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Oak Ridge
Site Specific Advisory Board

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Approved June 13, 2001, Meeting Minutes

The Oak Ridge Site Specific Advisory Board (ORSSAB) held its regularly scheduled monthly meeting on Wednesday, June 13, 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
Ryan Burton1
John Kennerly
Alix King1
Steve Kopp
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 Fletcher2
Luther Gibson, Jr., Chair
Steve Lewis

2Second consecutive absence

Deputy Designated Federal Official and Ex-Officios Present

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

Others Present

Sheree Black, Bechtel Jacobs Company LLC (BJC)
Wendy Cain, DOE-ORO
Leah Dever, DOE-ORO
Chuck Jenkins, BJC
Pete Osborne, BJC
Donna Perez, DOE-ORO

Fourteen members of the public attended the meeting.

Presentation

Ms. Cain opened her presentation with an overview of the Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride (UF6) Program. A copy of Ms. Cain’s overheads is included as Attachment 1. The program manages 7,195 UF6 cylinders at the East Tennessee Technology Park (ETTP). Only 4,810 of the cylinders are full; the rest are either empty, heel quantity, or partially filled. The scope of the program is to move cylinders to improve storage conditions within existing facilities, recoat worst-case cylinders to mitigate corrosion, continue ongoing surveillance and maintenance, and improve existing storage facilities. All full and partially filled cylinders will be transferred by 2009 to DOE’s Portsmouth, Ohio, site, where a UF6 conversion facility is to be constructed.

After the presentation, the following questions were asked by members of the Board and the public, and the following responses were given by Ms. Cain.

Question

Response (abridged)

Charles Washington: Are there any lightning arresters near the cylinders? Has there ever been a lightning-strike incident? There are no arresters, and I don’t think there’s ever been a lightning incident.
Charles Washington: What will you do with the waste generated when you strip the outsides of the cylinders to repaint them? The facility used for stripping is sealed, so the material is contained, and the stripping material is reused. Permits for disposing the material after reuse will be obtained.
Charles Washington: Is the facility Title 5 permitted for air releases? The facility does have a State of Tennessee air permit, but I am not familiar specifically with Title 5.
Charles Washington: Can you explain the stripping process? In FY 1998, a blasting process was used to remove paint and rust from the cylinders. I’m not sure if this year’s effort requires the same process.
Charles Washington: Have you identified the repainting contractor? We’re just now in the RFP formation stage.
John Million: Are any of the cylinders stored in buildings? About 29 are still stored in K-25, and one is in the BNFL area.
Steve Kopp: How long will it be until the conversion facility is ready? The latest I’ve seen is that the contract will be awarded in September. The conversion contractor will take over management of the cylinders one year before conversion begins.
Pat Rush: What happens if a cylinder is punctured? What protections are there for the public and workers? Procedures are in place, as well as safety authorization documents, to deal with such scenarios. In those instances, the reaction of the material with air causes the breach to seal itself, limiting the amount of material released into the atmosphere.
Pat Rush: Have any large cylinders been breached? All breaches we’ve found have been on the large cylinders.
Norman Mulvenon: Can you predict how many cylinders will be breached? Do you have an idea where the likely candidates are? The answer to both questions is yes. The final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) talks about the expected number of breaches. Three are predicted in the years 1999 to 2009. We know the most likely cylinders are those in the K-yard that have experienced accelerated corrosion due to poor storage conditions. The problem in finding breaches is that they seal themselves, so we may have breaches we don’t know about.
Bill Pardue: What’s the worse-case scenario for a catastrophic breach? History and evaluations show that dropping cylinders from the height at which we handle them won’t crack them. A fire or explosion scenario could result in release of material that may have offsite impacts. (Donna Perez, ETTP Site Manager, added that continuous exercises for this contingency are performed and that a full-participation exercise at ETTP last year focused on the cylinder yards. In the scenarios the program has evaluated, the impact could be offsite but would be mostly likely be limited to the cylinder yards.
Lorene Sigal: Was there a National Environmental Policy Act document done on the area? The PEIS for long term management of depleted UF6 was done in 1999.
John Kennerly: Has anyone looked at the age of the cylinders, and have you given thought to addressing the oldest ones first? I’m not certain about prioritization of cylinders for conversion, but the age and storage data are well known, so that we can identify the most likely candidates for a breach.
Charles Washington: Will you test all cylinders ultrasonically? No, the statistical sampling of cylinders is from the K-yard where there have been poor storage conditions.

Deputy Designated Federal Official and Ex-Officio Comments

Mr. Seay made several announcements:

• Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham will visit Oak Ridge on June 18. He will be going to Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), the Y-12 Plant, and ETTP. Tour details are still being worked out.

• The House and Senate have passed a joint resolution to "plus-up" the FY 2001 Environmental Management (EM) budget by $1B.

• The Engineering Evaluation/Cost Analysis for K-25/K-27 has hit a snag, and the public review period for this document did not begin in early June as reported. Some last-minute changes requested by TDEC, involving the addition of another alternative, will take some time to resolve.

• The last meeting of the Federal Facility Agreement (FFA) mid-managers resulted in some additional agreements that should allow the ETTP Zone 1 Proposed Plan to be released for public review this summer. Efforts are being made to have a signed Record of Decision (ROD) for this area by the end of this fiscal year.

• The Phase 1 ROD for the Upper East Fork Poplar Creek watershed is being prepared for release to the regulators for their initial review on June 30. The ROD covers mercury abatement and PCB releases.

• BJC has confirmed the presence of metal and yellow uranium oxide in several surface locations on BG D-east at the Y-12 Plant. This material was discovered by TDEC staff as they were preparing to establish radon monitoring stations in that vicinity. Other areas without engineered caps were also surveyed by BJC (one metal object and one area of bare ground had elevated readings). These are all fenced areas, and postings were upgraded to reflect "surface soil contaminated area." This level of protection requires a radworker permit for entry. Several options are being evaluated for a near-term action in this area to further address this issue.

• The removal action report for the completion of actions at Core Hole 8 was to go to the regulators at the end of May, but it was not sent. High readings were found in the soils surrounding the base of tank W-1A, and work had to be stopped. Various options are being evaluated. Additional consultation with the regulators is necessary before these materials can be addressed. Options being discussed involved the storage of the materials, if excavated, or the grouting of the materials in place. A decision is to be reached by the FFA parties by the end of June, and a new milestone for the completion of this work is to be established.

• The ORNL Gunite Tanks are to be handled as a removal action to facilitate use of FY 2001 funding for the grouting of these tanks. This alternative was selected as the preferred alternative in the proposed plan for the Bethel Valley watershed. An action memorandum has been prepared and is currently being reviewed to support this work. A contract should be awarded within a matter of weeks.

• The Bethel Valley ROD (D2) was delivered to regulators on May 30. Comments are expected back within the next two weeks. Copies are available at the Information Resource Center (IRC).

• The Covenant Deferral Request was signed this week by the EPA Region 4 administrator. This approval allows for lease of nine acres to UT-Battelle for modernization initiatives at ORNL.

Ms. Halsey made two comments:

• Dr. David W. Geiser (who had originally been slated to speak this evening) is no longer the Acting Director of the DOE Office of Long-Term Stewardship. This position will remain unfilled until Jessie Roberson has been approved as the replacement for Carolyn Huntoon.

• The D1 Public Involvement Plan was sent to the regulators for review on May 30. The document will be going through the approval process as an FFA primary document. Copies of the D1 are available at the IRC.

Ms. Jones reminded the Board that Martha Berry of EPA had taken an action item at the May ORSSAB meeting to inform Jim Kutzman of the Board’s desire to meet with him in Oak Ridge. Mr. Kutzman has consented to come to Oak Ridge at the Board’s convenience during the latter part of summer or early fall.

Public Comment

Mr. Dan Axelrod, a local stakeholder, asked Mr. Seay if any money had been budgeted for the $50M emergency stewardship fund recommended in Volume 2 of the Oak Ridge Reservation Stakeholder Report on Stewardship. Mr. Seay was unable to answer specifically, but he offered to supply Mr. Axelrod with a response. Mr. Axelrod also reminded the Board of his proposal to trade off $1B in cleanup funds for other projects. He submitted a copy of his proposal for the record (Attachment 2).

Ms. Susan Gawarecki, Local Oversight Committee (LOC) Executive Director, expressed concern about EM budget issues. She said that she had gleaned from discussions with Justin Wilson, Deputy to the Governor for Policy, and participants at the Tennessee Valley Corridor Economic Summit that even if additional money for 2002 is provided, the Oak Ridge Reservation may only receive half of the projected $90M shortfall. The State, she said, needs to hear from stakeholders that they want DOE to meet milestone agreements and that 2002 milestones should not be renegotiated so that progress can continue unabated. Of particular concern to her are impacts to the budgets of TDEC and the LOC. Monitoring by the State is a health and safety issue and should not be cut, she said.

Announcements and Other Board Business

Leah Dever, DOE-ORO Manager, presented awards of appreciation to Bill Pardue, Pat Rush, and Lorene Sigal, whose terms of service on the board expire in June. All three are charter members of the Board. They began their first terms of service on August 31, 1995, and they are the only charter members to have remained on the Board for the entire six years of service allowed by ORSSAB Bylaws.

The next Board meeting will be Wednesday, July 11, at the Garden Plaza Hotel. Rod Nelson will give an overview of the DOE-ORO EM Program.

In response to Ms. Gawarecki’s suggestion that stakeholders speak up about DOE-ORO budget concerns, the Board agreed to write a letter to DOE-Headquarters and the State about maintaining adequate funding for DOE-ORO, TDEC, and the LOC. Responsibility for writing the letter was assumed by Mr. Alexander on behalf of the Environmental Restoration (ER) Committee. Mr. Kopp, on behalf of the Waste Management (WM) Committee, offered to work with ER by holding a joint meeting of the WM and ER committees at the regularly scheduled meeting time for the WM committee, which is Wednesday, June 20, at 5:30 p.m.

Minutes of the May 9, 2001, Board meeting were approved with one change. The phrase "the motion failed" in the description of Motion M5/9/01.9 is to be replaced with "The motion was declared to have passed but was subsequently found, upon review of ORSSAB Bylaws, to have failed."

Bill Pardue, Scott Vowell, and Charles Washington were elected to serve on the nominating committee for FY 2002 ORSSAB officers.

The Board failed to approve a recommendation for "Oak Ridge and the Environment" documents (copy available in Board notebook). The Board did, however, approve formation of an ad hoc committee to participate in creation of the documents.

The Board approved a recommendation for including language in remedial and removal action documents regarding how that individual action fits into the larger objective of complete watershed remediation (Attachment 3).

The Board approved a recommendation for improving communication between the parties to the FFA and the public regarding watershed remedial decision-making (Attachment 4).

The Board approved recommendations and comments on the 2001 Remediation Effectiveness Report/CERCLA Five-Year Review for the U.S. Department of Energy Oak Ridge Reservation, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, DOE/OR/01-1941&D1 (Attachment 5).

Mr. Alexander, Mr. Mosby, Ms. Sigal, and Mr. Kopp gave reports on recent committee activities. Mr. Osborne gave a report on recent outreach activities.

Mr. Mosby called for a volunteer to participate in planning for the EM SSABs’ joint groundwater workshop, to be held November 8–10 in Augusta, Georgia. Anyone interested should contact the ORSSAB support office.

The meeting adjourned at 9:25 p.m.

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

Motions

M6/13/01.1
Ms. Rush moved that the Board write a letter to DOE-Headquarters and the State of Tennessee about maintaining adequate funding for DOE-ORO, TDEC, and the LOC. Mr. Kopp seconded the motion, and the motion was unanimously approved.

M6/13/01.2
Ms. Staley moved to approve the amended minutes of the May 9, 2001, Board meeting. Ms. Rush seconded the motion, and the motion was unanimously approved.

M6/13/01.3
Mr. Mosby moved to elect Bill Pardue, Scott Vowell, and Charles Washington as members of the nominating committee for FY 2002 ORSSAB officers. Ms. Rush seconded the motion, and the motion was unanimously approved.

M6/13/01.4
Mr. Pardue moved to approve the recommendation for "Oak Ridge and the Environment" documents. No second was required for the motion. The motion failed to carry, with a vote of eight in favor; four opposed (Mr. Kennerly, Mr. Million, Mr. Shaffer, Mr. Washington); and one abstention (Mr. Alexander). Nine votes were needed for approval.

M6/13/01.5
Mr. Kopp moved to form an ad hoc committee to participate in creation of the "Oak Ridge and the Environment" documents. Mr. Vowell seconded the motion, and the motion was approved, 12 in favor, 1 opposed (Mr. Washington).

M6/13/01.6
Ms. Sigal moved to approve the recommendation for including language in remedial and removal action documents regarding how that individual action fits into the larger objective of complete watershed remediation. No second was required for the motion, and the motion was unanimously approved.

M6/13/01.7
Ms. Sigal moved to approve the recommendation for improving communication between the parties to the FFA and the public regarding watershed remedial decision-making. No second was required for the motion, and the motion was approved, 11 in favor, 1 abstention (Mr. Shaffer). Mr. Washington was absent for the vote.

M6/13/01.8
Mr. Million moved to approve recommendations and comments on the 2001 Remediation Effectiveness Report/CERCLA Five-Year Review for the U.S. Department of Energy Oak Ridge Reservation, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, DOE/OR/01-1941&D1. Ms. Rush seconded the motion, and the motion was unanimously approved.

Respectfully submitted,
Coralie A. Staley, Secretary

CAS/plo

Attachments (5)

Action Items

1. Mr. Seay will supply Mr. Axelrod with an answer to his question about how the $50M emergency stewardship fund recommended in Volume 2 of The Oak Ridge Reservation Stakeholder Report on Stewardship has been addressed.

2. Staff will amend minutes of the May 9, 2001, ORSSAB meeting so that the phrase "the motion failed" in the description of Motion M5/9/01.9 is replaced with "The motion was declared to have passed but was subsequently found, upon review of ORSSAB Bylaws, to have failed." Completed 6/14/01

3. Ms. Halsey will supply Ms. Rush with copies of the Freels Bend NFI and walkover survey report. (Carryover item from 5/9/01)

4. Ms. Berry will inform Jim Kutzman of the Board’s desire to meet with him in Oak Ridge. (Carryover item from 5/9/01) Completed 6/13/01. Mr. Kutzman has consented to come to Oak Ridge at the Board’s convenience during the latter part of summer or early fall.

1 Motion

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