Many Voices Working for the Community

Oak Ridge
Site Specific Advisory Board

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Approved October 11, 2000, Meeting Minutes
The Oak Ridge Site Specific Advisory Board (ORSSAB) held its regularly scheduled monthly meeting on Wednesday, October 11, 2000, at the Garden Plaza Hotel in Oak Ridge, beginning at 6:00 p.m. A video tape recording of the meeting was made and may be viewed by calling the SSAB support office at 865-241-3665.

Members Present
Jake Alexander
Shane Bellis1
Jeff Cange
Mary Lynn Fletcher
Luther Gibson, Jr., Chair
Tami Hamby
Steve Kopp
Steve Lewis
Avalon Mansfield1
David Mosby
Bill Pardue
Pat Rush
Peery Shaffer
Darrell Srdoc
Coralie Staley
Kerry Trammell
Scott Vowell
Charles Washington

1Student representative

Members Absent
Demetra Nelson, Vice Chair
Lorene Sigal
Rikki Traylor

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

Others Present
Dave Adler, DOE-ORO
Sheree Black, SSAB support office
Bill Cahill, DOE-ORO
Chuck Jenkins, Bechtel Jacobs Company LLC
Pete Osborne, SSAB support office

Six members of the public attended the meeting.

Mr. Cahill gave a presentation on the Environmental Management Waste Management Facility (EMWMF) (Attachment 1). After the presentation, members of the SSAB and the public asked the following questions.



Response (abridged)

Charles Washington Where have other waste cells been constructed? In the DOE complex, at Hanford, Fernald, and Weldon Spring.
What studies on waste cells have you gotten from academia? We had a group from the National Academy of Sciences look at the general design and long-term surveillance and maintenance.
How will PCBs disposed of and at what levels are they toxic to humans? I’ll have to go back to the feasibility study to pull out the exact values in the preliminary waste acceptance criteria.
Bill Pardue What were the total cubic yards to be disposed? 400,000 yd3
Do we have updated costs for offsite disposal since the initial estimates were made? Has that issue been revisited since the original calculations? We did do a reality check about a year ago, and costs for the offsite alternative remained the same; however, onsite costs are running significantly below estimates.
Jake Alexander




Is this facility strictly for cleanup of the reservation?

With one caveat: related offsite facilities, like Witherspoon, are included.
Are the site characteristics consistent with what could be applicable under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)? Yes, the RCRA siting requirements and applicable or relevant and appropriate requirements were carried through from the feasibility study to the Record of Decision (ROD) and were derived from that process.
Why not design the facility for future generated wastes? From the start of this project, our intent was to put ourselves in a position to dispose of cleanup waste. We haven’t done anything to prohibit accepting wastes generated in the future, but the focus has been on cleanup.

During initial public discussion, a major issue of concern was the validity of building this facility under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) rather than the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA); how was that issue resolved?

It was resolved through the Secretarial policy on integration of NEPA into CERCLA, and that’s spelled out in the remedial investigation/feasibility study.
Jake Alexander What would have to be done if the facility were to be opened to newly generated wastes in the future? Supplemental analyses would have to be performed.
Were the socioeconomic impacts adequately addressed? I would say yes. Look for that information in the remedial investigation/feasibility study and in subsequent decision documents.
Steve Kopp  

Will transuranics of the type being disposed at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant be placed in the facility?

No, although we can dispose of some transuranic materials, they would be below the threshold defining what’s considered "TRU waste."
Is the work on the facility a fixed-price contract? Yes.
Are there any outstanding issues between the state and DOE, such as the consent order? We are in agreement on all pertinent issues, but some details concerning future activities will be addressed as they come up.
Steve Lewis  

What kind of containment will wastes be placed in before going to the facility?

B-25 boxes, drums, and cemented monoliths will be used, but most of the material will be soil and construction debris.
What is the difference between this and the tumulus pad at Oak Ridge National Laboratory? We would not require everything to be in cemented forms.
Which has the better containment? Both have unique designs in terms of performance. The liner systems of the waste facility are more than adequate for the job.
Peery Shaffer  

What is the life expectancy for the facility in regards to maintenance and stewardship?

After closure, there is an indefinite scope of work for long-term surveillance and maintenance, monitoring, etc. We will also have periodic security monitoring.
Do you have any contingency planning for catastrophic events? We will have perimeter monitoring wells in place to determine any performance failures, and remedial actions would be taken in that event. Catastrophic events will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.
Where would we look for contingency planning information? See the proposed plan and the ROD.
Pat Rush


Will you have seismographs to measure earthquake events? How severe of a seismic event could it withstand? We will not have seismographs, but the facility will be designed and constructed to current seismic event standards. I’ll have to look up what they are.
What are the specifics of long-term monitoring following closure? Can you supply details of socioeconomic considerations? Those are spelled out in documentation, and I’ll be glad to supply them to you.
Darrell Srdoc What was the primary consideration for choosing high-end and low-end volumes? The forecasts were based on assumptions in the DOE Ten Year Plan.
What would happen should a catastrophic event occur prior to closure? The presiding documentation guiding response to catastrophic events is the health and safety plan.
Susan Gawarecki



The current contract is for disposal of 400,000 yd3; what volume does the rendering of the facility represent? 1,000,000 yd3
How will you double the facility from 400,000 to 1,000,000 yd3? The design accommodates addition of other "cells" to extend capacity.
How will daily cover be handled during operations? Several options are being considered, most notably foam or a small volume of clean fill.
Concerning waste acceptance criteria: are you looking at it from a volumetric perspective or from concentration in each waste stream? The short answer is that we’ll always use the volume-weighted sum of the fractions that is protective of human health and the environment.
Will there be opportunity for public input into waste acceptance criteria plans? There will be opportunities; in what formal capacity, I’m not sure.
Bob Peelle Was the performance analysis on the liner figured for 1000 years? We don’t take credit for performance of plastics—only for natural materials.

Deputy Designated Federal Official and Ex-Officio Comments
Mr. Nelson made five announcements:

Ms. Jones introduced EPA intern David James, who will be accompanying Ms. Jones to SSAB meetings from time to time.

Public Comment

Announcements and Other Board Business
The next Board meeting will be Wednesday, November 8. The presentation will focus on revitalization of Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) facilities.

The Board took the following actions:

Mr. Shaffer reported that the Stewardship Committee will not meet in October but will meet twice in November: on the 7th and 28th. Two stewardship-related workshops will be held in December: one on funding in Washington, D.C., and the other on long-term stewardship in San Francisco. Five ORSSAB members will be attending the Rocky Flats stewardship workshop in October.

Mr. Alexander informed the Board that DOE-Headquarters had issued a "Notice of Availability and Opportunity for Public Comment Regarding the Control of Releases of Materials with Residual Radioactive Contamination from DOE Facilities." The Waste Management Committee agreed to look into the issue.

Mr. Pardue gave a report on the Community Reuse Organization of East Tennessee (CROET). The organization is reorganizing into five "mini-CROETs" devoted to the following areas: ETTP, ED-1, grant awards, new ventures, and marketing. Mr. Washington requested that CROET be asked to make a presentation to the Board, and Mr. Gibson offered to take the suggestion to the Executive Committee.

Ms. Rush recommended that the Environmental Restoration Committee consider reviewing the Environmental Assessment for Parcel ED-3.

The meeting adjourned at 9:10 p.m.

Attachments to these minutes are available upon request from the ORSSAB support office.

Motions and Recommendations
Mr. Washington moved to approve the agenda. Mr. Alexander seconded the motion and the motion was unanimously approved.

Mr. Mosby moved to approve the minutes of the September 6, 2000, Board meeting. Mr. Washington seconded the motion, and the motion was unanimously approved.

Mr. Alexander moved to approve comments on the Proposed Plan for Interim Actions in Bethel Valley. Mr. Pardue seconded the motion, and the motion was approved, 15 in favor, none opposed, one abstention (Ms. Fletcher).

Mr. Mosby moved to approve the revision to Board Standing Rules V.B.3. Mr. Shaffer seconded the motion, and the motion was unanimously approved.

Ms. Fletcher moved to approve the letter "Failure of Congressional Conference Committee to include funds for currently diagnosed ill nuclear workers at DOE/US facilities as proposed by Secretary Richardson." Mr. Shaffer seconded the motion. Ms. Staley moved to amend the motion to allow staff to correct grammar. Mr. Vowell seconded the amendment. The amended motion was unanimously approved.

Mr. Alexander moved that the Board request that DOE appoint someone to make a presentation to the Board on conflict of interest. Mr. Mosby seconded the motion. Mr. Kopp moved to amend the motion to request someone to guide discussion as well as make a presentation. The amended motion was unanimously approved.

Respectfully submitted,
David N. Mosby, Secretary


Attachments (4)

Action Items

  1. Mr. Cahill will supply the Board with EMWMF information on PCB disposal, seismic specifications, long-term monitoring, and socioeconomic impacts. Completed and distributed to Board members on 11/8/00
  2. Mr. Nelson will arrange for a discussion on conflict of interest at a future Board meeting.
  3. Staff will make grammatical corrections to the letter "Failure of Congressional Conference Committee to include funds for currently diagnosed ill nuclear workers at DOE/US facilities as proposed by Secretary Richardson." Completed 10/24/00
  4. The Waste Management Committee will add to their October 18 agenda the "Notice of Availability and Opportunity for Public Comment Regarding the Control of Releases of Materials with Residual Radioactive Contamination from DOE Facilities." Completed 10/18/00
  5. The Executive Committee will discuss hosting a presentation on CROET. Completed 10/26/00. The committee deferred scheduling the presentation
  6. Staff will provide information to the Board on member liability. (Carryover item from 6/21/00). Completed 10/6/00 in e-mail to Kopp/Gibson (correspondence file #45)

1 Motion

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