Many Voices Working for the Community

Oak Ridge
Site Specific Advisory Board

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Approved September 12, 2002, Meeting Minutes

The Oak Ridge Site Specific Advisory Board (ORSSAB) held its monthly meeting on Thursday, September 12, 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
Dick Berry
Jeanne Bonner
Donna Campbell, Secretary
Jenna Carignan1
Heather Cothron
Luther Gibson
Pat Hill
David Johnson1
John Kennerly
Steve Kopp
Colin Loring
Bob McLeod
John Million
David Mosby, Chair,
Norman Mulvenon Vice Chair
Luis Revilla
George Rimel
Kerry Trammel
Charles Washington

1Student representative

Members Absent

Amy DeMint

Deputy Designated Federal Official and Ex-Officios Present

Gerald Boyd, DOE-Oak Ridge Offices (DOE-ORO), Deputy Designated Federal Official
Pat Halsey, DOE-ORO
Connie Jones,
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Owsley, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC)

Others Present

Jay Bassett, EPA
Sheree Black, Bechtel Jacobs Company LLC (BJC)
Jim McBrayer, BJC
Pete Osborne, BJC
Bob Sleeman, DOE-ORO

Seven members of the public attended the meeting.


Mr. Bob Sleeman, Leader of the DOE-ORO Environmental Services Group, gave an overview of the DOE-ORO life cycle baseline process. A copy of Mr. Sleeman=s presentation is included as Attachment 1.

Mr. Sleeman explained the federal government/DOE budgeting process and the typical three-year budget cycle. Funding for the Environmental Management (EM) Program is not interchangeable among sites, and balancing appropriations with scope is critical.

The life cycle baseline process is an integrated plan to direct the EM mission towards completion. It contains scope of work, schedule, and budget. It also provides detailed information in support of the Performance Management Plan (PMP) and is a management tool for planning, subcontracting, budget submittals, and enforceable milestones. Details on the FY 2003 life cycle baseline will be discussed at a public meeting beginning at 6:00 p.m. on September 26 at the DOE Information Center.

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. Washington: What will be the constructs for life cycle baseline prioritization?

Risk, mortgage reduction, and sequencing, in that order.

Ms. Hill: Will the events of last September 11 have a bearing on appropriations from Congress?

Right now no. Indications from both the Senate and House of Representatives are that the extra $105M for Oak Ridge will be appropriated.

Mr. Mulvenon: I understand that M&EC Corporation has invested a lot of money in the building it’s leasing at the East Tennessee Technology Park (ETTP). The lease extends until 2008, but accelerated cleanup plans are for decontamination and decommissioning of the building in 2006. Will that be a common problem with leases that have been issued by the Community Reuse Organization of East Tennessee (CROET)? I’m also concerned about plans for centrifuge development by the U.S. Energy Corporation (USEC).

M&EC is the only lessee that’s a major concern, but they have the option of having title to building transferred to them if they’re willing to assume liability for its cleanup.

Regarding the USEC lease, Mr. Boyd responded that the lease extends until 2006. The building could be used past that date, but unless other arrangements are made by USEC, the building will be turned back to DOE.

Mr. Gibson: A number of small companies with leases at ETTP are spending a lot of time in meetings with BJC and DOE, which takes away from their ability to perform work.

Mr. Boyd responded that DOE is trying to address the issue by working with CROET to figure out what to do about current tenants. CROETS’ plan is to turn building titles over to lessees or to give the buildings back to DOE. Some buildings are problematic, but DOE is working with lessees to find other buildings for them, if necessary.

Mr. Gibson: Regarding integration of the EM Program with Y-12 and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) modernization plans, does accelerated cleanup mean that these entities will have to do things differently regarding infrastructure reduction?

No, we’re working with them to integrate EM activities.

Mr. Gibson: What about buildings that they thought they’d be able to turn over to EM but now can’t?

That will be a DOE-Headquarters (DOE-HQ) decision. The plan is to finish the work in the program now before addressing new work.

Mr. Kennerly: There are enormous tasks to be done, for instance the Alpha 4 building. Will it complicate later projects if these tasks aren’t finished by the projected 2015 deadline?

Modernization plans aren’t final, so we’re not sure when buildings will come down in the future. Mr. Boyd added that EM has spent significant amounts of money in the past on surveillance and maintenance activities, and these costs must be reduced to expedite cleanup. High-risk, high-mortgage-cost facilities need to be taken down. Sequencing is therefore crucial.

Ms. Hill: Why would cleanup activities at the David Witherspoon site take precedence over some at the Oak Ridge Reservation?

Because of public access issues. Fences at the reservation keep the public from possible exposure, but at the Witherspoon site people live very close to the contaminated area.

Ms. Hill: Is the baseline open for changes later on?

The baseline is locked in to a degree but can be changed by a formalized change control process. Mr. Boyd must sign off on any changes.

Mr. Bob Peele: Transferring a title is problematic if there’s any contamination left in the building. New sources of contamination found after a title change are still DOE’s responsibility.

Truly unknown sources are still DOE responsibility under CERCLA. However, most leased buildings are fairly clean, so we’re not anticipating many problems.

Mr. Adams: Is there a specific opportunity for the SSAB to provide any service in dealing with community relations regarding the Witherspoon site in a city (Knoxville) not generally knowledgeable about EM?

Mr. Sleeman, noting that the state has primary authority over cleanup at the site, deferred comment to Mr. Owsley. Mr. Owsley remarked that DOE is only one of several responsible parties at the Witherspoon site. ORSSAB may wish to discuss with Knox County officials their views on cleanup and review how the Witherspoon site fits into EM activity prioritization.

Mr. Adams: Is there any question who will pay for that cleanup?

DOE will pay for it, and the U.S. Justice Department will pursue other principal responsible parties for compensation.

Deputy Designated Federal Official and Ex-Officio Comments

Mr. Boyd welcomed new Board member Colin Loring and new student representative David Johnson.

Mr. Boyd made four announcements:

$     The PMP has gone to the Office of Management and Budget and will be used by that Office to evaluate allocation of FY 2003 funds. The 2003 Budget has not been set yet, and whether it will be finalized by the start of the fiscal year (October 1) is uncertain. Oak Ridge expects to receive its requested appropriation plus $105M from the Accelerated Cleanup Fund.

$     A contract strategy document for accelerating cleanup is in progress. It should be finished next week and will be sent to Jessie Roberson for approval.

         Reorganization of DOE-ORO is expected to take place in the next two to three months. This will have a flow-down effect on EM, which will allow it to organize around closure projects. BJC is already restructuring in this manner. The company’s new organization will be approved by DOE soon.

         The life cycle baseline and Comprehensive Waste Disposition Plan will both be finished soon. Regulatory agency personnel have been in Oak Ridge for the past two days working with DOE on these documents. Jessie Roberson and Mike Holland of DOE, Justin Wilson of TDEC, and Jimmy Palmer of EPA will meet in October or November to review accelerated cleanup planning progress.

Mr. Gibson asked Mr. Boyd to comment on the proposed withdrawal of management responsibility for Portsmouth and Paducah from DOE-ORO. Mr. Boyd replied that plans are to establish a DOE site office in Kentucky to oversee the Kentucky and Ohio sites. Bill Murphy from DOE-HQ has been designated as site manager. The office should be established in October or November, although it will take awhile to transition operational contracts.

Mr. Washington asked Mr. Boyd to comment on the status of the accident report for the recent strontium release at ORNL. Mr. Boyd replied that a meeting will take place next week to review the final report, which should then be released in a few weeks. The strontium release was a single event. DOE has been working for the past several weeks on determining the cause and has stopped HEPA filter change-out work until a new procedure is in place to mitigate further release risks.

Mr. Adams asked Mr. Boyd to give his thoughts on whether aspects of the proposed ORO reorganization should be reconsidered. Mr. Boyd replied that no final decision has been made yet and that discussions are taking place with affected parties, including Representative Wamp.

Ms. Halsey discussed two topics:

$     Preparations for the fall SSAB Chairs Meeting are well underway.

        Meeting packages have been mailed out to all ORSSAB members. Sign-up sheets are due to Pete Osborne by close of business September 13.

        So far, about 50 participants have registered from SSABs around the complex and DOE-HQ.

        Jessie Roberson has been invited to attend but has not yet committed. A video hook-up with her at the Knoxville Convention Center is being considered as a backup plan should she not be able to attend.

        Kerry Trammell has offered the services of his band at the Thursday night reception, which will be held from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the Riverside Tavern. WESKEM is sponsoring the event. BJC is sponsoring the entertainment.

        A tour of the Oak Ridge Reservation will take place in conjunction with the Chairs Meeting. New Board members and students may want to wait and participate in a more detailed tour being planned just for them.

        The Chairs Meeting is open to the public and will be advertised. ORSSAB members may address the group during one of the public comment periods: Friday at 4:30 and Saturday at 11:30.

         All documents archived at the DOE Information Center that were given a classification review prior to May 30, 2002, will now have to receive an additional review for security issues related to dissemination of maps that could be used by terrorists to target DOE facilities. To allow ORSSAB members unrestricted access to these documents, a list of those members will be maintained at the DOE Information Center. Members may check out unsanitized documents, with the understanding that they will not disseminate those materials to the public.

Ms. Jones introduced Tiki Whitfield, a Public Outreach Coordinator with EPA, and Jay Bassett, Chief of the EPA DOE Section. Mr. Bassett announced that he plans to attend next month’s ORSSAB meeting and that he will attend future ORSSAB meetings every few months.

Ms. Jones announced that a draft report on EPA sampling in the Scarboro Community will be issued for public comment in the next few weeks. EPA is scheduling public meetings at various Oak Ridge area locations on November 14 to discuss the results. The draft document will be available at the DOE Information Center.

Public Comment

Mr. Pardue, a former ORSSAB member, voiced support for the proposed reorganization of DOE-ORO, as long as a strong site manager’s position can still effectively be used to bring cohesion to the various site programs’ activities when necessary. Mr. Pardue asked Mr. Boyd to comment on the reorganization, and Mr. Boyd responded that he believes the plan, with modifications that will likely come, can accomplish the twin objectives of streamlining reporting relationships between the site and DOE-HQ and maintaining cohesion among site programs.

Ms. Pat Rush, a former ORSSAB member, added support to Mr. Pardue’s comments, reasoning that reorganization may help keep the focus of EM and budgeting on Oak Ridge.

Announcements and Other Board Business

The next Board meeting will be Wednesday, October 9, at the DOE Information Center. The presentation topic will be the Comprehensive Waste Disposition Plan.

Mr. Mosby presented Mr. Gibson with a plaque of appreciation for his service as ORSSAB Chair during FYs 2001 and 2002.

Minutes of the August 2 and 3, 2002, Board meeting were approved without change.

The Board approved comments on the DOE-HQ Long-Term Stewardship Strategic Plan, Predecisional Draft Version 2.0, dated June 21, 2002 (Attachment 2), with a minor modification to add Dave Geiser of DOE-HQ to the distribution list.

The Board approved a draft letter to DOE-Oak Ridge, “Reorganization of DOE Oak Ridge Site Office” (Attachment 3), as amended during the meeting to combine paragraphs one and three and eliminate paragraph two.

Mr. Mulvenon presented the first reading of a proposed change to Bylaws Article VII.C.5, “Composition of Standing Committees,” to allow members of the public to participate in ORSSAB standing committee business on a voting basis. Following debate, the Board agreed to table discussion until the proposed change had received a second reading (as dictated by ORSSAB Bylaws) at the October 9 Board meeting.

Mr. Trammell reported on recent activities of the Environmental Restoration Committee. The date of the next committee meeting has been changed from September 19 to September 16. Jason Darby from DOE-ORO will discuss the Water Resources Restoration Program.

Mr. Gibson reported on recent activities of the Waste Management Committee. The next committee meeting will be held on September 18. The agenda will focus on the TSCA Incinerator, remote-handled transuranic waste, and cumulative impacts of waste loading to the reservation. He and Mr. Mulvenon recently attended a Class 3 permit modification meeting for M&EC Corporation, held in anticipation of the company’s receiving increased waste volumes from accelerated cleanup activities. The Waste Management Committee will serve as the lead for participation in the upcoming transuranic waste workshop in Carlsbad, New Mexico, on January 31-February 1. Mr. Gibson will attend the upcoming meeting of the EM Advisory Board Alternative Technologies to Incineration Committee meeting, which is tentatively set for September 26 and 27.

Mr. Mosby reported on recent activities of the Executive Committee. He discussed the draft FY 2003 annual work plan tracking chart that he had asked staff to prepare to track progress on committee work plans. The tracking chart will be reviewed at the monthly Executive Committee meeting and placed in the Board notebook each month. Mr. Mosby also described the three ORSSAB issues that he will present during the round robin session at the EM SSAB Chairs Meeting (Attachment 4).

Mr. Mulvenon announced that the next meeting of the Board Process Committee will take place sometime before the October 9 Board meeting. The committee’s membership has not been established for FY 2003, so Board members who are interested in participating on the committee should express their interest to staff as soon as possible.

Mr. Osborne presented the draft FY 2003 Public Outreach Plan. Letters have gone out to several organizations requesting an opportunity at one of their meetings for ORSSAB to make a presentation. The next issue of the Advocate newsletter and a news release on new members are in development. Delores Kopp has tentatively agreed to provide presentation training to interested ORSSAB members sometime after September. Ms. Campbell made a presentation about ORSSAB at Foster Wheeler Environmental Corporation on August 22

The meeting adjourned at 9:26 p.m.


Ms. Campbell moved to approve the minutes of the August 2-3, 2002, Board meeting. Mr. Million seconded the motion, and the motion was unanimously approved.


Mr. Mulvenon moved to approve comments on the DOE-HQ Long-Term Stewardship Strategic Plan, Predecisional Draft Version 2.0, dated June 21, 2002. No second was required on the motion, and the motion was approved by a vote of 13 in favor, 4 opposed, 2 abstentions.


Mr. Mulvenon moved to approve the draft letter to DOE-Oak Ridge, “Reorganization of DOE Oak Ridge Site Office.” Mr. Adams moved to amend the letter (as proposed by Mr. Kennerly) to combine paragraphs one and three and eliminate paragraph two. Mr. Gibson seconded the motion to amend, and the amendment was approved by a vote of 18 in favor, 1 abstention. The amended motion was unanimously approved.


Mr. Alexander moved to table discussion on the first reading of the proposed change to ORSSAB Bylaws Article VII.C.5 until the second reading at the October 9 Board meeting. Mr. Gibson seconded the motion, and the motion was approved by a vote of 18 in favor, 1 opposed.

Respectfully submitted,

Donna L. Campbell, Secretary


Attachments (4) to these minutes are available upon request from the ORSSAB support office.

Action Items


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