the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR). Chairman Pardue asked Mr. Axelrod to submit that question to Ms. Jones for an answer. Mr. Axelrod asked why Bull Run steam plant data were not shown in PRIS. Dr. Pollard's reply was that federal entities are not required to report.
Deputy Designated Federal Official and Ex-Officio Comments
Ms. Marianne Heiskell, DOE-ORO, informed the Board that Rod Nelson was absent from the meeting because he was in Nashville for discussions on the Secretary of Energy's proposed summit meeting with the eight governors of states having resident DOE facilities. She reported that the membership package has been sent to DOE-Headquarters, and new Board members should be attending the July meeting. She asked Board members who were not asking for reinstatement to continue serving until the July meeting, when service recognition plaques will be distributed. Ms. Heiskell said that Mr. Nelson attended the Environmental Management (EM) portion of the internal review last week, and DOE-ORO will be working with Headquarters over the next few months to finalize the budget. Carolyn Huntoon attended that meeting as an observer. Leah Dever will start her assignment as site manager the third week in June.
Ms. Heiskell thanked the Board for its comments on the ORR Annual Site Environmental Report for 1997 and remarked that they were of particular value to DOE. She asked that the Board make review of the report a base activity for FY 2000.
Ms. Heiskell reported that the Stewardship Special Project Team would host a national SSAB meeting on stewardship October 26-28. Approximately 100 people are expected to attend. The workshop will focus on generation of consensus statements about stewardship.
In response to Ms. Jones' call for questions, Mr. Peelle mentioned a proposed boat dock for Kingston and the possibility of sediment disturbance in the river by the perhaps as many as 1000 boats. According to Mr. Peelle, the Records of Decision for Lower Watts Bar and Clinch River/Poplar Creek identified protection of sediments via a committee composed of members from TDEC, EPA, DOE, and others. Mr. Peelle wondered if a committee had been called, and if so, what findings resulted. William Griffin (376-0804) is leading opposition to the boat dock. TDEC (as the lead agency in such matters) was asked to respond to the Board at its July meeting.
Mr. Luther Gibson, Lockheed Martin Energy Systems Analytical Chemistry Organization, announced that the East Tennessee Chapter of the Air and Waste Management Association would be meeting at 11:30 a.m. on June 4 at the Sagebrush Restaurant. He also mentioned that several TRI issues complicated preparation of the ORR Annual Site Environmental Report for 1997.
Announcements and Other Board Business
The next Board meeting will be held July 7 at the Garden Plaza Hotel in Oak Ridge. Cissy Perkins, DOE-ORO, will discuss the Environmental Management Integration Initiative.
Chairman Pardue asked the Board Process Team to plan a retreat for the Board to discuss its FY 2000 agenda and committee structure. Ms. Heiskell urged the Board to hold the retreat before September.
Chairman Pardue asked Ms. Traylor to spearhead the annual report effort, and he asked each team leader to come up with a statement of their team's accomplishments for inclusion in the report as well as a list of major Board accomplishments for the year.
Chairman Pardue observed that the "Technical & Facilitation Support Subcontract" chart included in the Executive Committee meeting minutes didn't meet the needs of the SSAB. The chart should state which tasks have been approved by the Executive Committee (as opposed to "requested"), and funds should be shown as allocated through the end of December 1999, not February 2000.
On meeting times for project teams, Chairman Pardue asked team leaders to solicit input from their members and then decide on the best time for their meetings.
Joe Alexander, Donna Campbell, and Charles Washington were elected to serve on the nominating committee for FY 2000 Board officers. Board officer nominations must go before the Board in August and be voted on in September.
Vice-Chair Bob Peelle informed the Board that with the exception of writing something for the annual report, the On-Site CERCLA Waste Disposal Facility Team had finished its work for the year, and he opened the floor to discussion on how to handle trips the team had planned to study the waste cells at Fernald and Weldon Spring. The Board granted approval for up to three members to make the trips, and Waste Management Team leader Randy Gordon agreed to add discussion of the trips to his team's agenda.
Mr. Kopp changed the date and time of June Public Outreach Team meeting from June 15 at noon to June 22 at 5:00 p.m. Mr. Gordon recommended the team send Board member profiles to local newspapers and advise the papers that members were available for interviews. He also asked the team to investigate the possibility of holding a Board meeting at a location outside Oak Ridge at least once a year. Chairman Pardue asked the team to pursue getting state legislators to meet with the Board in Oak Ridge.
Chairman Pardue asked SSAB support staff to invert the order of team reports in the July Board package to allow those team leaders who give their reports last to give them first next month.
Motions and Recommendations
Ms. Traylor presented the motion to approve the amended minutes of the May 12, 1999, Board meeting. The motion was unanimously approved.
Mr. Peelle presented the motion to approve comments on Accelerating Cleanup - Paths to Closure (Attachment 2). The motion was unanimously approved.
Mr. Kopp moved to close nominations for members to serve on the nominating committee, with Joe Alexander, Donna Campbell, and Charles Washington as the nominees. Ms. Traylor seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously approved.
Mr. Peelle moved to approve the slate of nominees for the nominating committee. Ms. Traylor seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously approved.
Ms. Traylor moved to send up to three members to Fernald and Weldon Spring to study their on-site waste disposal facilities. Mr. Peelle seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously approved.
Mr. Peelle presented the motion to approve recommendations on the ORR Annual Site Environmental Report for 1997 (Attachment 3). The motion was unanimously approved.
Rikki Traylor, Secretary