Many Voices Working for the Community

Oak Ridge
Site Specific Advisory Board

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Approved April 10, 2002, Meeting Minutes

The Oak Ridge Site Specific Advisory Board (ORSSAB) held its regularly scheduled monthly meeting on Wednesday, April 10, 2002, at Jacobs Engineering, 125 Broadway, 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
Jeanne Bonner
Ryan Burton1
Donna Campbell
Heather Cothron
John Kennerly
Alix King1
Steve Kopp
Steve Lewis
Bob McLeod
John Million
David Mosby, Vice Chair
Norman Mulvenon
Luis Revilla
Coralie Staley, Secretary
Kerry Trammell
Scott Vowell
Charles Washington

1Student representative

Members Absent

Amy DeMint
Luther Gibson, Jr., Chair
Pat Hill
Peery Shaffer

Deputy Designated Federal Official and Ex-Officios Present

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

Others Present

Sheree Black, Bechtel Jacobs Company LLC (BJC)
Doug McCoy, TDEC
Pete Osborne, BJC
Bob Sleeman, DOE-ORO

Fifteen members of the public attended the meeting.


Mr. Bob Sleeman, Leader of the DOE-ORO Environmental Services Group, gave a presentation on the Oak Ridge Comprehensive Closure Plan Proposal, which was submitted to Jessie Roberson, Assistant Secretary of Energy for Environmental Management, on March 11, 2002. Copies of the plan were distributed to Board members.

The plan focuses on accelerated closure of the East Tennessee Technology Park (ETTP) and Melton Valley and on disposition of legacy low-level waste. Three teams are being formed to look at (1) waste management, (2) the end state of ETTP, and (3) expediting regulator approval.

The Waste Management Team is looking at characterization and disposition for waste treatment and disposal. A waste management plan, which will include disposition maps, will be developed to describe how wastes will be characterized. The team will also focus on corrections to waste acceptance criteria (WAC) for the Environmental Management Waste Management Facility (EMWMF) that were caused by an error in running the model and by using an outdated model. Proposed changes to the WAC will go to the regulators for concurrence.

The ETTP End State Team is looking at end state definition, groundwater remediation, and level of verification sampling required for the end state. The group confirmed the End Use Working Group conclusion that ETTP should remain an industrial site. The strategy for groundwater will be to attack contamination sources first, then look at remaining sources, and then consider long-term groundwater limitations.

The Regulatory Strategy Team has three agenda topics: (1) streamlining Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) documentation; (2) developing a new strategy for enforceable agreements; and (3) developing a new regulatory strategy for ETTP. On the first topic the team will focus on post-Record of Decision documents by using "empower teams" to make real-time decisions. On item two the team will try to move away from paperwork milestones toward goals that focus on actions to complete major projects. They will also work to improve the process for dispute resolution.

The next step in the Comprehensive Closure Plan process is to finalize a Letter of Intent and develop a funding profile for Oak Ridge. No firm date has been set for signing the Letter of Intent. Team meetings will continue. Senior managers will meet in May to address key issues. Jimmy Palmer, the Regional Administrator for EPA Region 4; Justin Wilson, Deputy to the Governor for Policy; and Jessie Roberson will attend. An agreement will be put together after the meeting. The deadline for the agreement is June.

Mr. Owsley added that the State of Tennessee has committed to the accelerated cleanup process; however, Appendix E of the Federal Facility Agreement for the Oak Ridge Reservation (FFA) is in formal dispute, and it is the regulators’ view that this process will continue. The Top-to-Bottom Review process will likely resolve the dispute, but if it doesn’t the regulators will pursue dispute resolution.

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


Response (abridged)

Mr. Mulvenon: When will the funding profile be ready? DOE-Headquarters is working on it, but I don’t have a completion date.
Mr. Mulvenon: Can you define the term ‘funding profile’ for us? It refers to the funding targets for FY 2003, 2004, and 2005 that will be used to finalize the plan.
Mr. Washington: What do you mean by dispute resolution? It’s the formal process for resolving disputes, as described in the FFA.
Mr. Washington: Will the community have some input? In general, only the FFA project managers are involved.
Mr. Washington: What’s the status of the dispute with the state on whether transuranic wastes should be removed from the Site Treatment Plan? Mr. Owsley responded that the issue has not been settled, and the state has not changed the compliance date.
Mr. Washington: What do you mean by modifying the WAC? The calculations for carbon-14 and iodine-149 were wrong, so it is a matter of going through a concurrence process with the state to make modifications.
Mr. Washington: What input will the community have to modifying the WAC? Normally there would be none. The model hasn’t changed; the changes are administrative in nature.
Mr. Washington: What is impetus for the Top-to-Bottom Review? The whole purpose is to accelerate work and save money.
Mr. Washington: Are there built-in guidelines about health and safety for workers and the environment? Yes. We will achieve the same end state, only quicker.
Mr. Washington: Will you have a date for removal of the UF6 cylinders at ETTP? We’ll identify a date in concert with ETTP closure. (Ms. Fritz added that design of the shipment overpacks for the cylinders is being taken out of the request for proposals associated with the UF6 treatment facility so that Oak Ridge can go forward with the overpack aspect of the project now.)
Mr. Washington: We asked some time ago for data on the effects of catastrophic impacts to the UF6 cylinders. Was that supplied? The safety analysis report contains that information.
Mr. Trammell: Did you say that one of the teams was looking at changing the WAC, based on accelerated cleanup? The WAC is being changed only to correct errors in calculation.
Mr. Trammell: Will there be a role for this board in the Top-to-Bottom Review process? Ms. Fritz responded that she and Mr. Sleeman have met with the Local Oversight Committee and with the SSAB, and DOE has released the proposal to those groups. She asked that the SSAB comment on the proposal’s technical approach, and she remarked that this is "just the first step." There will be additional input opportunities during implementation of the CERCLA actions resulting from the proposal, if it is accepted.
Mr. Mulvenon: If we get any part of the $800M Accelerated Cleanup Account funding, will it be specifically targeted for ETTP and Melton Valley? Yes, but because of "color of money" issues it will have to be apportioned as Defense or D&D funds.
Mr. Mulvenon: Will the EMWMF WAC be changed to accept legacy waste? There is a proposal to catagorize some legacy low-level waste as "CERCLA waste" so that it can go to EMWMF. The WAC will not change, however, and if the material is recategorized the public will be brought into the process.

Deputy Designated Federal Official and Ex-Officio Comments

Ms. Fritz announced that Gerald Boyd, Assistant Manager for DOE-ORO Environmental Management, reported to work in Oak Ridge on Monday, but he was unable to make this evening’s meeting because he had to testify before Congress. Mr. Boyd will serve as SSAB Deputy Designated Federal Official.

Ms. Halsey made two announcements:

• The new DOE Information Center, which will house both the Information Resource Center and the DOE Public Reading Room and will serve as meeting space for the SSAB, will not be ready for SSAB meetings until June.

• New SSAB member Amy DeMint has been seated on the Board but was unable to attend this evening’s meeting.

Ms. Halsey introduced Doug McCoy of TDEC, who gave an FFA Mid-Manager’s report. (Mr. McCoy was standing in for Randy Young, the TDEC FFA Project Manger.) Mr. McCoy said that the Top-to-Bottom Review is a critical issue in dealing with technical, policy, and regulatory issues related to Oak Ridge Reservation remediation. Monitoring activities at the reservation are ongoing, and several activities will be starting up in the near future, such as EMWMF and the Surface Impoundments. Upcoming projects include the K-1070-A Burial Grounds, the Intermediate Holding Pond, and Boneyard/Burnyard.

Public Comment

Mr. Bill Pardue, a former SSAB member, remarked that public involvement is key to cleanup, and he encouraged DOE to involve the public in the Comprehensive Closure Plan process. Mr. Pardue expressed optimism that DOE and the regulators are working together on the plan.

Judith Bradbury of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory informed the Board that she and Kristi Branch (also of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory) had been in Oak Ridge this week to conduct a public involvement survey. The survey is being conducted per the direction of Martha Crosland, Director of the DOE Office of Intergovernmental and Public Accountability. Ms. Bradbury reported that she and Ms. Branch had met with Ms. Halsey on the morning of April 8 and that they were attending this meeting to observe the SSAB in action. They had also observed a Local Oversight Committee meeting and had talked to various members of public. Their report will be sent to the SSAB by the end of summer for comments.

Announcements and Other Board Business

The next Board meeting will be Wednesday, May 8, at the Garden Plaza Hotel. Cindy Hayes from BWXT/Y-12 will discuss modernization of the Oak Ridge Y-12 National Security Complex.

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

The Board approved a letter to DOE-ORO, "Request for DOE Public Meeting" (Attachment 1).

The Board voted to excuse absences of Peery Shaffer.

The Board approved a letter to Martha Crosland, "Public Participation Issues in the Review of the Environmental Management Program, Dated February 4, 2002" (Attachment 2).

The Board approved a letter to David Geiser, Director of the DOE-Headquarters Office of Long-Term Stewardship, "Long-Term Stewardship Issues in the Review of the Environmental Management Program, Dated February 4, 2002" (Attachment 3).

Mr. Million, Mr. Washington, and Mr. Mosby gave reports on recent activities of the Stewardship, Waste Management, and Executive committees, respectively. Mr. Osborne reported on public outreach.

A report was distributed regarding Mr. Shaffer’s trip to the environmental stewardship symposium "Promising Solutions to Uncertainty,"which was held February 5–8, 2002, in New Orleans (Attachment 4).

The meeting adjourned at 7:30 p.m.


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

Mr. Million moved to approve a letter to DOE-ORO, "Request for DOE Public Meeting." No second was required on the motion, and the motion was unanimously approved.

Mr. Million moved to endorse the Executive Committee’s vote (taken at its March 28 meeting) to excuse Mr. Shaffer’s two consecutive absences from regular Board meetings. Mr. Washington seconded the motion, and the motion was unanimously approved.

Mr. Million moved to approve a letter to Martha Crosland, "Public Participation Issues in the Review of the Environmental Management Program, Dated February 4, 2002." Mr. Trammel moved to add Justin Wilson to the distribution list of this letter as well as the letter to David Geiser (M4/10/02.5). Mr. Million seconded the motion to amend, and the motion was unanimously approved. No second was required on the original motion, and the motion was unanimously approved.

Mr. Million moved to approve a letter to David Geiser, "Long-Term Stewardship Issues in the Review of the Environmental Management Program, Dated February 4, 2002." No second was required on 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. 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 In April Ms. Rush was asked to provide clarification about her question. No response has been received to date

1 Motion

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