Many Voices Working for the Community

Oak Ridge
Site Specific Advisory Board

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Approved June 12, 2002, Meeting Minutes

The Oak Ridge Site Specific Advisory Board (ORSSAB) held its regularly scheduled monthly meeting on Wednesday, June 12, 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
Donna Campbell
Jenna Carignan1
Heather Cothron
Amy DeMint
Pat Hill
John Kennerly
Steve Kopp
Bob McLeod
John Million
David Mosby, Vice Chair
Norman Mulvenon
Luis Revilla
George Rimel
Kerry Trammell
Charles Washington

1Student representative

Members Absent

Jake Alexander2
Maurie Douglas1
Luther Gibson, Jr., Chair
Peery Shaffer2

Deputy Designated Federal Official and Ex-Officios Present

Lori Fritz, standing in for Gerald Boyd, DOE-Oak Ridge Offices (DOE-ORO), Deputy
 Designated Federal Official
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)
Jason Darby, DOE-ORO
Michael Holland, DOE-ORO
Pete Osborne, BJC
Ed Trujillo, BJC

Seven members of the public attended the meeting.


Mr. Jason Darby, Project Manager, gave an update on the Boneyard/Burnyard Project. A copy of Mr. Darby=s presentation is included as Attachment 1. The Boneyard/Burnyard, which is located 1.5 miles west of the Y-12 Plant, was used to dispose of radioactive and hazardous materials from 1943 to 1970. These wastes are now being excavated for disposal in safer on-site and off-site facilities. Approximately 36,000 yd3 of material will be excavated for disposal. Excavation and backfill will take place May to November 2002. Site restoration will take place October 2002 to January 2003. A phased construction completion report will be issued in January 2003.

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




Response (abridged)


Ms. Hill: Are the trucks onsite being monitored?


They’re staying onsite until the job is complete, and then they will be decontaminated. The trucks leaving the site are surveyed to make sure they’re not contaminated.


Ms. Hill: Are the workers monitored?


Yes. Monitoring to assure safety is extensive.


Mr. Mulvenon: Where is the borrow material coming from?


It’s coming from a pit at the Highway 95 exit off I-40.


Mr. McLeod: Are you changing work hours to reduce heat stress?


We=re starting at 7:00 a.m., but the contractor wants to work 10-hour days. Body temperature monitoring is being performed, so we can reconsider work hours if necessary.


Mr. Kopp: You=re not doing a clean closure, so what is the residual contamination?


The remediation goal is to remove the main sources of contamination. The hazardous chemical disposal area has been capped, so that material will not be excavated. Unit 6 material will be moved up higher on the hill and capped.


Mr. Kopp: What does the word boneyard mean?


I’m guessing that it refers to the junk yard practice of disposing large pieces of equipment by abandoning them on the surface of the ground.


Ms. Cothron: How did you pick the borrow area, and what characterization did you do on the soil?


We had originally planned to use borrow material from Chestnut Ridge, but when Bear Creek Road was closed, we had to come up with an alternative plan. The subcontractor came up with the new area, and that material is high quality.


Mr. McLeod: What considerations are made in placing the fill?


Mr. Ed Trujillo, BJC Manager of Y-12 Projects, responded that low permeability is the main consideration. The compaction rate is 90 percent, in layers of about three feet.


Ms. Hill: Has some of the contamination run below the 18-inch excavation limit?


We know that contamination has entered the groundwater, but the groundwater is emptying into stream NT-3 as surface water, where we can treat it.


Ms. Hill: Do you really know the extent of the contaminants?


We=ve done extensive soil and water sampling during the remedial investigation and the risk assessment. Mercury and uranium are the two main contaminants.


Mr. Trammell: Does the characterization you’re doing now match the initial characterization? Have you come close to pushing the limits of the waste acceptance criteria (WAC) at the Environmental Management Waste Management Facility (EMWMF)?


Characterization was done in several phases; later phases confirm what was initially found. The material from the Boneyard/Burnyard slightly exceeds the WAC, but cleaner material is being disposed concurrently, so over a 3-year window we=re back down to acceptable levels.


Mr. Trammell: What is the placement methodology for this material in EMWMF?


The material is being dumped, spread, and compacted. A hydrospreader sprays a fixative to keep down the dust.

Deputy Designated Federal Official and Ex-Officio Comments

Ms. Fritz gave an update on accelerated closure plan activities. A Letter of Intent was signed by DOE, TDEC, and EPA in May. A regulatory agreement will be signed in mid-June, which will resolve the Federal Facility Agreement milestone issue. A Performance Management Plan, which will be the funding vehicle for FY 2003, has been developed and has undergone two DOE-Headquarters reviews. The document is now on the internet, and comments on it may be made via the web site or sent to Pat Halsey by July 5. The document will be revised in mid-July in time for the budget submittal on August 1.

Ms. Fritz introduced Cissy Perkins, who gave an update on corrections to the WAC for EMWMF. A copy of Ms. Perkins= overheads is included as Attachment 1 to the May 15, 2002, minutes of the ORSSAB Waste Management Committee meeting, where Ms. Perkins had previously presented the information.

Ms. Halsey welcomed George Rimel, who was seated on the Board last month but was unable to attend the meeting because he was out of town. Ms. Halsey made five other announcements:

         A DOE press release was distributed this evening announcing that the web site for the Accelerated Cleanup Plan is operational.

         Two new members will be added to the Board at the July meeting: Richard “Dick” Berry, a Lenoir City resident and chairman and CEO of Rembco Engineering Corporation in Knoxville; and Ben Adams, who has lived in Oak Ridge for 41 years and is employed by ACHW, Inc. 

         Current plans are to open the DOE Information Center on June 24. The new contractor for the center will be announced Friday or next Monday.

         DOE responses to the following four ORSSAB recommendations are contained in this month’s meeting notebook:

a.       Requirements for Stewardship in CERCLA documents

b.       Long-Term Stewardship Strategic Plan for the Oak Ridge Reservation

c.       Request for DOE Public Meeting

d.       Public Involvement in Modifications of/or Explanations of Significant Difference for CERCLA Records of Decision

         DOE is preparing its proposal on the K-25 historical preservation action. The negotiations and consultation process will ultimately determine what will be preserved. This process is a cooperative effort with the DOE Environmental Management (EM) Program, DOE’s Chief Historian, the Tennessee State Historical Preservation Office, and the Advisory Council. The SSAB will be kept aware of the proposals being considered.

Ms. Jones announced that a letter presenting EPA sampling results for the Scarboro community will be mailed to Scarboro residents this week. The SSAB and the Local Oversight Committee will receive the information, too. Some time ago, EPA made a commitment to give a formal presentation on the results, and Ms. Jones will check with the project manager to see when that will be scheduled. As far as Ms. Jones knows, there were no significant differences with DOE=s original sampling results.

Mr. Owsley, in response to a question from Mr. Trammell about milestones for accelerated cleanup plan projects, remarked that the state expects DOE to meet milestones. The state has not accepted less cleanup, only accelerated schedules. There are some difficult issues that DOE has not dealt with in the past that they=ve committed to solving now, such as UF6 cylinder removal. DOE has made some significant commitments that rely on actions by DOE-Headquarters and other states. At this time, no state has agreed to accept the cylinders.

Mr. Trammell asked if the state had discussed expansion of EMWMF with DOE. Mr. Owsley replied that the cell is designed to accept only CERCLA waste from Tennessee (which will include some off-reservation wastes, such as the David Witherspoon site). There has been a great deal of discussion about expanding EMWMF, but EPA and the state are concerned with limitations of physical expansion and with associated technical questions. The EMWMF Record of Decision states that the facility will be a maximum of 1 million cubic yards; construction to date is half of that, so DOE can legally expand to the 1-million-cubic-yard limit. DOE is proposing to expand to 2 million cubic yards, but the state is critical of DOE scheduling new waste streams for the facility now with the expectation that expansion will be allowed. Any expansion beyond what=s in the Record of Decision will go before the public for input.

Public Comment

Ms. Susan Gawarecki, Local Oversight Committee Executive Director, observed that up-front public involvement for Environmental Management Program activities has decreased recently, and she asked that DOE involve the public early in decision-making. She asked that DOE not “lose ground over what=s been gained in the past few years,” and she encouraged DOE to not lose sight of what a resource stakeholders can be to the agency. “When we=re not involved it looks like a cover-up and creates ill will,” she remarked.

Announcements and Other Board Business

Mr. Michael Holland, Acting Manager, DOE-Oak Ridge Offices, gave an overview of his DOE career and outlined three areas of focus for his tenure as Acting Manager: (1) alternative models for DOE-ORO organization, (2) accelerated cleanup of the reservation, and (3) day-to-day operations. Regarding DOE-ORO reorganization, Mr. Holland said that four teams were formed to develop alternative models. Mr. Holland has reviewed the proposals and has recommended a model to DOE-Headquarters. He has not yet received a response.

Mr. Holland took questions and comments from Board members:

         Mr. Washington asked Mr. Holland to consider minority hiring in selecting EM Program contractors. Mr. Holland offered to take that message to the next Senior Managers’ Meeting.

         Mr. Trammell asked about the timing of the announcement of the reorganization. Mr. Holland was unsure about the timing, although he hopes for word in a week or two.

The next Board meeting will be Wednesday, July 10, at the DOE Information Center. Pat Parr from Oak Ridge National Laboratory will discuss the DOE Land Use Planning Initiative.

Minutes of the May 8, 2002, Board meeting were approved without change. Mr. Kopp asked that more information about public outreach presentations be made in the minutes.

The Board approved the second reading of a proposed change to ORSSAB Bylaws Article VIII, AParliamentary Authority.@ The change is to replace ANinth Edition, 1990@ with Acurrent edition@ in the sentence ARobert=s Rules of Order Newly Revised, Ninth Edition, 1990, shall apply on all questions of procedures and parliamentary law not specified in these Bylaws or in the Federal Advisory Committee Act.”

Mr. Kopp, Mr. Trammell, and Mr. Washington were elected to serve on the nominating committee for FY 2003 ORSSAB officers. A meeting of the nominating committee was set for Monday at 5:30 at Oak Ridge Public Library to elect a committee chair and begin the process of recommending a slate of officers. The proposed slate will be presented by the nominating committee at the July 10 Board meeting.

Ms. Cothron, Mr. Mosby, and Mr. Washington gave reports on recent activities of the Environmental Restoration, Executive, and Waste Management committees, respectively. Mr. Mulvenon reported on the Stewardship and Board Process committees. Mr. Osborne reported on public outreach. Mr. Washington gave a report on the IT3 conference.

The meeting adjourned at 9:15 p.m.


Mr. Revilla moved to approve the minutes of the May 8, 2002, Board meeting. Ms. Hill seconded the motion, and the motion was unanimously approved.

Mr. Mulvenon moved to approve the proposed change to ORSSAB Bylaws Article VIII,
AParliamentary Authority.@ Mr. Washington seconded the motion, and the motion was unanimously approved.

Mr. Mulvenon moved to elect Mr. Kopp, Mr. Trammell, and Mr. Washington as members of the nominating committee for FY 2003 ORSSAB officers. Mr. Washington seconded the motion, and the motion was unanimously approved.

Respectfully submitted,

 Luther V. Gibson, Jr., Acting Secretary


 Attachments (1) to these minutes are available upon request from the ORSSAB support office.

 Action Items

 1.   Staff will add more information about public outreach presentations in the ORSSAB meeting minutes.

2.   Ms. Halsey will keep the Board abreast of historic preservation issues and meetings related to K-25 Building.

1 Motion

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