Many Voices Working for the Community

Oak Ridge
Site Specific Advisory Board

Approved December 1, 1999, Meeting Minutes

The Oak Ridge Site Specific Advisory Board (ORSSAB) held its regularly scheduled monthly meeting on Wednesday, December 1, 1999, at the Garden Plaza Hotel, Oak Ridge, beginning at 6:00 p.m. A video tape record of this meeting was made and may be viewed by calling the SSAB support office at 865-241-3665.

Members Present

James Alexander
Robert Blaum
Jeff Cange
Luther Gibson, Jr.
Steve Kopp, Chair
Bill Pardue
Pat Rush
Lorene Sigal
Darrell Srdoc
Anne-Marie Wiest, Student Representative

Members Absent

Randy Gordon
David Mosby
Demetra Nelson, Vice Chair
Rikki Traylor, Secretary
Charles Washington

Deputy Designated Federal Official and Ex-Officios Present

Rod Nelson, DOE-Oak Ridge Offices (DOE-ORO)
Dave Adler, DOE-ORO
Carolyn Davis, DOE-ORO
John Owsley, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC)

Others Present

Sheree Black, SSAB Support OfficePete Osborne, SSAB Support Office

Eight members of the public attended the meeting.


Mr. Joe Nemec, Manager of Bechtel Jacobs Company, LLC, gave a presentation of the status of management and integration contractor activities. Subcontracting is on schedule, according to Mr. Nemec, and the number of direct Environmental Management (EM) Program employees should be down to about 2300 by April 2000, which is a substantial reduction from the 4100 employed in April 1998. Subcontracting has led to cost avoidments of $238M through October 31, 1999. At the end of the subcontracting process, Bechtel Jacobs expects to be working with about 120 subcontract firms.

FY 1999 project accomplishments include the following:

• Completed FY 1999 below budget, including ~$90M management challenge
• Completed all milestones
• Transitioned Molten Salt Reactor Experiment to Bechtel Jacobs from Lockheed Martin
• Signed the Record of Decision and awarded the first contractor-managed privatization contract for the on-site disposal cell
• Prepared the first life cycle baseline and the FY 2000 fiscal year baseline
• Implemented workforce transition for 216 employees
• Removed all DOE-owned highly enriched uranium from Portsmouth and downgraded the facility to Nuclear Category 3
• Achieved subcontracting goals

Bechtel Jacobs has contributed $1.44M to 287 organizations as of November 15, 1999. Job creation is on track, with over $71M in new payroll to date.

During the question and answer period, Mr. Gibson asked about the apparent disparity in news reports concerning Bechtel Jacobs job creation activities and impending layoffs. Mr. Nemec replied that the reality of subcontracting is that some people will be laid off; in the end it should be about 500 people. At the same time, though, Bechtel Jacobs has helped facilitate the creation of about 2300 jobs in the private sector to offset those positions lost through subcontracting.

Ms. Rush remarked that, to her, good corporate citizenship includes encouraging people to live in the "impacted area" (specifically Oak Ridge), yet she doesn’t see much evidence of Bechtel Jacobs doing that. Mr. Nemec agreed that Bechtel Jacobs has done nothing in this regard—the reason being that he believes Bechtel Jacobs should not dictate where individuals live.

Mr. Blaum asked if all cost savings are being achieved through downsizing. Mr. Nemec replied that some savings are being achieved through downsizing, but new technologies play a part as well. Laid-off employees have retirement packages and are given training to help them find new jobs.

Mr. Pardue asked if some of the cost savings are achieved through reductions in salary when employees transition to subcontractors. Mr. Nemec replied that Lockheed Martin employees are guaranteed "substantially equivalent pay and benefits" when transitioning. Mr. Nemec was unable to speak to how management personnel fare, though. Mr. Pardue asked Mr. Nemec to elaborate on the $238M saved through subcontracting. That amount, Mr. Nemec explained, will be achieved through the life of contracts awarded through October 31, 1999. Mr. Kopp followed up on Mr. Pardue’s question by asking what’s been done with that money. Mr. Nemec said that the money had been used throughout the EM Program to augment underfunded programs and fund some that had not been previously funded. He had no tracking data, but said some information could be supplied. Mr. Nelson added that DOE estimates that about $61M in extra work has been done and has asked Bechtel Jacobs to come up with a breakdown of how those savings were used. Core Hole 8, Mr. Nelson noted, is one project that benefited from the savings.

Referring to Mr. Nemec’s overhead on workforce transition diversity, Mr. Srdoc asked if a further breakdown of the "managers" category was available. Mr. Nemec offered to supply one.

Ms. Susan Gawarecki, Local Oversight Committee (LOC) Executive Director, asked why EM employees with in-depth knowledge of contamination on the reservation were laid off at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Mr. Nemec replied that Bechtel Jacobs has a very specific scope of work, and as cleanup activities move out of the investigative phase into actual cleanup, a different skill mix is required. Ms. Gawarecki followed up with a question about the Bechtel Jacobs Development Corporation: Morgan and Campbell counties have asked to be added to the impacted area but were denied. The area was defined by DOE, said Mr. Nemec, and the issue is moot because all job creation money has been spent.

Deputy Designated Federal Official and Ex-Officio Comments

Mr. Nelson reported that Oak Ridge fared well at the recent Corporate Forum. The President’s Budget request for Oak Ridge was $530.6M, and that amount was adjusted upward to $534.9M. Congressional holdbacks and other adjustments and emerging requirements could impact the final figure, however.

Public Comment

Mr. Norman Mulvenon, Chairman of the Citizens Advisory Panel of the LOC, invited Board members to the December 14 Citizens Advisory Panel meeting. The featured presenter will be DOE-ORO’s Cissy Perkins, who will discuss the David Witherspoon site.

Announcements and Other Board Business

The next Board meeting will be Wednesday, January 5, 6:00 p.m., at the Garden Plaza Hotel. Dick Green, Director of the EPA Region 4 Waste Management Division, will discuss EPA’s role in federal facilities restoration.

No additions or corrections were offered to the November 3, 1999, Board meeting minutes.

Ms. Sigal presented amendments to the Board’s Bylaws from the Board Process Team. Mr. Pardue suggested adding the word "and" before "members of the public who will be nonvoting members" in the amendment to Article VII.B.1.C, and before "develop scope of work and work plan by the second meeting following election of officers" in Article VII.B.2.C. The revised amendments were approved.

Ms. Sigal presented amendments to the Board’s Standing Rules from the Board Process Team. Mr. Pardue suggested changing the last sentence in IV.A.1 to read: "Task descriptions and time frames must be specific." He also suggested changing IV.C.3 to read: "Estimated technical support needs for a board year might be approximately 500 hours, to include, for example:

Support to project teams
Facilitation of Board meetings
Facilitation of annual retreat
Assistance of Chairs’ meetings
Document/report drafts

The revised amendments to the Standing Rules (Attachment 1) were approved.

Mr. Gibson recommended that in the future, at least one Board member should be included in the procurement process for evaluating award of the Board’s technical support contract. The issue of how to facilitate that action will go to the Board Process Team for consideration and for possible inclusion in Board Bylaws or Standing Rules.

Chairman Kopp called for project teams to finalize their scopes of work and budgets for presentation at the January 5 Board meeting. He also urged team leaders to use the technical facilitation contractor to help them develop their scopes, if necessary. All team leaders should attend the December Executive Committee meeting to present their needs for technical assistance in FY 2000.

In discussion of Ms. Traylor’s two consecutive absences from Board meetings, Chairman Kopp informed the Board that Ms. Traylor had contacted him to explain that she has a teaching engagement on Wednesday nights through February. By a unanimous vote, Ms. Traylor was excused from attending Board meetings through February.

In discussion of Mr. Gordon’s two consecutive absences from Board meetings, Chairman Kopp informed the Board that Mr. Gordon was in Texas for treatment of a serious health condition. By a unanimous vote, Mr. Gordon was excused from attending Board meetings for an indefinite period.

Support office staff distributed draft comments on the Draft Proposed Sampling and Analysis Plan for the Scarboro Community, Oak Ridge, Tennessee; SESD Project No. 99-0351 (Revision 1), for approval by the Board. Ms. Rush recommended changing the addressee from Camilla Bond Warren to Jon Johnston and send copies to Ms. Warren and Dick Green at EPA and to the Scarboro Environmental Justice Council and the Scarboro Advisory Committee. The changes were accepted, and the comments (attached) were approved by the Board.

Mr. Owsley requested that the Board consider reviewing the draft "Request for Proposals for Disposition of Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride (DUF6) Conversion Services." Mr. Gibson reported that he had participated in an LOC focus group that reviewed the first draft of the document, and he volunteered to continue following the subject on behalf of the Waste Management Team, under whose purview the topic would logically fall.

Mr. Alexander requested that Mr. Owsley send the Environmental Restoration Team a list of issues TDEC thinks the team should look at in FY 2000.

Mr. Kopp called for comments on the annual report by close of business Friday.

Mr. Pardue gave a report on the recent meeting of the Community Reuse Organization of East Tennessee (CROET). Work on ED-1 is progressing on schedule and on budget. CROET will start operating the rail system at the East Tennessee Technology Park (ETTP) on a fee basis. Oliver’s of Oak Ridge is taking over the ETTP cafeteria. CROET funding is in question, and the organization may get only half its budget request. Not counting BNFL, tenant employment at ETTP now stand at 268.

Motions and Recommendations

Ms. Rush moved to approve the minutes of the November 3, 1999, Board meeting. Mr. Blaum seconded the motion, and the motion was unanimously approved.

Ms. Rush moved to approved amendments to the Board Bylaws, as amended at this meeting. No second was required for the motion, and the motion was unanimously approved.

Ms. Sigal moved to approve amendments to the Board Standing Rules, as amended at this meeting. No second was required for the motion, and the motion was unanimously approved.

Ms. Rush moved to excuse Ms. Traylor’s and Mr. Gordon’s absences from Board meetings. Mr. Gibson seconded the motion, and the motion was unanimously approved.

Ms. Rush moved to approve comments on the Draft Proposed Sampling and Analysis Plan for the Scarboro Community, Oak Ridge, Tennessee; SESD Project No. 99-0351 (Revision 1). Mr. Cange seconded the motion, and the motion was unanimously approved.

Respectfully submitted,
Rikki Traylor, Secretary


Attachments (1)

1 Motion

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