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Many Voices Working for the Community

Oak Ridge
Site Specific Advisory Board


Approved March 8, 2000, Meeting Minutes
The Oak Ridge Site Specific Advisory Board (ORSSAB) held its regularly scheduled monthly meeting on Wednesday, March 8, 2000, at the Garden Plaza Hotel, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, beginning at 6:00 p.m. A video tape record of the 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
David Mosby
Demetra Nelson, Vice Chair
Bill Pardue
Pat Rush
Lorene Sigal
Darrell Srdoc
Rikki Traylor, Secretary
Charles Washington

Members Absent
Randy Gordon
Anne-Marie Wiest, Student Representative

Deputy Designated Federal Official and Ex-Officios Present
Rod Nelson, DOE-Oak Ridge Offices (DOE-ORO)
Connie Jones, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
John Owsley, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC)
Teresa Perry, DOE-ORO

Others Present
Sheree Black, SSAB support office
Ed Carreras, EPA Remedial Project Manager
Jason Darby, DOE-ORO
Jon Johnston, Federal Facilities Branch Chief, EPA Region 4
Pete Osborne, SSAB support office
Camilla Bond Warren, EPA Section Chief for the DOE Remedial Section

Nine members of the public attended the meeting.

Presentation
Mr. Carreras opened the presentation with an overview of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) Five-Year Review, the purpose of which is to determine whether a selected environmental remedy is protective of human health and the environment and to evaluate implementation and performance of the remedy. The review is not intended to reconsider selected remedies. A review is required when remediation results in residual contamination above unlimited use and unrestricted exposure levels. DOE has lead responsibility for the review; EPA has a concurrence role. Public participation is not required by regulation, but guidance calls for a minimum of notification of (1) the start of the process, (2) the end of process, and (3) report availability. The review is intended to answer three main questions:

1. Is the remedy functioning as intended?

2. Are the assumptions used at the time of the remedy still valid?

3. Has any other information been discovered that would question the protectiveness of the remedy?

Mr. Darby addressed specifics of the Five-Year Review (see Attachment 1 for overheads). The first review (1996) was triggered by the anniversary of remedial action at the United Nuclear Corporation site in 1991. The current review (due in 2001) will be far more comprehensive in scale and will be the first site-wide Five-Year Review. It will encompass all five administrative watersheds and all offsite locations associated with the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR). At the beginning of FY 2000, 52 CERCLA actions were associated with the ORR.

In planning for the review, DOE realized that much of the information required by Five-Year Review guidance is already contained in the annual Remediation Effectiveness Report for the Oak Ridge Reservation (RER) and that this document could serve as the reporting mechanism for the Five-Year Review. The RER contains descriptions of remedial actions and monitoring requirements, summary and analysis of monitoring results, and recommendations on revisions to the monitoring program. To meet the requirements of the Five-Year Review, the following information will be added: Land Use Control Implementation Plan requirements, other stewardship requirements, and watershed-scale exit pathway monitoring. This information will also be added to subsequent RERs, which will continue to be issued on an annual basis until all remedial actions have been made and trends stabilize; the RER will thereafter be issued every five years.

The D1 version of the FY 2001 RER will be available in February 2001, and the final report will be issued by the end of FY 2001.

During the question and answer period, Ms. Sigal asked Mr. Darby to supply copies of the FY 2000 RER to members of the SSAB Stewardship Team before its March 23 meeting. Ms. Sigal also remarked that the Stewardship Working Group (SWG) had recommended in Volume 2 of the Stakeholder Report on Stewardship (December 1999) that DOE amend the DOE ORR Public Involvement Plan and the Federal Facility Agreement for the ORR to include public involvement opportunities in the RER and the Five-Year Review Report. The SWG recommendation asks specifically for public reviews of the documents and a public meeting and provisions for correcting any deficiencies found during the review. Ms. Sigal asked for action on the part of the EM Program on when the SSAB can see incorporation of the SWG recommendations in the two documents. Ms. Sigal asked Mr. Carreras for a copy of EPA’s October 1999 version of its Draft Comprehensive Five-Year Review Guidance document.

Mr. Pardue asked Mr. Carreras to explain what happens if a remedy is found to be not protective of human health and the environment. Mr. Carreras replied that the remedy would need to be changed or the Record of Decision (ROD) would need to be amended.

Mr. Washington asked what happens if a remedy, such as in situ vitrification, doesn’t meet requirements spelled out in the Five-Year Review. Mr. Carreras replied that problems are addressed as soon as identified, regardless of whether a Five-Year Review is being conducted or not. During the Five-Year Review period, though, modifications to remedies or contingency plans will be made if remedies fail to measure up to performance criteria. Mr. Washington expressed concern that individuals making remediation decisions today may not be involved when remedies are evaluated during the Five-Year Reviews. Mr. Carreras reiterated that the process is rigorous enough to work effectively regardless of who does the evaluating. Performing reviews yearly will also help ameliorate such concerns.

Mr. Bob Peelle, a former SSAB member, called the Board’s attention to the final report of the Oak Ridge Health Agreement Steering Panel, Releases of Contaminants from Oak Ridge Facilities and Risks to Public Health (December 1999), and he expressed hope that the Five-Year Review process will help further the goals of the panel by informing the public about off-site releases from the ORR.

Deputy Designated Federal Official and Ex-Officio Comments
Mr. Nelson made several reports:

• DOE has submitted additional information to EPA on the Bear Creek Valley ROD, and the two agencies are working closely on resolving outstanding issues on alternative selection.

• Several DOE-ORO personnel changes have been made: Dave Adler has taken over responsibilities as acting site manager at the East Tennessee Technology Park (ETTP) until the position is permanently filled; Jason Darby will assume leadership of the Y-12 Team until Mr. Adler’s return; Johnny Moore, the Environmental Technology Group Leader, is serving as the acting site manager at Portsmouth until the position is filled; Jerry Harness is filling Mr. Moore’s Environmental Technology position until he returns; and Myrna Redfield was selected to replace Margaret Wilson as Federal Facility Agreement (FFA) Project Manager and Deputy Group Leader for Remediation Management.

• A letter has been sent to Robert Blaum expressing DOE’s appreciation for the contributions Mr. Blaum made to the Board during his term of service. Mr. Blaum submitted his resignation to the Board in February.

• On March 13 and 14, the DOE-Headquarters (DOE-HQ) team that reviewed health and safety issues at Paducah and Portsmouth will begin a scoping exercise at ETTP.

• Over 650 8th-grade students attended an environmental symposium sponsored by DOE-ORO at Roane State Community College–Oak Ridge on March 7 and 8. This event replaced the Environmental Fair held in previous years at the American Museum of Science and Energy. Another such symposium will be held at Roane State this fall.

Mr. Gibson asked Mr. Nelson to comment on local ramifications of the new National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). Mr. Nelson replied that some DOE staff members have been assigned to the NNSA, but they will still report to Leah Dever. So far the advent of the NNSA "hasn’t made much difference in the way we do business here in Oak Ridge," Mr. Nelson said.

Ms. Sigal asked Mr. Nelson who to contact about amending the FFA and the ORR Public Involvement Plan to include stewardship issues. Mr. Nelson recommended Ms. Redfield as the point of contact for FFA issues and Teresa Perry as the contact for the ORR Public Involvement Plan.

Mr. Kopp asked Jon Johnston and Camilla Bond-Warren to discuss EPA’s issues concerning the Bear Creek Valley ROD, and he expressed concern that these issues had stopped the project so late in the CERCLA process. Mr. Johnston responded that the late identification of serious issues is never a good thing, yet such issues must be addressed whenever discovered. Mr. Johnston took "blame and credit" for identification of those issues and said that he hopes to improve communication among the FFA parties by making regular monthly visits to Oak Ridge. The types of questions EPA raised about Bear Creek Valley required the agency to reflect on where the project is now versus where the project was when it was envisioned to serve as a pilot project for the watershed concept. Bear Creek is where the FFA parties began to make very large-scale decisions and define efficiencies in studies. When the ROD was issued, however, decisions on segments of the valley (such as Boneyard/Burnyard and the S-3 Ponds) had been deferred so that the scale of decision-making was no longer the same. "We studied on a very large scale, and we’re deciding on a fairly small scale," he said. "That led us to question whether or not we could judge the cost-effectiveness of the remedy that was proposed, particularly in light of National Contingency Plan criteria." EPA was not able to say that the least cost-expensive remedy had been selected in regard to excavation of material versus containment in place or that justification for a more expensive remedy was well documented.

Ms. Perry gave an update on new member recruitment. Thirty applications have been received. From these applicants, seven new members will be seated on the Board, and ten others will serve in a pool of reserves. Applications are being reviewed now by the independent evaluator, and the selected applications will be forwarded to DOE-HQ for approval by the end of March. HQ should be able to sign off on the applications by early May.

Ms. Jones informed the Board that she and John Blevins of EPA had been meeting with DOE about the ETTP remedial investigation, and work on closing phase I of the investigation is progressing.

Mr. Owsley announced that the report on surface radiation sampling performed by TDEC on DOE property near the Boeing site is undergoing final review. Data show that levels of cesium were discovered in four areas along the shoreline. The report should be issued by the end of the week or early next week.

Public Comment
Mr. Al Brooks, a member of the Local Oversight Committee, expressed concern about certain statements made in the Lower East Fork Poplar Creek Remedial Action Report that contradict those made in the ROD. A copy of his statement is included as Attachment 2.

Announcements and Other Board Business
The next Board meeting will be Wednesday, April 5, 6:00 p.m., at the Roane State Community College campus in Oak Ridge. The program will focus on radioactive metals recycling.

No additions or corrections were made to February 2, 2000, Board meeting minutes.

A first reading was made of a proposed change to the Boards Bylaws, Article VI, Executive Committee Composition: "The Executive Committee shall be composed of the elected officers of the Board and the project team leaders or co-team leaders in the absence of a team leader." The amendment will be presented for a vote at the April 5 Board meeting.

Ms. Sigal, leader of the Stewardship Special Project Team, presented a request that the team’s status be changed from "special project team" to "major project team." Ms. Rush moved that the request be approved, and Mr. Washington seconded the motion. However, because the motion requires a change in Board Bylaws, Ms. Sigal moved to postpone action until the April Board meeting. Mr. Kopp seconded the motion to postpone, and the motion was unanimously approved. Presentation of the motion at this meeting will serve as first reading, and the motion will be voted on at the April 5 Board meeting.

Mr. Alexander moved that the Board approve a letter to DOE-HQ he had drafted on new member recruitment (Attachment 3). Ms. Traylor offered a motion to change the date by which new ORSSAB members be impaneled from April 5 to May 3. Ms. Traylor’s amendment failed to carry, with a vote of four in favor, eight against. The motion to send the letter (with the April 5 date) carried, with a vote of ten in favor, two against (Mr. Washington and Mr. Gibson opposing the motion).

Comments on the Board’s FY 2000 Work Plan have been received from Doug Sarno. The Board Process Team will consider incorporating Mr. Sarno’s comments into the plan.

Ms. Traylor moved to put Mr. Alexander’s name forward to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry as a candidate for membership in the Oak Ridge Reservation Health Effects Subcommittee. Mr. Pardue seconded the motion, and the motion was unanimously approved.

Motions and Recommendations
M3/8/00.1
Mr. Washington moved to approve the minutes of the February 2, 2000, Board meeting. Ms. Rush seconded the motion, and the motion was unanimously approved.

M3/8/00.2
Ms. Rush moved that the designation of the Stewardship Team be changed from "special project team" to "major project team." Mr. Washington seconded the motion. No vote was taken, and the motion was tabled.

M3/8/00.3
Ms. Sigal moved to postpone action on designating the Stewardship Team as a major project team until the April Board meeting. Mr. Kopp seconded the motion, and the motion was unanimously approved.

M3/8/00.4
Ms. Traylor moved that Mr. Alexander’s letter to DOE-HQ be amended so that the date by which ORSSAB would request new members be impaneled would be changed from April 5 to May 3. Ms. Traylor’s motion failed to carry, with a vote of four in favor, eight against.

M3/8/00.5
Mr. Alexander moved that the Board approve a letter to DOE-HQ he had drafted on new member recruitment. The motion was approved, with a vote of ten in favor, two against (Mr. Washington and Mr. Gibson opposing the motion).

M3/8/00.6
Ms. Traylor moved to put Mr. Alexander’s name forward to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry as a candidate for membership in the Oak Ridge Reservation Health Effects Subcommittee. Mr. Pardue seconded the motion, and the motion was unanimously approved.

Respectfully submitted,
Rikki Traylor, Secretary

RRT/plo

Attachments (3)

Action Items

1. Mr. Darby will supply copies of the FY 2000 RER to members of the SSAB Stewardship Team before its March 23 meeting. Completed 3/17/00

2. Mr. Carreras will supply Ms. Sigal with a copy of EPA’s October 1999 version of its Draft Comprehensive Five-Year Review Guidance document. Completed via e-mail 3/28/00

3. The Board Process Team will consider incorporating Mr. Sarno’s comments into the Board’s FY 2000 Work Plan. Completed 3/28/00

4. The Board Process Team will draft wording to amend the Board Bylaws, Article VII, Projects and Project Teams, to allow for a project team’s status to be changed from "special" to "major." Completed 3/28/00. Bylaws do not need to be amended to address this issue

5. SSAB support staff will place two items on the April 5, 2000, Board agenda the second readings of two proposed amendments to the Board Bylaws: Article VI, Executive Committee Composition, and Article VII, Projects and Project Teams. Completed 3/28/00

6. Mr. Nemec will supply a breakdown of the "managers" category contained in his overhead on workforce transition diversity. (Carryover item from 12/1/99 meeting) Completed 3/10/00. See ORSSAB incoming correspondence list, item 169

7. Mr. Nemec will supply a breakdown of how the reported $61M in management and integration contractor cost savings have been used. (Carryover item from 12/1/99 meeting) Completed 3/10/00. See ORSSAB incoming correspondence list, item 169

1 Motion

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