Many Voices Working for the Community

Oak Ridge
Site Specific Advisory Board

4-c logo 100 pixels.JPG (11680 bytes)


Approved March 13, 2002, Meeting Minutes

The Oak Ridge Site Specific Advisory Board (ORSSAB) held its regularly scheduled monthly meeting on Wednesday, March 13, 2002, 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

Jeanne Bonner
Ryan Burton1
Donna Campbell
Heather Cothron
Luther Gibson, Jr., Chair
John Kennerly
Alix King1
Steve Kopp
Steve Lewis
Bob McLeod
John Million
David Mosby, Vice Chair
Norman Mulvenon
Luis Revilla
Coralie Staley, Secretary
Scott Vowell
Charles Washington

1Student representative

Members Absent

Jake Alexander
Pat Hill
Peery Shaffer
Kerry Trammell

Deputy Designated Federal Official and Ex-Officios Present

Lori Fritz, DOE-Oak Ridge Offices (DOE-ORO), Acting Deputy Designated Federal Official
Connie Jones, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Pat Halsey, DOE-ORO
Dale Rector, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, standing in for John Owsley

Others Present

Sheree Black, Bechtel Jacobs Company LLC (BJC)
Sid Garland, BJC
Pete Osborne, BJC
Ralph Skinner, DOE-ORO
Bob Sleeman, DOE-ORO

Seven members of the public attended the meeting.


Mr. Ralph Skinner, DOE-ORO Long-Term Stewardship (LTS) Program Manager, gave an overview of the DOE-ORO LTS Strategic Plan. A copy of Mr. Skinner’s overheads is included as Attachment 1.

LTS is defined as "the set of activities necessary to protect human health and the environment from physical hazards, residual contamination, and wastes remaining when remediation is complete." LTS is necessary because many contaminated sites will likely not be remediated sufficiently to permit unrestricted use by the public. LTS will begin when remediation activities are complete and will consist of engineering, institutional, and physical controls that will remain in place for as long as the potential risk remains.

The DOE-ORO LTS Strategic Plan outlines the principles and requirements for LTS of contaminated areas of the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR) following cleanup activities. It will be used as the framework for the development of an ORR stewardship management plan.

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


Response (abridged)

Mr. Gibson: What’s the status of DOE’s response to ORSSAB recommendations on LTS requirements in CERCLA documents and the ORR Stewardship Management Plan? We’ve been working with DOE legal counsel to respond to the CERCLA documents recommendation and will try to get that resolved soon. You’ll see in upcoming documents how we’ve addressed the ORR Stewardship Management Plan, but we’ll try to get a letter out to the Board to close out that recommendation.
Mr. Kennerly: What’s the time frame for LTS in Oak Ridge? It depends on the hazards involved. In Melton Valley, for instance, some contaminants with short half-lives will be a concern for 300 years or so; for other, more persistent contaminants, such as uranium or chemicals, the LTS period will be indefinite.
Mr. Kennerly: Has any attempt been made to "write off" certain hazards like the hydrofracture injection sites and PCBs in Bear Creek Valley? The Melton Valley Record of Decision (ROD) identified institutional controls as the remedy for the hydrofracture sites, which means they’ll be monitored for any contaminant migration toward the surface for an indefinite period of time.
Mr. Gibson: Can you predict when there will be LTS requirements in contracts of contractors like BWXT and UT-Battelle? Not really because we’re still looking for clear guidance from DOE-Headquarters (DOE-HQ).

Deputy Designated Federal Official and Ex-Officio Comments

Ms. Fritz made two announcements:

• Michael Holland, current manager at the Brookhaven Area Office, will be Interim Manager for DOE-ORO as of April 1. Mr. Holland has 25 years experience in large facilities operations. Leah Dever is being detailed to the Office of Science at DOE-HQ to head the Office of Laboratory Operations and Environment, Safety, and Health. The length of the detail is unknown, but it is expected to be 3 to 6 months. Ed Cumesty has also been detailed to the Office of Science.

• DOE Undersecretary Robert Card will be here March 14 and 15. His Thursday plans include a tour of the East Tennessee Technology Park (ETTP) site, Melton Valley, and the Environmental Management Waste Management Facility. His plans also include a short meeting with key stakeholders Thursday evening and a working dinner with DOE-ORO managers. Mr. Gibson has been invited to attend the key stakeholders meeting with Mr. Card. Hopes are that Jessie Roberson will also be arriving Thursday for some of the visit. On Friday Mr. Card will be visiting Y-12 and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).

Ms. Fritz introduced Mr. Bob Sleeman, who gave a presentation on DOE-ORO’s Comprehensive Cleanup Plan, which will implement recommendations from the DOE Top-to-Bottom Review. A copy of Mr. Sleeman’s presentation is included as Attachment 2.

The plan focuses on accelerated closure of ETTP and Melton Valley. Savings at ETTP by accelerating remediation from 2016 to 2008 would be $870M. Savings at Melton Valley by accelerating remediation from 2014 to 2006 would be $85M. The balance of the Environmental Management Program will include ongoing high-risk projects at Y-12 and ORNL. Lower-risk projects will get pushed out to beyond 2008.


Response (abridged)

Mr. Gibson: Does the end state for ETTP imply private ownership of buildings? That’s one of the major changes this proposal makes. In the old plan, leased buildings would eventually revert to DOE, but in the new proposal the lessees will demolish the buildings when they’re no longer needed.
Mr. Gibson: Are Paducah and Portsmouth proposals being handled by those sites? Yes, they are.
Mr. Vowell: Who will ETTP buildings be marketable to if lessees must tear the buildings down when they leave? The buildings will be basically leased for free, and the tradeoff is that they’ll have to demolish the buildings upon leaving.
Mr. Washington: Has the proposal had any public scrutiny? This is the first screening.
Mr. Washington: Has it undergone a NEPA screening process? The proposal is based on the CERCLA process, which incorporates NEPA requirements.
Mr. Washington: Some people have said that some of the buildings shouldn’t be torn down. There’s a commitment to get public involvement in this process. Ms. Fritz added that it’s important to remember that these are proposals. When we get to implementation, we’ll do more public involvement, she said.
Ms. Bonner: What are the plans for waste stored at ETTP? Most of it will go to the onsite disposal cell if it meets the waste acceptance criteria; if not, it goes offsite.
Mr. Kopp: Does funding include money for low-level waste disposition? Yes.
Ms. Cothron: Can you clarify what you said about DOE not having any liability at ETTP beyond 2008? Following closure, DOE will not hold any responsibility for tearing down buildings and cleaning up soils. There will still be LTS responsibility.
Mr. Kopp: Will some of the property be released back to the public? We haven’t gotten to that question yet.
Ms. Susan Gawarecki: Do you anticipate significant changes to remedies specified in the Melton Valley ROD? Our proposal is based on what’s in the ROD.
Ms. Gawarecki: Melton Valley is an interim ROD, not dealing with groundwater. Will the follow-on groundwater ROD be accelerated as well? That will be considered long-term. We’ll need to see what the containment measures do before going on to address groundwater.
Ms. Gawarecki: Will CERCLA cleanups like ETTP Zone 1 be accelerated? Yes, in a logical manner. Buildings will come down first, and the BNFL project will continue.
Ms. Gawarecki: Historic preservation issues regarding K-25 are very important and may get shortchanged in the proposal. I would recommend that you demolish K-27 first to give stakeholders time to consider what to do with K-25 historic preservation. Ms. Fritz responded that Gary Hartman of DOE-ORO Environmental Management has taken over this responsibility, and meetings on historic preservation of K-25 are tentatively set to take place on April 10 and 11. She offered to supply the Board and Ms. Gawarecki with details.
Mr. Andy Smith: What is your opinion of how your proposal will be received? We just turned it in, but so far response has been favorable.

Ms. Halsey made three announcements:

• The new DOE Information Center, which will house both the Information Resource Center (IRC) and the DOE Public Reading Room and serve as meeting space for the SSAB, will not be ready for SSAB meetings until May. The IRC’s lease expires at the end of March, and it will be mid-April before the IRC portion of the new Information Center is ready. During that period, critical and new CERCLA documents will be available at the Public Reading Room. Requests for Administrative Record documents can be made at the Reading Room and obtained by them through the Administrative Record Coordinator.

• Judith Bradbury and two or three others will be in Oak Ridge during the week of April 8–12 to conduct a public involvement survey per a directive from Martha Crosland. Ms. Bradbury will meet with Ms. Halsey on the morning of April 8. Ms. Bradbury will request names of persons she can speak with about public involvement at the ORR.

• Staff has made copies of the DOE-ORO Comprehensive Cleanup Plan, and as soon as Ms. Halsey is given permission, the copies will be mailed to ORSSAB members—hopefully in time for next week’s committee meetings. Distribution is being held until DOE can hold a conference call with regulators about the proposal.

Mr. Washington asked Ms. Halsey to supply organization charts for DOE-ORO and DOE-HQ. He also asked for information concerning where work applications for ORNL and Y-12 jobs can be obtained and for information on those organizations’ policies for replying to applicants.

Mr. Rector, in comments he termed "not representing the viewpoint of the state," remarked that it’s not realistic to say that DOE is ultimately responsible for LTS of the ORR. Because of the extremely long time-frames involved, it has to be an individual and community responsibility that transcends governmental institutions.

Public Comment

Ms. Susan Gawarecki, Local Oversight Committee (LOC) Executive Director, invited Board members to an LOC-sponsored citizens’ forum on emergency preparedness, to be held at Jefferson Middle School on April 2 from 7 to 9 p.m. Representatives from the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, the city of Oak Ridge, DOE, and the Red Cross will participate.

Ms. Gawarecki asked DOE to include stakeholders early in formulating its Top-to-Bottom Review response and to keep the public informed about the status of activities.

Announcements and Other Board Business

The next Board meeting will be Wednesday, April 10, at the Garden Plaza Hotel in Oak Ridge.

Mr. Vowell announced his resignation from the Board effective after the meeting due to increased work commitments. He will be submitting his written resignation soon.

Minutes of the February 13, 2002, Board meeting were approved without change.

The Board approved "Recommendations on Deletion of Milestones for Mixed Transuranic Wastes from the Site Treatment Plan for Mixed Wastes on the DOE Oak Ridge Reservation" (Attachment 3).

The Board endorsed the "SSAB Groundwater Workshop Final Statements" (Attachment 4). The Board also granted Mr. Gibson discretion to handle any minor modifications to the transmittal letter or statements during signing of the document at the Spring SSAB Chairs Meeting.

The Board voted to send a letter of commendation to Leah Dever to recognize her contributions to public involvement at the ORR. Mr. Kopp and staff will work to write the letter, which will go before the Executive Committee for approval at its March 28 meeting.

Ms. Cothron, Mr. Million, and Mr. Washington gave reports on recent activities of the Environmental Restoration, Stewardship, and Waste Management committees, respectively. Ms. King gave a report on the Stewardship Education Task Team. Mr. Mulvenon gave an update on the Stewardship Status Team. Mr. Osborne gave a report on recent public outreach activities.

Mr. Gibson gave a report on Executive Committee activities. Conference calls have been held regarding the SSAB Chairs Meeting scheduled for April 11–13 in Cincinnati. Mr. Gibson and Mr. Mulvenon will attend. Each SSAB has been asked to report on its involvement with Top-to-Bottom Review proposals and to come prepared to discussed the top three issues at their site. Mr. Gibson asked that each of the three ORSSAB committees generate one issue for him to take to the Chairs Meeting.

The meeting adjourned at 8:22 p.m.


Ms. Staley moved to approve the minutes of the February 13, 2002, Board meeting. Mr. Lewis seconded the motion, and the motion was unanimously approved.

Mr. Washington moved to approve "Recommendations on Deletion of Milestones for Mixed Transuranic Wastes from the Site Treatment Plan for Mixed Wastes on the DOE Oak Ridge Reservation." Mr. Mulvenon seconded the motion, and the motion was unanimously approved.

Mr. Kopp moved to endorse the "SSAB Groundwater Workshop Final Statements" and grant Mr. Gibson discretion to handle any minor modifications to the transmittal letter or statements during signing of the document at the Spring SSAB Chairs Meeting. Ms. Cothron seconded the motion, and the motion was unanimously approved.

Mr. Kopp moved to send a letter of commendation to Leah Dever recognizing her contributions to public involvement at the ORR. Mr. Vowell seconded the motion, and the motion was unanimously approved.

Respectfully submitted,

Coralie A. Staley, Secretary


Attachments (4) to these minutes are available upon request from the ORSSAB support office.

Action Items

1. Ms. Fritz will supply the Board and Ms. Gawarecki with details on K-25 historic preservation meetings tentatively scheduled to take place on April 10 and 11.

2. Ms. Halsey will supply Mr. Washington with copies of the DOE-ORO and DOE-HQ organization charts. Completed 3/18/02 via U.S. mail

3. Ms. Halsey will supply Mr. Washington with information concerning where work applications for ORNL and Y-12 jobs can be obtained and information on those organizations’ policies for replying to applicants.

4. Mr. Kopp and staff will write a letter of commendation to Leah Dever to recognize her contributions to public involvement at the ORR. Completed 3/19/02

5. Mr. Sleeman will supply Ms. Rush with an answer to her question about whether right-of-way access requirements at ETTP had been changed recently. Carryover item from 2/13/02

6. Ms. Fritz will supply Mr. Alexander with information on the status of opening the Yucca Mountain Repository. Carryover item from 1/9/02

7. Mr. Cahill will supply an answer to Mr. Trammell’s question about determining EMWMF leachate capacity. Carryover item from 11/14/01

8. Mr. Cahill will supply Mr. Kennerly with copies of the French waste cell documents. Carryover item from 11/14/01

1 Motion

ORSSAB Home List of Meeting Minutes