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Oak Ridge
Site Specific Advisory Board

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Approved December 11, 2002, Meeting Minutes

The Oak Ridge Site Specific Advisory Board (ORSSAB) held its monthly meeting on Wednesday, December 11, 2002, 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
Jeanne Bonner
Donna Campbell, Secretary
Jenna Carignan1
Heather Cothron
Amy DeMint
Luther Gibson
Pat Hill
David Johnson1
John Kennerly
Steve Kopp
Bob McLeod
John Million
David Mosby, Chair,
Norman Mulvenon Vice Chair
Luis Revilla
George Rimel
Charles Washington

1Student representative

Members Absent

Dick Berry
Colin Loring
Kerry Trammel

Deputy Designated Federal Official and Ex-Officios Present

Dave Adler, Ex Officio, DOE-Oak Ridge Offices (DOE-ORO)
Pat Halsey
, Coordinator, DOE-ORO
Connie Jones
, ExOfficio, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
John Owsley
, ExOfficio, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC)

Others Present

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

Six members of the public attended the meeting.


Mr. Dave Adler, DOE-ORO, gave a presentation on the Comprehensive Waste Disposition Plan, which provides the scope, waste generation forecast, plans for disposal, and issues associated with disposition of Environmental Management Program wastes. Mr. Adler gave an overview of the plan along with best case scenarios about the capacity of the Environmental Management Waste Management Facility (EMWMF) and how DOE is trying new technologies to reduce the volume of waste going into the facility. A copy of Mr. Adler’s presentation is included as Attachment 1.

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




Response (abridged)


Mr. Adams – In your presentation you referred to money, were you talking about money that has already been allocated or future money?


Every year Congress allocates funds for the EM program to use on the Oak Ridge Reservation cleanup program. This is the money I am referring to.

Mr. Gibson – On slide one you state that you met with the SSAB Waste Management Committee. The committee does not want it overstated that they are in agreement with the position.

This was a mistake, and the correction will be made to the overhead slide.

Mr. Gibson – One of the sources of soil contamination at ETTP comes from process drains (direct and indirect discharges) and storm drain contamination. Has this network been fully characterized?

I will have to check on the planning assumptions on the drain lines and direct discharge storm sewers and see what process characterizations have been done and get back with you.

Mr. Alexander – What kind of compensation will the City of Oak Ridge and surrounding cities be entitled to if it is established that EMWMF can be expanded to accept more radioactive waste? Is Oak Ridge the largest radioactive dump in the country that is right in the middle of a city?

No compensation has been discussed. DOE and the State have an agreement to pay up to $14 million into a fund for safe management of the waste site. As far as Oak Ridge being the largest radioactive waste facility in the country, I am not really sure.

Ms. Hill – When you take contaminated slab concrete it is considered a regulatory element, but when it is ground-up it becomes unregulated. Is that correct, and is there an environmental problem with that?

The regulations change because the slab is no longer contaminated in the same manner following crushing. Beforehand the contamination is on the surface of the material and is a more direct danger to someone who might come into contact with it. After crushing, the contamination is dispersed throughout the material and therefore less dangerous from a contact standpoint.

Mr. McLeod - Are you just diluting a contaminated material to some level below the regulatory criteria?

Yes, you are changing the volume criteria by “mixing” the material, changing the volume of the waste.

Mr. Mulvenon - What about the rest of the program, such as D&D, and does that include Alpha 4 and Alpha 5?

This plan addresses all the waste generated by the EM program. This plan addresses the issue of all the waste generated by EM that includes Alpha 4 but not Alpha 5 because that is not part of the EM Program. Most of the waste will go to the Y-12 land fill resulting from demolition activities.

Mr. Gibson – Is it true that EM will not accept the Alpha 5 building?

I am not aware of any final decision being made.

Ms. Hill – Can this material be used for backfill, like they did in Knoxville making a lot of people sick? What material will be in the concrete from Oak Ridge? Could it be a health hazard?

General uranium contamination is in the material. It has to be analyzed at a later date for health and environmental impact.

Mr. Alexander – Will the new cell expansion plans be accommodated by the EMWMF waste accepting criteria?

Mr. Owsley responded that it would for the performance and analytical waste acceptance criteria. If DOE decides to expand the capacity then we have to look at the existing waste acceptance criteria based on ultimate volume of contamination.

Ms. Cothron – What is DOE’s contingency plan if the “to be determined” wastes remain in permanent storage?

The primary emphases are to disposition all the waste and not leave any. Jessie Roberson issued a memorandum to round up all the waste and either recycle or sell it. The Department has not been successful finding someone to buy the secondhand materials, which means it will be placed in long-term storage.

Lorene Sigal1 - Has the State received the million dollars for this year and last year?

Mr. Owsley responded that the State has received $3 million so far.

Ms. Sigal - Has EPA set up any standards for volumetrically cleaning wastes? What are the guidelines, and can you meet those “clean” guidelines?

DOE, EPA, and TDEC have jointly set volumetric cleanup standards for soil, and DOE expects that we will meet those standards.

1Member of the public

Deputy Designated Federal Official and Ex-Officio Comments

Mr. Adler made four comments:

         Mr. Boyd stated at the last SSAB meeting that the Corps of Engineers report on their independent review of the lifecycle baseline would be made available. This will not be the case as the report has been labeled “business sensitive.” DOE will be willing to meet with the SSAB Environmental Restoration committee and brief them on the findings.

         A signing ceremony for a Natural Resources Damage Claim Agreement in Principle for the establishment of a 3200-acre conservation easement near the East Tennessee Technology Park  (ETTP) will be held on December 20 at 12:30 p.m. A copy of the invitation to the signing event at the Horizon Park was distributed to all members of the SSAB this evening, along with a map of the easement site. Don Sundquist, Justin Wilson, Zach Wamp, and Jessie Roberson have been invited to attend the ceremony.

         Cindy Kelly from the Atomic Heritage Foundation will be in Oak Ridge to discuss the preservation of the history of significant facilities involved in the Manhattan Project. She will be in town December 16–18. Members interested in speaking with Ms. Kelly should give their names and phone numbers to Walter Perry of the DOE Public Affairs Office.

         DOE received a letter from the State of Tennessee sending their strong view that DOE needs to address an operational problem at EMWMF regarding seepage of rainwater from the non-operational side of the facility into the operational portion of the cell. DOE is aggressively addressing this issue; it will require both reengineering and operational adjustments.

Public Comment


DOE Coordinator Comments

Ms. Halsey made two announcements:

         A tour of the Oak Ridge Reservation for the new members took place on December 7. Members who have been on the Board for awhile may want to take the tour again just to see what changes have been madea type of refresher course.

         The Site Treatment Plan for Mixed Wastes on the Oak Ridge Reservation document is available at the DOE Information Center. The Semiannual Progress Report for April – September 2002 is also available.

Announcements and Other Board Business

The next Board meeting will be Wednesday, January 8, 2003, at the DOE Information Center. The presentation topic will be transuranic waste.

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

Mr. Mosby reported that he, Mr. Mulvenon, and Susan Gawarecki [Local Oversight Committee (LOC) Executive Director] had met with Gerald Boyd on November 7 to discuss stakeholder involvement in the EM Program. During the meeting, Mr. Boyd requested that ORSSAB and the LOC provide him with ten suggestions for improving communication among stakeholders and with the EM organization. Mr. Mosby requested input from Board members by December 31.

Ms. DeMint reported that at its November 21 meeting the Environmental Restoration Committees heard a presentation by Larry Clark, Director of the Reindustrialization Division of DOE, on the integration of reindustrialization and the accelerated cleanup plan for ETTP. The next committee meeting is scheduled for December 19 and will focus on the Bear Creek Burial Ground and the proposed use of in situ vitrificaiton in Melton Valley.

Mr. Million reported that the Stewardship Committee met November 19. He requested that SSAB members consider participating in a nationwide stewardship survey that originated in Fernald. The survey information was distributed to all members. The next committee meeting has been set for December 17. The January meeting will be held on the 21st to avoid a conflict with the LOC-Citizens Advisory Panel meeting on the 14th. Mr. Million announced that from now on all Stewardship Committee meetings will be held on the third Tuesday of the month, regardless of whether other standing committee meetings are held that week.

Mr. Gibson reported that the Waste Management met November 20 and heard a presentation by Mr. Adler on the Comprehensive Waste Disposition Plan. The December meeting will feature a presentation on uranium hexafluoride cylinder disposition from Mary Ann Reeves of DOE.

Mr. Mosby reported that the Executive Committee met November 26. The committee considered the 2003 draft work plan and asked that it become a living document and will be loaded on the web site. All committees are encouraged to update work plans as needed.

Mr. Osborne reported that Delores Kopp met December 3 with Mr. Rimel and Ms. Campbell for the second session on presentation training. Public outreach presentations are on hiatus because of the holidays and will resume in January.

Mr. Revilla reported that the Board Process Ad Hoc Committee is working on the proposed revision of the Bylaws. Three members of the Board participated in the Parliamentary Workshop Training Session offered by the League of Women Voters on November 16, and the committee has suggested that the training be incorporated into the annual retreat.

Mr. Kopp asked that members of the Environmental Safety and Health Ad Hoc Committee meeting at the conclusion of this evening’s meeting to set their next meeting date. Ms. Halsey reported that Randy Smyth, Director for EM Safety and Health Issues; Jay Mullis, of the DOE Safety and Health Program; and Paul Clay from Bechtel Jacobs are available at any time to meet with the committee and answer questions and provide examples of issues they have received.

The meeting adjourned at 8:13 p.m.


Ms. Campbell moved to approve the minutes of the November 13, 2002 Board meeting. Mr. Adams seconded the motion, and the motion was unanimously approved. (Mr. Kopp and Mr. Washington were absent for the vote.)

Respectfully submitted,

Donna L. Campbell, Secretary


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

Action Items

1.        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.


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