Many Voices Working for the Community

Oak Ridge
Site Specific Advisory Board

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Approved August 3-4, 2002, Meeting Minutes

The Oak Ridge Site Specific Advisory Board (ORSSAB) held its annual planning retreat on Friday, August 3, 2002, 3:30B8:30 p.m., and Saturday, August 4, 2002, 8:00 a.m.B3:00 p.m. at Rothchild Catering, Knoxville, Tennessee. The Board’s annual meeting followed the retreat on August 4, from approximately 3:00 to 4:00 p.m.

Members Present

Ben Adams
Jake Alexander
Dick Berry
Donna Campbell
Amy DeMint
Luther Gibson, Jr.
Pat Hill
Bob McLeod
John Million
David Mosby
Norman Mulvenon
Luis Revilla
Charles Washington

1Student representative

Members Absent

Jeanne Bonner
Jenna Carignan1
Heather Cothron
John Kennerly
Steve Kopp
George Rimel
Kerry Trammell

Deputy Designated Federal Official and Ex-Officios Present

Gerald Boyd, DOE-Oak Ridge Offices (DOE-ORO)2
Pat Halsey, DOE-ORO
Melinda Holland, Consortium for Risk Evaluation with Stakeholder Participation2
Connie Jones,
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)2
John Owsley, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC)2
Gary Riner, DOE-ORO3
Ralph Skinner, DOE-ORO

2Present August 2 only
3Present August 3 only

Others Present

Sheree Black, SSAB support office
Jim McBrayer, Bechtel Jacobs Company, LLC
Pete Osborne, SSAB support office
Doug Sarno, The Perspectives Group, Inc.


Doug Sarno, meeting facilitator, led discussion of FY 2003 work plan topics proposed by DOE, EPA, and TDEC. Items were evaluated on four criteria: (1) importance to ORSSAB and the public, (2) opportunity for impact, (3) what information will be needed, and (4) when is action likely. A listing of topics and a summary of discussion follows (transcriptions of meeting flip charts are included as Attachment 1 to these minutes).



Committee referred to

Water Resources Restoration Program (formerly the Integrated Water Quality Program)

Data from this program are reported in the annual Remediation Effectiveness Report. A presentation at a Board meeting is needed to educate members and answer questions such as: How are resources for this program being spent? What is the program achieving? How is it impacting decisions?

Environmental Restoration

Budget and prioritization

This issue should be addressed by the entire Board but put on hold until DOE prepares its life cycle baseline. The Board may want to find out how are other sites perform this activity.

Chair or Vice Chair will champion issue

Land Use Boundaries/ Property Transfers

The DOE Land Use Planning Focus Group has been working on the land use issue near ETTP. Their report will be complete by the end of September. The challenge for ORSSAB is to understand broader land use issues and perhaps investigate what risks are associated with various parcels and with releasing them from DOE control.


Recyclable Materials


A decision to resume recycling on radiologically contaminated materials will be made sometime in the future by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The decision affects huge amounts of metal scrap. Timing on the issue is unknown.

Waste Management

Media For Records

This is an ongoing stewardship issue at the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR) and is also being addressed around the DOE complex.


DOE Order 435.1


This order requires monitoring of newly generated waste and that it be disposed of within 1 year of generation. An associated issue is that DOE has historically underfunded low-level waste (LLW) disposal at the ORR. Most legacy LLW at the ORR has disposal outlets, but there is little funding for its disposal.

Waste Management

Funding Inequities


ORR projects go largely unnoticed by DOE-Headquarters when it cites cleanup progress and potential hazards, despite the fact that the ORR has the largest volume of remote-handled transuranic waste in the DOE complex. Smaller sites (e.g., Rocky Flats) get proportionally more cleanup funding. This issue should be addressed by the Board but put on hold until issues concerning accelerated cleanup plans are set.

General Board Issue



The Environmental Management Waste Management Facility (EMWMF) will likely be expanded to its approved limits per the facility’s Record of Decision (ROD). Expansion to meet accelerated cleanup plan goals is a concern because schedules and loading plans will have to be altered.

Waste Management

Cumulative Impacts of Waste Loading

In FY 2002 the Waste Management Committee began looking into the cumulative impacts of waste loading to the Oak Ridge area by non-DOE entities. No data have been gathered yet, and that’s part of the issue: it’s difficult to obtain the data.                                                                                            Difficulty in obtaining data (on waste loading by non-DOE entities)

Waste Management

Bear Creek Valley Burial Grounds

The uranium in the burial grounds exceeds waste acceptance criteria at EMWMF, so the material cannot be sent there. The question, then, is whether to leave it in place. The issue will be addressed in a ROD but not this year.

Environmental Restoration

DOE Emergency Preparedness

This is a general awareness issue, although transportation of hazardous or radiological materials may be of particular interest to the Board.                                                                                            Awareness issue

Waste Management

Accelerated Cleanup Plan

Several documents and updates to documents will be issued this year, and they will be a top priority for the Board. They include:

         Performance Management Plan

         Comprehensive Waste Disposition Plan (9/02)

         Balance of Cleanup Plan (3/03)

Environmental Restoration

UF6 Disposal


The UF6 cylinders must be moved for ETTP closure, so DOE must begin shipping in 2003. A decision on where to build the conversion plant(s) has not been made yet. The Board’s input to DOE may be to get the cylinders moved to expedite ETTP closure and general risk reduction at the ORR.

Waste Management

CERCLA Documents

Approximately 12 documents will be this year issued, and it will be important for the Board to supply comments on them to DOE.

Environmental Restoration/


The final ROD issued at the ORR will address groundwater, so this issue is long term. Assumptions are that natural attenuation will take care of some contamination, but at least one or more technologies will be employed in any remediation strategy. The Board may wish to study those technology decisions.

Environmental Restoration


Three documents were noted as possible topics for ORSSAB review:

         ORR Stewardship Strategic Plan

         Remediation Effectiveness Report

         DOE-Headquarters Long-Term Stewardship Strategic Plan, dated June 2002

A Site Transition Framework document will also be available, but it applies only to Mound and Fernald. However, it will give readers an idea of what may occur at the ORR.


Transfer of Newly Generated Waste

ORR is the last DOE site to transition responsibility for newly generated wastes to the generators. TDEC suggested that the Board may want to give input on the transition plans.

Waste Management


Permit renewal and risk assessments are coming up this year.

Waste Management

Waste Disposition

The Oak Ridge Comprehensive Waste Disposition Plan will give disposal locations, schedules, and quantities for all EM Program wastes and will be the key to determining what will go into EMWMF. The plan will be updated annually, so the Board may want to review it every year. The Waste Management Committee should collaborate with the Environmental Restoration Committee on any cross-cutting issues. ORSSAB should consider what public outreach efforts DOE and/or the Board should make.

Waste Management

Environmental Justice


Mr. Washington asked that all committees consider environmental justice when reviewing EM Program activities, and he distributed a handout on the topic (Attachment 2). Mr. Boyd mentioned that DOE’s prime contractors had recently briefed DOE senior managers on their environmental justice activities and that a summary of those briefings might be available at a future ORSSAB meeting.

All committees

Following are other topics discussed at the retreat.

Public OutreachSeveral suggestions were offered to improve the Board=s ongoing public outreach activities. These include focusing more outreach on outlying communities and adding more emphasis on informing the public that “dirt is moving.” EPA showed interest in having ORSSAB establish more dialog with other groups about EM Program concerns. Suggested groups include Save Our Cumberland Mountains, Coalition for a Healthy Environment, Environmental Quality Advisory Board, National Association for Advancement of Colored People, and Oak Ridge Reservation Health Effects Subcommittee.

Better PreparationUnderstanding the complexities of the various aspects of the EM Program is a challenge for many Board members. Not everyone is well informed, and some members “get in on the middle of story” because they first hear of a topic when it comes before the Board as a recommendation. Board members must understand recommendations to have a basis from which to ask the right questions. Solutions to this problem include summarizing information better and providing members with more background material. More knowledgeable members need to help new members by mentoring and helping integrate them into ORSSAB activities.

Board OperationsSeveral issues were identified regarding how the Board operates: staying on topic, spending less time on process issues, improving outreach, educating the public about EM, reducing member turnover, reevaluating priorities regularly, achieving a more balanced membership, being more aware of the Board’s advocate role, allowing voting at committee meetings for nonmembers, and improving the Board/committee relationship.

Voting at Committee Meetings by Non-SSAB MembersThis issue is a special concern for the Stewardship Committee, which has many non-SSAB members. Allowing non-SSAB members to vote would foster a more inclusive atmosphere and might bolster attendance at committee meetings because the public would have greater input to recommendations made. The Board would still have the final say in any recommendations brought forward from committees, so the likelihood of non-SSAB members “hijacking” a recommendation would be negligible.

Ms. Black distributed the results of a poll she had conducted to determine non-SSAB member voting privileges at SSABs around the DOE complex (Attachment 3). Three of the other eight boards allow non-SSAB members to vote at committee meetings.

Further discussion of the topic was deferred to the August 3 Board meeting (see below).

Support IssuesQuicker, better access to information and follow-up on Board member questions were identified as top support issues.

Committee StructureThe group discussed changing the ORSSAB committee makeup but took no action, preferring to keep the current committee structure. Members signed up for the following committees:

         Environmental Restoration: Jake Alexander, Amy DeMint, Bob McLeod, Dave Mosby, Norman Mulvenon, Kerry Trammell

         Stewardship: Ben Adams, Donna Campbell, John Million, Norman Mulvenon

         Waste Management: Dick Berry, Amy DeMint, Luther Gibson, Pat Hill John Million, Luis Revilla


Deputy Designated Federal Official and Ex-Officio Comments

Ms. Halsey announced that the schedule for the upcoming semiannual EM SSAB Chairs Meeting had been set. The meeting, which will be hosted by Oak Ridge, will begin with a tour of the ORR on Thursday, October 17, followed by a full-day meeting on Friday, October 18, and a half-day meeting on Saturday, October 19. Members were encouraged to attend.

Public Comment

Mr. Joe Carson, a nuclear safety engineer with DOE-ORO, distributed a packet of correspondence relating to his experiences as a “whistleblower” on safety issues at DOE-ORO (Attachment 4). Mr. Carson asked that the SSAB aid him in pushing DOE to step up its diligence on safety matters and that the Board look into public health and safety issues that DOE may not be adequately addressing, some of which could be EM related.

Announcements and Other Board Business

The next Board meeting will be Thursday, September 12, at the DOE Information Center. The meeting presentation is to be determined.

Minutes of the July 10, 2002, Board meeting were approved without change.

The Board approved “Recommendations on Remediation Effectiveness Reports General Outline” (Attachment 5) following amendment to add the phrase “and also incorporates ongoing remediation activities for that fiscal year” to second sentence in the second paragraph of the “Background” section.

The Board approved a request to DOE for inclusion as a consulting party on historic preservation issues at the ORR (Attachment 6).

The Board discussed whether to pursue comment on the recently announced changes to the DOE-ORO organizational structure. Consensus was reached that the change could feasibly affect the way remediation of the ORR is carried out, and the Board agreed to write a letter to Secretary Abraham expressing ORSSAB’s concerns. Mr. Mulvenon volunteered to draft a strawman letter for circulation to Board members for comment. The letter will go before the Executive Committee at its August meeting for review before being presented at the September Board meeting for consideration for approval.

FY 2003 Board officers were elected: Chair - Dave Mosby; Vice Chair - Norman Mulvenon; Secretary - Donna Campbell.

The Board discussed allowing non-SSAB members to vote on issues at ORSSAB committee meetings and elected to instruct the Board Process Committee to look into revising the ORSSAB bylaws to allow full membership (including the right to vote) to members of the public who participate on ORSSAB committees, with the stipulation that the committee Chair be an ORSSAB member.

The date of the next annual planning retreat was set for August 1-2, 2003.

Mr. Trammell reported that the Community Reuse Organization of East Tennessee had lost more leases lately than it had gained. Mr. Trammell offered to supply members with information on leases and financial statements.


Mr. Washington was absent for all votes.


Mr. Mosby moved to approve the minutes of the July 10, 2002, Board meeting. Mr. Revilla seconded the motion, and the motion was unanimously approved.


Mr. Mulvenon moved to approve “Recommendations on Remediation Effectiveness Reports General Outline.” Mr. Revilla seconded the motion. Mr. Berry moved to incorporate verbiage suggested by Ms. Halsey to the second paragraph of the “Background” section. Mr. Million seconded the motion to amend, and the amended motion was unanimously approved.


Mr. Mulvenon moved to approve a request to DOE for inclusion as a consulting party on historic preservation issues at the ORR. Mr. Alexander seconded the motion, and the motion was unanimously approved.


Mr. Adams moved to close nominations for FY 2003 Board officers with Dave Mosby, Norman Mulvenon, and Donna Campbell as nominees for Chair, Vice Chair, and Secretary, respectively. Ms. Hill seconded the motion, and the motion was unanimously approved.


Mr. Alexander moved to write a letter to Secretary Abraham expressing ORSSAB’s concerns about the recently announced changes to the DOE-ORO organizational structure. Mr. Adams seconded the motion, and the motion was unanimously approved.


Mr. Alexander moved to instruct the Board Process Committee to look into revising the ORSSAB bylaws to allow full membership (including the right to vote) to members of the public who participate on ORSSAB committees, with the stipulation that the Chair of the committee be an ORSSAB member. Mr. Million seconded the motion, and the motion was approved by a vote of 12 in favor, 2 abstentions (Mr. Berry and Ms. Hill).


Mr. Alexander moved that the next annual planning retreat and Board meeting be held August 1 and 2, 2003. Ms. Hill seconded the motion, and the motion was unanimously approved.

The meeting adjourned at 4:00 p.m.

Attachments (6). Available upon request from the ORSSAB support office.

Respectfully submitted: Donna Campbell, Secretary


Action Items

1.    The Board Process Committee to look into revising the ORSSAB bylaws to allow full membership (including the right to vote) to members of the public who participate on ORSSAB committees, with the stipulation that the Chair of the committee be an ORSSAB member. Completed 8/26/02 at Board Process Committee meeting. The first reading of a suggested bylaws change was presented to the Board on 9/12/02

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

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