Many Voices Working for the Community

Oak Ridge
Site Specific Advisory Board

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Approved July 11, 2001, Meeting Minutes

The Oak Ridge Site Specific Advisory Board (ORSSAB) held its regularly scheduled monthly meeting on Wednesday, July 11, 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
Donna Campbell
Heather Cothron
Mary Lynn Fletcher
Luther Gibson, Jr., Chair
John Kennerly
Alix King1
Steve Kopp
Steve Lewis
Bob McLeod
John Million
David Mosby, Vice Chair
Luis Revilla
E.W. Seals
Peery Shaffer
Coralie Staley, Secretary
Scott Vowell
Charles Washington

1Student representative

Members Absent

Jeanne Bonner
Kerry Trammell

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)
John Owsley, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC)

Others Present

Sheree Black, Bechtel Jacobs Company LLC (BJC)
Chuck Jenkins, BJC
Pete Osborne, BJC

Ten members of the public attended the meeting.

Presentation

Mr. Nelson opened his presentation on the DOE-ORO Environmental Management (EM) Program with an overview of the program’s organization chart. A copy of Mr. Nelson’s overheads is included as Attachment 1. Primary projects in FY 2001 at the East Tennessee Technology Park (ETTP) included decontamination and decommissioning (D&D) work on Buildings K-25, K-27, K-29, K-31, and K-33, and auxiliary facilities. Work on the ETTP Zone 1 Proposed Plan and management of the uranium hexafluoride cylinders were also key. At the Y-12 Plant, EM activities centered on the Boneyard/Burnyard, Upper East Fork Poplar Creek, and the Environmental Management Waste Management Facility (EMWMF). Important projects at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) included D&D of cooling towers, the 3505 Metal Recovery Facility, and the Old Hydrofracture Facility. Other major ORNL projects included Solid Waste Storage Area 4, the Molten Salt Reactor Experiment, and Core Hole 8.

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

Question

Response (abridged)

Mr. Washington: In the past 2 to 6 weeks there has been a plutonium incident at ORNL. What is the status of contamination? I’m not familiar with that incident, but I’ll be glad to research it and supply you with an answer.
Mr. Washington: What do you plan to do with waste materials, such as asbestos, from ETTP. I believe those materials will be going to EMWMF.
Ms. Fletcher: What’s going to happen to EM projects with the proposed reduction in the ORO EM budget? It’s too early to tell. The House Energy and Water Committee has finished its work, but the Senate has just started, and the issue will have to go to conference. At this point it’s all very speculative.
Mr. McLeod: How does D&D differ from remediation? Mainly in that D&D refers to buildings.
Ms. Fletcher: You said that ORO EM gets its money from four sources. How do you manage the four pots of money? All projects are allocated money through a baseline and change control system. Nothing gets changed without going through this formal change control process.
Ms. Fletcher: Do you have the option of shifting funds among the pots? We would have to go to Congress for a reprogramming of funds.
Mr. Shaffer: You mentioned containerization of 300,000 kg of West End Treatment Facility (WETF) sludge. Is that for storage or transportation? It’s for transport to Envirocare.
Mr. Shaffer: You also mentioned treating 900,000 kg of WETF sludge. Will that be treated locally? It will be treated at Y-12 and then shipped to Envirocare.
Norman Mulvenona: What plans have been put in place for budget reductions? We’ll have to wait and see what happens. I just don’t know what the budget will be.
Ms. Fletcher: Has DOE-HQ indicated what projects would be shut down with the proposed cuts in the 2002 DOE-ORO budget? Under a worst case scenario, most of the EM work would be shut down, although infrastructure would be maintained.

aChairman of the Citizens Advisory Panel of the Local Oversight Committee (LOC)

Deputy Designated Federal Official and Ex-Officio Comments

Mr. Nelson welcomed new Board members Donna Campbell, Heather Cothron, Bob McLeod, Luis Revilla, and E.W. Seals. The sixth new member, Jeanne Bonner, was unable to attend the meeting. The seventh appointee, Leonard Abbatiello, has declined his appointment due to other commitments. His position will be filled by Pat Hill of Knoxville, who was unable to attend the meeting because of a prior commitment.

Mr. Nelson made several announcements:

• The Action Memorandum for the Gunite and Associated Tanks stabilization has been signed by DOE. This activity will grout the Gunite Tanks in place, ensuring their stability and preventing any future chance of leakage of sludge that could not be removed from the tanks.

• The public comment period for the Engineering Evaluation/Cost Analysis for the K-25/K-27 buildings began today and will last through August 24. A public meeting on the planned activities has been scheduled for August 9.

• The ETTP Zone 1 Proposed Plan D3 has been approved by TDEC and EPA. This document will address selected soils, materials, and Blair Quarry within Zone 1 of ETTP. Notice of the pending public review period will be released soon.

• The D1 Phase 1 Record of Decision for the Upper East Fork Poplar Creek Watershed was released to the regulators on June 25 for their initial review. This document covers mercury abatement and PCB releases at the Y-12 National Security Complex.

Ms. Halsey announced that Dr. David W. Geiser has been appointed to the position of Director of the DOE-Headquarters Office of Long-Term Stewardship.

Mr. Owsley reported that the DOE-ORO Tennessee Oversight Agreement has been signed and extended for 5 years. The grants supporting the agreement have been extended through September 15 of this year.

In response to questions from Ms. Fletcher and Mr. Washington on how projected budget shortfalls will affect TDEC, Mr. Owsley said that TDEC has asked DOE for full funding, but DOE has not yet responded. If necessary, TDEC will continue to participate in the CERCLA cleanup in a cost-recovery mode instead of through a grant process. TDEC will remain in Oak Ridge, but its activities will perhaps be curtailed in areas such as ambient monitoring. Mr. Washington asked Mr. Owsley if the State is aware of Oak Ridge concerns regarding ambient monitoring. Mr. Owsley replied that the State was very aware of it and agrees that this monitoring is necessary.

Ms. Susan Gawarecki, LOC Executive Director, asked Ms. Jones to give the status of EPA’s budget for monitoring DOE activities. Ms. Jones replied that while EPA has been "tightening our budget strings, and travel may be impacted," EPA intends to continue monitoring DOE activities in Oak Ridge.

Public Comment

Mr. Mulvenon urged Board members to vote for the second drafts of the EM Program funding letters presented in Motions VII.B and VII.C.

Ms. Pat Rush, a former ORSSAB member, asked that the minutes of the last meeting be amended to reflect comments made by Ed Spitzer that in certain instances a pinhole leak in a uranium hexafluoride cylinder would not heal itself and could be potentially dangerous. Mr. Mosby asked Ms. Halsey to find out if Mr. Spitzer’s comments are correct. Ms. Rush urged Board members to vote for the first drafts of the EM Program funding letters presented in Motions VII.B and VII.C.

Ms. Gawarecki concurred with support for the second drafts of the EM Program funding letters, and she recommended that language be included in the letters voicing support for full funding of the Tennessee Oversight Agreement.

Announcements and Other Board Business

The next Board meeting will be Saturday, August 4, at Rothchild Catering in Knoxville. The meeting will be preceded by the Board’s annual planning retreat, which will be held at Rothchild’s on Friday, August 3, from 3:30 to 8:30, and Saturday, August 4, from 8:00 to 4:00.

Minutes of the June 13, 2001, Board meeting were approved without change. However, Mr. Washington asked that it be entered into the record that he thought the phrase "Mr. Pardue moved to approve" in motion M6/13/01.4 was incorrect. Mr. Pardue’s action could not be a motion, he argued, because any motion would require a second. Since the recommendation in question came from a committee, it would be more proper to state that "Mr. Pardue presented a recommendation for approval." Mr. Gibson ruled that ORSSAB bylaws allowed for recommendations to be presented as motions with no second required for committee recommendations.

The Board approved a letter to Secretary of Energy Abraham "Oak Ridge Site Specific Advisory Board Objections to Reductions in the DOE FY 2002 Federal Budget for the Oak Ridge Reservation Environmental Management Program" [second draft (Attachment 2)].

The Board approved a letter to Governor Sundquist "Oak Ridge Site Specific Advisory Board Objections to Reductions in the DOE FY 2002 Federal Budget for the Oak Ridge Reservation Environmental Management Program" [first draft (Attachment 3)].

The Board approved using the text from the second draft letter to Governor Sundquist (Attachment 4) as a cover to transmit Secretary Abraham’s letter to those on the Abraham letter’s carbon copy list.

Mr. Alexander, Mr. Peery, and Mr. Kopp gave reports on FY 2001 activities for the Environmental Restoration, Stewardship, and Waste Management committees, respectively. Ms. Staley discussed the Stewardship Education Subcommittee; Mr. Gibson discussed the function of the Nominating Committee; and Mr. Kopp discussed the "Oak Ridge and the Environment" Ad Hoc Committee. Mr. Gibson recognized Mr. Sarno to discuss plans for the annual retreat. Mr. Osborne gave a report on recent outreach activities. Mr. Washington announced the slate of officers proposed by the Nominating Committee: Luther Gibson for Chair, Dave Mosby for Vice Chair, and Corkie Staley for Secretary. Election of officers will take place at the August 4 annual Board meeting.

The meeting adjourned at 9:20 p.m.

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

Motions

M7/11/01.1
Ms. Staley moved to approve the minutes of the June 13, 2001, Board meeting. Mr. Shaffer seconded the motion, and the motion was approved, 15 in favor, one opposed (Mr. Washington), and one abstention (Mr. McLeod).

M7/11/01.2
Mr. Alexander moved to approve the first draft letter to Secretary Abraham "Oak Ridge Site Specific Advisory Board Objections to Reductions in the DOE FY 2002 Federal Budget for the Oak Ridge Reservation Environmental Management Program." Mr. Washington seconded the motion. Mr. Mosby moved to amend Mr. Alexander’s motion so as to replace the first draft letter to the second draft letter. Mr. Million seconded the motion to amend. The motion to amend was approved, 13 in favor, 2 opposed (Mr. Alexander and Mr. Washington), and 2 abstentions (Ms. Fletcher and Mr. Revilla). The amended motion to send the second draft letter to the Secretary was unanimously approved.

M7/11/01.3
Mr. Kopp moved to approve the first draft letter to Governor Sundquist "Oak Ridge Site Specific Advisory Board Objections to Reductions in the DOE FY 2002 Federal Budget for the Oak Ridge Reservation Environmental Management Program." Mr. Alexander seconded the motion. Mr. Mosby moved to amend Mr. Kopp’s motion so as to replace the first draft letter to the second draft letter. Mr. Shaffer seconded the motion to amend. The motion to amend failed by a vote of 4 in favor (Mr. Gibson, Mr. Mosby, Mr. Shaffer, and Ms. Staley), 13 opposed. Ms. Fletcher moved to amend the first sentence of the first draft to replace the phrase "As you are undoubtedly aware..." with "Based on the best currently available information..." Mr. Mosby seconded the motion to amend, and the amendment was unanimously approved. Mr. Alexander moved to add the word "proposed" before "funding" in the first sentence. Mr. Washington seconded the motion to amend, and the amendment was unanimously approved. The motion to approve the amended first draft letter was unanimously approved.

M7/11/01.4
Ms. Fletcher moved that the Executive Committee be granted power to draft a cover letter transmitting Secretary Abraham’s letter to Tennessee Congressional representatives. Mr. Alexander moved to amend the motion so that the second draft letter to Governor Sundquist would serve as the text for the proposed cover letter. Ms. Staley seconded the motion to amend. The amended motion was approved by a vote of 16 in favor, 1 opposed (Ms. Fletcher).

M7/11/01.5
Mr. Mosby moved to accept the report of the Nominating Committee. Ms. Fletcher seconded the motion, and the motion was unanimously approved (Mr. Vowell was absent for the vote).

Respectfully submitted,

Coralie A. Staley, Secretary

CAS/plo

Attachments (4)

Action Items

1. Mr. Nelson will supply Mr. Washington with information on his query about a plutonium incident at ORNL.

2. Ms. Halsey will report to the Board as to whether certain instances exist in which a pinhole leak in a uranium hexafluoride cylinder would not heal itself and therefore become potentially dangerous.

3. Bill 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. (Carryover item from 6/13/01)

1 Motion

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