Many Voices Working for the Community

Oak Ridge
Site Specific Advisory Board

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Approved May 9, 2001, Meeting Minutes

The Oak Ridge Site Specific Advisory Board (ORSSAB) held its regularly scheduled monthly meeting on Wednesday, May 9, 2001, 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
Ryan Burton1
Luther Gibson, Jr., Chair
John Kennerly
Alix King1
Steve Kopp
Steve Lewis
Avalon Mansfield1
John Million
David Mosby, Vice Chair
Bill Pardue
Pat Rush
Peery Shaffer
Lorene Sigal
Coralie Staley, Secretary
Kerry Trammell
Scott Vowell
Charles Washington

1Student representative

Members Absent

Mary Lynn Fletcher

Deputy Designated Federal Official and Ex-Officios Present

Rod Nelson, DOE-Oak Ridge Offices (DOE-ORO)
Martha Berry, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (standing in for Connie Jones)
Pat Halsey, DOE-ORO
John Owsley, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC)

Others Present

Sheree Black, SSAB support office
Chuck Jenkins, Bechtel Jacobs Company LLC
Doug McCoy, TDEC
Pete Osborne, SSAB support office
Myrna Redfield, DOE-ORO
Stacey Young, Bechtel Jacobs Company LLC

Five members of the public attended the meeting.


Mr. Gibson opened the presentation portion of the meeting with an overview of the five Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR) watersheds and a description of the status of decision documents for each (Attachment 1). The presentation continued in panel-discussion format with Martha Berry, Remedial Project Manager and Federal Facility Agreement (FFA) Manager for EPA; Doug McCoy, FFA Program Manager for TDEC; and Myrna Redfield, Deputy Group Leader for the DOE-ORO Remediation Group and DOE-ORO FFA Manager.

In an opening statement, Ms. Berry said that EPA has always thought the watershed approach to be innovative and a technically appropriate way to approach projects. Some projects are complex, though, and some have gone more smoothly than others. From the outside looking in, it may look as if EPA is not adhering to the watershed approach, but it’s really more a difference in implementation strategies than a backing away from the watershed concept.

In his opening statement, Mr. McCoy said that although remediation of the watersheds is complex, the parties to the FFA have tried to follow original intentions regarding the watershed remediation strategy. Remediating areas such as the East Tennessee Technology Park (ETTP) is made more difficult by ongoing missions at the sites. Reindustrialization and decontamination and decommissioning activities particularly complicate the situation.

Ms. Redfield echoed Mr. McCoy’s statement that the FFA parties have tried to perform remediation activities while at the same time considering broader cleanup questions. For example, in Upper East Fork Poplar Creek (UEFPC), surface water is being addressed before soils because more information about soil contamination is needed.

After the opening statements, the following questions were asked by members of the Board and the public, and the following responses were given.


Response (abridged)

Lorene Sigal: Do you think we’d be in a better position now if we had all worked together? A monthly update on these sort of interim decisions would keep the public informed and involved and make it easier for us to review watershed documents. Myrna Redfield: There is a strategy to how we’re addressing the watersheds. For example, the UEFPC Record of Decision (ROD) D1 that will be sent to TDEC and EPA in June addresses only surface water. The strategy behind this is to mitigate sources to the creek and thereby protect the public. Next we’ll do soils. Final actions will be taken on surface water and groundwater, so there are four RODs total. This is explained in a logic diagram that shows how actions lead to watershed remediation.
Martha Berry: When we think of the watershed approach, we’re thinking of end states. The FFA parties have differences on data needs and other issues, so we’ve decided to go forward with what we can agree on. It’s not that we’re changing the end use goals, we’re just taking actions to mitigate threats. Whether it’s two or five RODs isn’t the issue.
Doug McCoy: We don’t feel like we’ve abandoned the watershed concept, but as we’ve moved through it the complexities have shown that in some cases we’ve got adequate information; in other areas we need more information. This appears to be fragmentation, but it’s just the natural evolution of the process as we run across different types of situations. The goals haven’t changed, though. The reality is that we’ll have two to four RODs per watershed; that’s just a necessity of the process.
Bill Pardue: We can accept your logic, but the concern is that the stakeholders haven’t been involved in the dialog that’s gone on on this issue. Doug McCoy: There’s always more opportunity for more communication. We’re willing to do what we can to improve that. Maybe part of that came about because in the day-to-day discussions we didn’t perceive a significant change that needed to be communicated.
Scott Vowell: Do you feel you’ll be able to resolve long-term issues? Martha Berry: We’ve been working very hard to resolve these issues. For example, EPA thought more characterization of soils was needed in UEFPC. In ETTP Zone 1, we didn’t agree that there’s enough data to go forward with a site-wide ROD. Instead of arguing for years, we decided to go forward with what we could agree on. I agree with Mr. McCoy that there was never a "eureka" moment when we thought that we needed to go to the public about a grand change of plans.
Lorene Sigal: What standards are you using for the cleanup of Y-12 and ETTP? Doug McCoy: ETTP is commercial-industrial. We’re following End Use Working Group (EUWG) recommendations.
Myrna Redfield: In Y-12 we’re following the EUWG recommendations: some recreational, some industrial-controlled, some industrial-uncontrolled.
Lorene Sigal: Would you agree in future documents you’ll explain how first phases fit into the whole picture? Doug McCoy: Absolutely.
Pat Rush: The watershed approach does not include all areas of the reservation, such as Freels Bend. What’s planned in those areas? Doug McCoy: Appendix C of the FFA is a comprehensive list of potential operable units that includes all areas inside and outside the watersheds. Those areas outside watersheds are in the life cycle baseline, and even though they’re not in a watershed, they will be addressed. Some characterization work on Freels Bend has been done, including a "no further investigation" (NFI) determination on soils.
Pat Rush: I’d like to see the NFI on Freels Bend. Pat Halsey: DOE’s Footprint Reduction Process divided the reservation into 18 sections, but after investigating 15 sections, the process stopped. South Campus Facility, which covers Freels Bend, was one of those not done. TDEC did a walkover documenting some minor areas needing remediation. I’ll get you that document and the NFI for Freels Bend.
Norman Mulvenon: From the public’s point of view, EPA is the instigator of the difference of opinion in remediation. Martha Berry: We can do a better with communication, but the FFA parties have to work things out...that’s just the process.
Susan Gawarecki: The FY 2002 budget request to DOE-Headquarters (DOE-HQ) has been slashed. If this comes to pass, what would each of your actions be? Myrna Redfield: At this point, we’re focusing on 2001. We haven’t discussed with TDEC and EPA at the FFA Manager’s level what will happen. We’ll address that when we get final numbers.
Martha Berry: Our senior management has been briefed, but we’re also waiting for final numbers.
John Owsley: The state’s very interested, but our position is that the FFA is an iterative process with 3-year rolling milestones. Until DOE says they won’t meet its milestones, it’s our intention that they will be met.
Susan Gawarecki: Would EPA have recourse to fine DOE for failing to meet milestones? Martha Berry: We would invoke the dispute resolution section of the FFA, which could involve penalties.
Susan Gawarecki: What is EPA’s budget request? Martha Berry: We’re not hurting for employees and program funds. To my knowledge there are no adverse impacts to Superfund monies.
Lorene Sigal: Jim Kutzman has been appointed deputy to Dick Green and will be responsible for DOE-ORO. Can we invite him to meet with stakeholders and then with the Board? Martha Berry: I’ll take that back to him.

Deputy Designated Federal Official and Ex-Officio Comments

Mr. Nelson welcomed new student representatives Alix King of Oak Ridge High School and Ryan Burton of Roane County High School. Mr. Nelson presented plaques of appreciation to outgoing student representatives Avalon Mansfield and Shane Bellis. Ms. Mansfield and Mr. Bellis later made statements thanking the Board for the opportunity to participate on the SSAB.

Mr. Nelson made two announcements:

• Recommendations for seven new members and ten alternates have been sent to DOE-HQ. An accelerated review by DOE-HQ has been requested, and Mr. Nelson hopes that the new members will be seated by the end of June or early July.

• Responses to four ORSSAB recommendations were distributed this evening.

Ms. Sigal asked Mr. Nelson if it would be possible to get a budget update at each ORSSAB meeting. Mr. Nelson replied that he is being as candid as he can be, but the information is coming from Washington, so his information is limited at this time. "I’ll do what I can each month to keep the Board informed," he said.

Ms. Rush distributed a letter from the mayor of Oak Ridge to DOE-ORO, which accompanied her May 1995 application for membership on ORSSAB (Attachment 2). Ms. Rush asked Mr. Nelson to note that the letter states that "Councilwoman Rush is submitted as the City’s designee pursuant to the June 15, 1994 report prepared by the Steering Committee on Advisory Board Formation of the DOE Stakeholders’ Forum which guarantees that at least one (1) nominee of the Oak Ridge City Council will be given a seat on the SSAB." Ms. Rush asked to have the ORSSAB membership selection committee reexamine the concept of having specific representation from the City of Oak Ridge on the Board. Mr. Nelson agreed to look into the request.

Mr. Owsley reported that the Toxic Substances Control Act Incinerator (TSCAI) trial burn will take place over a span of two weeks, beginning on May 14. The Tennessee Division of Solid Waste Management has the regulatory lead, and the TDEC Department of Energy Oversight Division is assisting.

Public Comment


Announcements and Other Board Business

The next Board meeting will be Wednesday, June 13, at the Garden Plaza Hotel. Dave Geiser, Acting Director of the DOE Office of Long-Term Stewardship, has been invited to speak on the current status of DOE stewardship activities.

Minutes of the April 11, 2001, Board meeting were approved without change.

The Board approved a recommendation concerning the State of Tennessee’s position on the proposed FY 2001 TSCAI Burn Plan (Attachment 3).

The Board approved a recommendation concerning public information on TSCAI (Attachment 4), with two minor editorial changes.

The Board approved comments on the draft ORR Stewardship Management Plan Annotated Outline (Attachment 5).

The Board approved a joint letter from the Environmental Management (EM) SSABs to Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham voicing concerns about the EM Program budget (Attachment 6). Staff was asked to report to the Board the status of the other SSABs’ endorsement of the letter. Mr. Gibson was granted discretionary authority to approve any further changes to the letter.

On second reading, the Board approved the following changes to ORSSAB Bylaws (Attachment 7):

• Article III.D, "Conflict of Interest;"

• Article V.F, "Committee Meetings;"

• Article VI, "Executive Committee Composition;" and

• Article VII, "ORSSAB Committees—Definition and Duties."

One editorial change was made to Article III.D.

Mr. Pardue presented a written proposal for ORSSAB to be involved in writing an "Oak Ridge and the Environment" document (Attachment 8). Mr. Pardue will present a formal recommendation about ORSSAB involvement at the June Board meeting. The next meeting of the document’s writing group will be held at the UT-Battelle Information Center at 2:30 p.m. on May 15. Mr. Washington expressed a concern about using public money on the project, and Ms. Halsey offered to query DOE-HQ to see if this might be a concern. Mr. Washington also expressed the opinion that organizations representing sick workers should be included in the project. Ms. Rush recommended that a contact point for the document be established and published in the document.

The Board approved a letter to Rod Nelson concerning the FY 2002 Presidential budget for the DOE EM Program (Attachment 9).

The Board failed to approve a recommendation concerning work force issues (see meeting notebook). Mr. Gibson recused himself from participation in the discussion due to potential perception of conflict of interest.

The Board approved Kerry Trammell as the ORSSAB representative to the Community Reuse Organization of East Tennessee (CROET).

Mr. Alexander, Mr. Gibson, Ms. Sigal, Mr. Mosby, Mr. Kopp, and Mr. Million gave reports on recent committee activities. Mr. Osborne gave a report on recent outreach activities, and he announced that a third meeting with Dolores Kopp to review the ORSSAB presentation had been set for May 16 at 11:30 a.m. at the Information Resource Center.

Mr. Gibson called for members to serve on the nominating committee for FY 2002 Board officers. Mr. Washington volunteered to chair the committee.

The meeting adjourned at 9:38 p.m.

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


Mr. Mosby was absent for votes on motions one through seven.

Ms. Staley moved to approve the minutes of the April 11, 2001, Board meeting. Mr. Shaffer seconded the motion, and the motion was unanimously approved.

Mr. Kopp moved to approve the recommendation concerning the State of Tennessee’s position on the proposed FY 2001 TSCAI Burn Plan. No second was required for the motion, and the motion was unanimously approved.

Mr. Kopp moved to approve the recommendation concerning public information on TSCAI. No second was required for the motion, and the motion was unanimously approved.

Mr. Shaffer moved to approve comments on the draft ORR Stewardship Management Plan Annotated Outline. No second was required for the motion, and the motion was unanimously approved.

Mr. Gibson moved to approve the joint letter from the EM SSABs to Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham voicing concerns about the EM Program budget. Mr. Kopp seconded the motion, and the motion was unanimously approved.

Mr. Alexander moved to give Mr. Gibson discretionary authority to approve further changes to the joint letter from the EM SSABs to Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham. Ms. Rush seconded the motion, and the motion was unanimously approved.

Ms. Sigal moved to approve amendment to the following articles of Board Bylaws: Article III.D, "Conflict of Interest;" Article V.F, "Committee Meetings;" Article VI, "Executive Committee Composition;" and Article VII, "ORSSAB Committees—Definition and Duties." No second was required for the motion, and the motion was unanimously approved.

Mr. Pardue moved to approve the letter to Rod Nelson concerning the FY 2002 Presidential budget for the DOE EM Program. Mr. Vowell seconded the motion, and the motion was approved, 14 in favor, one abstention (Mr. Mosby).

Mr. Mosby moved to approve the recommendation to Rod Nelson concerning work force issues. Mr. Washington seconded the motion. The motion was declared to have passed but was subsequently found, upon review of ORSSAB Bylaws, to have failed to carry. The motion failed by a vote of five in favor (Mr. Alexander, Mr. Kennerly, Mr. Mosby, Mr. Vowell, Mr. Washington); four opposed (Mr. Lewis, Mr. Million, Ms. Sigal, Mr. Trammell); and six abstentions (Mr. Gibson, Mr. Kopp, Mr. Pardue, Ms. Rush, Mr. Shaffer, Ms. Staley). Nine votes in favor were needed for passage.

Mr. Lewis moved to approve Kerry Trammell as the ORSSAB representative to CROET. Mr. Vowell seconded the motion, and the motion was unanimously approved.

Respectfully submitted,
Coralie A. Staley, Secretary


Attachments (7)

Action Items

1. Ms. Halsey will supply to Ms. Rush with copies of the Freels Bend NFI and walkover survey report.

2. Ms. Berry will inform Jim Kutzman of the Board’s desire to meet with him in Oak Ridge.

3. Staff will determine the status of other SSABs’ endorsement of the budget letter to Secretary Abraham.

4. Staff will update the web version of the ORSSAB bylaws and distribute a hard copy to all members.

5. Ms. Halsey will query DOE-HQ about the propriety of using public money to fund ORSSAB involvement in writing the "Oak Ridge and the Environment" document. Completed 5/15/01. No conflict exists per DOE-HQ

1 Motion

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