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Oak Ridge
Site Specific Advisory Board

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Approved January 8, 2003, Meeting Minutes

The Oak Ridge Site Specific Advisory Board (ORSSAB) held its monthly meeting on Wednesday, January 8, 2003, at the DOE Information Center 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 ORSSAB support office at 865-576-1590.

Members Present

Ben Adams
Jake Alexander
Dick Berry
Jeanne Bonner
Donna Campbell, Secretary
Jenna Carignan1
Heather Cothron
Luther Gibson
David Johnson1
John Kennerly
Steve Kopp
Colin Loring
Bob McLeod
John Million
David Mosby, Chair,
Norman Mulvenon Vice Chair
Luis Revilla
Kerry Trammel
Charles Washington

1Student representative

Members Absent

Amy DeMint
Pat Hill
George Rimel

Deputy Designated Federal Official and Ex-Officios Present

Dave Adler, Ex Officio, DOE-Oak Ridge Operations (DOE-ORO)
Gerald Boyd, Deputy Designated Federal Official, DOE-ORO
Jeff Crane, Ex Officio, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Pat Halsey, Federal Coordinator, DOE-ORO
John Owsley, Ex Officio, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC)

Others Present

James McBrayer, Bechtel Jacobs Company LLC (BJC)
Pete Osborne, BJC
Judy Ullmann, Temp Systems

Fifteen members of the public attended the meeting.

Presentation

Mr. Gary Riner, DOE-ORO, gave a presentation on the Transuranic (TRU) Waste Treatment Project,  and he explained the scope, waste disposal forecast, and issues associated with disposition of Environmental Management (EM) Program TRU wastes. Mr. Riner reiterated that DOE’s mission is not to be the guardian of waste; rather the mission is to dispose of the waste.

Mr. Riner addressed the top three issues for the National SSAB TRU Waste Management Workshop in Carlsbad, New Mexico. The slides indicated the urgency for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) to be opened on time for remote-handled (RH) TRU. A copy of Mr. Riner’s presentation is included as Attachment 1.

After the presentation, the following questions were asked by members of the Board, and the following responses were given by Mr. Riner, except as noted.

Question

Response (abridged)

Mr. Adams – How do we help WIPP?

Talk to the people at the Carlsbad workshop, and explain to them the need to get the waste out of here. In addition, support your local community activities, which usually draw the attention of the decision-makers.

Mr. Alexander – If we place waste in WIPP that is not TRU waste, is that really a problem, and can they take that low-level waste out of a cell at a later date if need be?

WIPP is designed to handle contact handled (CH) and RH wastes. The alternative to storing anything other than more robust wastes there is to leave them in exposed surface storage, which is undesirable. Separation of waste following disposal would be very difficult.

Ms. Bonner – How big of a problem is PCB TRU waste at the Oak Ridge Reservation?

Relatively small, perhaps less than 10 cubic meters in our total inventory.

Ms. Bonner – Is the non-defense waste less than 10%?

Yes.

Ms. Bonner – Is sampling done on the waste at the Melton Valley facility before it goes into the tanks there?

Detailed analytical measurements are made on the sludge and waste before the waste goes into the Foster Wheeler facility.

Mr. Kopp – Are there any safety concerns with this waste?

No. The way it is currently packaged it has been denatured, and nothing has been done to change the concentrations of the actual material.

Mr. Kopp – Are we still trying to get approval on the Documented Safety Analysis (DSA), and are we to assume that headquarters is going to give final approval of that?

The DSA is on the “critical path” for approval.  A team is here now working on it, and approval is expected in January.

Mr. Trammell – Please clarify what you mean by “space is not an issue at WIPP.” What is the possibility that the space could be used for something else?

CH wastes are being placed in WIPP now, and when you fill a cell with CH it takes away a bore hole opening that could potentially house RH. In a perfect world the RH wastes would go into the cell wall first.

Mr. Trammell – What is the political climate in New Mexico?

Mr. Boyd requested that Mr. Riner call the appropriate contact at DOE Headquarters and request a fact sheet about the political climate in New Mexico related to WIPP.

Mr. Gibson – Are we missing the point by endorsing direct disposal and not being overly concerned about the disposition of mixed waste? Do you think that the mixed waste will use up most of the capacity of WIPP?

WIPP does have a limit. Core Hole 8 is a very good example of the type of unknown transuranic wastes that are often encountered during clean up activities. These wastes will have to be disposed of somewhere.

Deputy Designated Federal Official and Ex-Officio Comments

Mr. Boyd reported that the FY 03 budget is still in limbo, and the federal budget is still under continuing resolution. The FY 04 budget is nearing completion and should be ready to go to Capital Hill in the near future. Mr. Boyd could not share any numbers with the Board since they have not been released by DOE-Headquarters. Anticipated release date will be late January. Mr. Boyd is to take the DOE Oak Ridge Managers job next Monday. Ms. Roberson requested that Mr. Boyd continue to serve as Assistant Manager for EM until a replacement has been assigned, which could be a few months away. Mr. Boyd shared with the Board that regardless of the timeframe, he intends to keep working with the Board. He expressed his awareness of the EM Program as a very critical program for Oak Ridge Offices and the citizens of Oak Ridge.

Mr. Crane announced that Connie Jones and he plan to be more active with the Environmental Restoration Committee and other ORSSAB committees. EPA has appointed the fourth project manager for the Oak Ridge Team: Lila Llamas. Ms. Llamas has been assigned some of the decontamination and decommissioning activities at the East Tennessee Technology Park in addition to the activities she is currently involved with the DOE transfer program. With the addition of Ms. Llamas, communications should be enhanced and document reviews streamlined. Next week EPA staff members will be participating in a review of the DOE lifecycle baseline. This activity will ensure a common understanding of the cleanup programs as well as the risks and opportunities that exist.

Public Comment

None

DOE Coordinator Comments

Ms. Halsey announced that a new member recruitment will begin in January and will be advertised in local and surrounding county newspapers and in DOE publications. The closing date for the recruitment is February 24. If anyone on the Board is aware of a group that has not been included in the mailing in the past, please notify Pete Osborne. In an effort to streamline the recruitment process, Mr. Washington and Mr. Mosby have volunteered to review the recruitment documentation and application before these documents are released to the public, thus ensuring user-friendly applications and understandable language.

Announcements and Other Board Business

The next Board meeting will be Wednesday, February 12, 2003, at the DOE Information Center. The presentation topic will be stewardship.

Minutes of the December 11, 2002, Board meeting were approved without change.

Mr. Mulvenon presented the first reading of changes to the ORSSAB Bylaws and Special Rules of Order proposed by the Board Process Committee. Several of the proposed changes were voted down or amended. See Attachment 2 and the “Motions” section of these minutes for details.

The Board adopted all changes to the ORSSAB Standing Rules proposed by the Board Process Committee. See Attachment 2 and the “Motions” section of these minutes for details.

Mr. Mosby reported that the Executive Committee met on December 30. Mr. Mosby thanked the members of the Board for contributing items for the top ten issues that will be considered for submittal to Mr. Boyd in an upcoming meeting with Mr. Mulvenon and Susan Gawarecki of the Local Oversight Committee.

Mr. Trammell reported that during the December 19 Environmental Restoration Committee meeting Doug McCoy of TDEC gave a presentation on the Bear Creek Burial Ground, and Greg Eidam of BJC presented the committee with an overview of the proposed use of in situ vitrification in Melton Valley. January’s meeting is scheduled for the 16th. The presentation will be on Core Hole 8.

Mr. Million reported that the Stewardship Committee met on December 21.

Mr. Gibson reported that the Waste Management Committee met on December 18 to hear a presentation by Mr. Riner on TRU waste. Mr. Riner also helped the committee develop draft presentation slides for the upcoming workshop in Carlsbad, New Mexico. Mr. Gibson encouraged everyone to comment on the top three TRU issues, which are in draft format in the notebook. Mr. Gibson invited workshop participants to attend the January 15 committee meeting to become better informed about the subject matter.

Mr. Kopp reported that the members of the Environmental Safety and Health Issues Ad Hoc Committee met at 4:30 this afternoon. The committee hopes to present the results of its discussions at the next Board meeting.

The meeting adjourned at 9:35 p.m.

Motions

M1/8/03.1

Ms. Campbell moved to approve the minutes of the December 11, 2002; Board meeting. Mr. Gibson seconded the motion, and the motion was unanimously approved. (Mr. Kopp and Mr. Loring were absent for the vote.)

Mr. Berry and Mr. Loring were absent for all subsequent votes.

M1/8/03.2

Mr. Alexander moved to reject proposed rewording of Bylaws Article II.D, which read “All Board decisions relating to recommendations and advice to DOE shall be reached through parliamentary procedure. The Board shall strive for substantial agreement among Board members. Recommendations to DOE shall require a majority vote of the entire Board membership. The decision-making process is described in the Board’s Special Rules of Order.” Ms. Bonner seconded the motion, and the motion was defeated by a vote of 6 in favor (Mr. Adams, Mr. Alexander, Ms. Bonner, Mr. McLeod, Mr. Rimel, Mr. Washington), 9 against.

M1/8/03.3

Mr. Adams moved to amend Bylaws Article II.D to read “All Board decisions relating to recommendations and advice to DOE shall be reached through parliamentary procedure. The Board shall strive for substantial agreement among Board members. Recommendations to DOE shall require a simple two-thirds majority vote of the entire Board membership. The decision-making process is described in the Board’s Special Rules of Order.” Mr. Washington seconded the motion, and the motion was approved by a vote 9 in favor, 6 against (Ms. Cothron, Mr. Gibson, Mr. Kopp, Mr. Million, Mr. Mulvenon, Mr. Trammell).

M1/8/03.4

Mr. Alexander moved to reject proposed rewording of Bylaws Article III.B.2, which read “Members may be reappointed but typically serve no more than three consecutive two-year terms,” and keep the original Bylaws wording, which reads “Members may be reappointed twice for additional consecutive two year terms.” Mr. Kopp seconded the motion, and motion was approved by a vote of 13 in favor, 2 against (Ms. Campbell, Mr. Gibson).

M1/8/03.5

Mr. Alexander moved to delete the last sentence of Bylaws Article III.B.4 (as indicated in strikeout):  Members who fail to attend three consecutive regularly scheduled Board meeting may be recommended for removal from the Board by a two-thirds vote of Board membership. Extenuating circumstances for absences will be taken into account.” Mr. McLeod seconded the motion, and the motion was approved by a vote of 11 in favor, 4 against (Ms. Campbell, Mr. Kopp, Mr. Mulvenon, Mr. Washington).

M1/8/03.6

Mr. Alexander moved to moved to reject the proposed addition of a new last sentence to Bylaws Article IV (as indicated in strikeout): “The ORSSAB officers shall be elected annually by majority vote of the Board membership. No officer shall serve more than two (2) consecutive years in the same office. Candidates for Board offices shall refrain from campaigning. Ms. Bonner seconded the motion, and the motion was approved by a vote of 13 in favor, 2 against (Ms. Campbell, Mr. Gibson).

M1/8/03.7

Ms. Cothron moved to defer discussion on Bylaws Article IV.E until the next Board meeting. Mr. Adams seconded the motion, and the motion was defeated by a vote of 4 in favor (Mr. Adams, Ms. Bonner, Ms. Cothron Mr. Million), 11 against.

M1/8/03.8

Ms. Bonner moved to amend proposed rewording of Bylaws Article VII.C.2 to read “Each committee shall elect ORSSAB members as chair and vice-chair and may replace either by a majority vote of all ORSSAB committee members present at any regularly scheduled meeting.” Mr. Million seconded the motion, and the motion was unanimously approved.

M1/8/03.9

Mr. Alexander moved to reject the proposed addition of a phrase to the end of Special Rules of Order I.B (as indicated in strikeout): “Proposed recommendations will be included in Board packets or be made available to members prior to the Board meeting, along with supporting background documentation. Ms. Bonner seconded the motion, and the motion was defeated by a vote of 4 in favor (Mr. Adams, Mr. Alexander, Ms. Bonner, Mr. Rimel), 11 against.

M1/8/03.10

Mr. Alexander moved to reject the proposed deletion of two phrases to the end of Standing Rules IV.4 (as indicated in strikeout): “Traveler must submit a written trip report (see Attachment 2) in order to receive outstanding travel expense reimbursement, except in extreme cases of illness or other emergency.” Mr. Adams seconded the motion, and the motion was defeated by a vote of 4 in favor (Mr. Adams, Mr. Alexander, Ms. Bonner, Mr. McLeod), 11 against.

M1/8/03.11

Mr. Kopp moved to adopt all proposed changes to the ORSSAB Standing Rules. Mr. Million seconded the motion, and the motion was approved by a vote of 14 in favor, 1 against (Mr. Alexander).

Action Items

1.     Mr. Riner will call the appropriate contact at DOE Headquarters to request a fact sheet about the political climate in New Mexico related to WIPP. [Closed: Mr. Riner’s request for this fact sheet resulted in the attached list of key officials to contact. DOE is reluctant to prepare a fact sheet representing the view of these officials and proposes that the SSAB members contact them directly.]

2.     Mr. Adler will look into the planning assumptions on the drain lines and direct discharge storm sewers and see what process characterizations have been done. (Carryover from 12/11/02)

Respectfully submitted,

Donna L. Campbell, Secretary

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