Many Voices Working for the Community

Oak Ridge
Site Specific Advisory Board

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Approved February 11, 2004, Meeting Minutes

The Oak Ridge Site Specific Advisory Board (ORSSAB) held its regularly scheduled monthly meeting on Wednesday, February 11, 2004, 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 Information Center at 865-241-4780.

Members Present

Ben Adams
Donna Campbell
Heather Cothron
Amy DeMint
Luther Gibson
Pat Hill
Barbara Kosny1
John Million
David Mosby, Chair
Norman Mulvenon, Vice Chair
Linda Murawski
Atur Sheth1
Christopher Smith
Kerry Trammell

1Student representative

Members Absent

Jake Alexander
Dick Berry
Rhonda Bogard
John Kennerly
Bob McLeod
Luis Revilla, Secretary
George Rimel

Deputy Designated Federal Official and Ex-Officios Present

Dave Adler, Ex Officio, DOE-Oak Ridge Offices (DOE-ORO)
Pat Halsey, Federal Coordinator, DOE-ORO
Steve McCracken, Deputy Designated Federal Officer, DOE-ORO
John Owsley, Ex Officio, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC)

Others Present

Jeff Crane, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Jim Kopotic, DOE-ORO
Jim McBrayer, Bechtel Jacobs Company LLC (BJC)
Julie Pfeffer, BJC
Pete Osborne, BJC

Thirteen members of the public attended the meeting.


Mr. Kopotic opened the presentation by giving an overview of the schedule for development of the East Tennessee Technology Park (ETTP) Zone 2 Focused Feasibility Study (FFS) and D1 Proposed Plan. A draft document should be available for review by February 24. Ms. Pfeffer continued the presentation by giving an overview of site problems, alternatives developed, and issues to be resolved.  A copy of the presentation is included as Attachment 1.

The scope of the FFS will include soil, buried waste, and subsurface structures in the main industrial plant area. Other media (groundwater, surface water, and sediments) and protection of ecological species are deferred to the site-wide Record of Decision (ROD).

During the presentation, the following questions were asked by members of the Board and the public, and the following responses were given by Ms. Pfeffer (except where noted).




Response (abridged)

Mr. Mosby: Will a decision on ETTP  groundwater be included in the FFS?

No, the FFS only includes actions to protect groundwaternot a final decision on groundwater remediation.

Ms. Hill: Is the soil contamination recently discovered, or has it been known for some time?

These are problems we’ve known about for some time in areas that are roped off to prevent disturbance.

Mr. Mulvenon: When will additional sampling be done?

The decision will be to meet a certain remediation level, and then we’ll have to go out and do sampling to see where we have data gaps.

Mr. Gibson: Will soil removal be iterative, or will it be done all in one action?

As we collect data we’ll have to run models, so in some sense it will be iterativecertainly, as buildings are torn down that will make the soil beneath them available.

Mr. Adams: Who determines whether remediation alternatives are protective?

We use the nine CERCLA criteria for assessing the quality of the alternatives.

Mr. Adams: What’s the point of talking about residential use if it isn’t being considered?

Industrial is the only proposed use for the site following cleanup.

Mr. Mosby: Is this property intended to remain in DOE ownership?

Mr. McCracken: I don’t know. DOE will have a continuing liability, but I don’t know the exact legal meaning of that term.

Ms. Hill: What will be the mandate by which you choose the alternative…cost, effectiveness, future use?

Mr. Owsley: All those considerations will have to be weighed. Cost is key, but effectiveness and future use are equally important.

Ms. Hill: When cleanup is finished and DOE is no longer a presence, who will monitor the site?

Mr. McCracken: Institutional controls will be in place with some durable agencyprobably the county Register of Deeds. There will have to be redundancy of records, surveillance and maintenance, and communication (via records and a public communication strategy for what land can be used for).

Mr. Smith: If Alternative 2 is selected, the property will be worth more because you can build on it. Is that part of the current discussion?

Socioeconomic impacts and future land uses from the National Environmental Policy Act are considered in the FFS qualitatively, but we haven’t quantified them.

Mr. Trammell: Is the capacity of  the Environmental Management Waste Management Facility (EMWMF) based on worst case scenario regarding accepting material from ETTP?

Yes, it assumes the upper range.

Mr. Mulvenon: Can you explain what the Remedy Review Board is?

Mr. Crane: The Remedy Review Board was initiated in 1996 as a Superfund reform as a way to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of cleanup decisions. The threshold at which remedies must be reviewed is typically $30 million, but for DOE it is $75 million. The process is for DOE to prepare a package of information for the board (a condensed version of the FS), and the board provides feedback. EPA isn’t required to follow the guidance; the regional EPA administrators have the final say. When we go before the board about ETTP, it will be helpful if we know your opinions so we can transfer them to the board. We will be sending out a letter to stakeholders specifically seeking input.

Mr. Mulvenon: Isn’t reuse diminished by filling in basements with concrete?

Mr. McCracken: Development costs may be higher in that case.

Mr. Trammell: Has the Community Reuse Organization of East Tennessee been involved in discussions?

Mr. McCracken: They have not been involved in the preparation of reports. We involve them in attempts to transfer and lease properties to tenants. They understand where we’re going and what properties will be available to them.

Mr. Adams: Has a floodplain analysis been done?

Yes, I believe it has.

Mr. Smith: With what precision do you anticipate being able to demark to what depth the soil can be dug following cleanup?

The precision of sampling and therefore of institutional controls has yet to be determined. Mr. McCracken: If we say the soil is clean to 2 feet and we don’t have any other areas identified otherwise, that means you can dig to 2 feet.

Deputy Designated Federal Official and Ex-Officio Comments

Mr. McCracken announced that the revised Risk-Based End States Vision for the Oak Ridge Reservation is available at the DOE Information Center and on the EM web site. Comments are due by March 5. The document recommends three variances: capping of the K-1070-B/C/D Burial Grounds, alternative technologies for remediation of Trenches 5 and 7 at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and use of dose-based criteria for ETTP building surface contamination. “We don’t have any variances that rethink big decisions,” he said.

Mr. Adler noted that the revised Federal Facility Agreement (FFA) Appendix E was distributed this evening (Attachment 2), and it has been sent to regulators. TDEC has approved it, although recent cuts in the EM budget have yet to be discussed. Mr. Crane added that the new Appendix E now contains construction start and complete dates; these are not enforceable milestones, but they are important information to have.

Mr. Owsley answered several questions sent to him in advance of the meeting by Mr. Mosby:

            What is the status of footprint reduction and the state’s position on it? The project was initiated by DOE with assistance from TDEC in 1996 to explore the possibility of removing undeveloped portions of the reservation from the National Priorities List. About 85% of the reservation has never been developed. The effort considered historical data, remote sensing data, walkovers, and maps. A report was generated by DOE. Those areas requiring additional cleanup were added to Appendix C of the FFA; areas not requiring cleanup were recommended for “No Further Investigation” status. There are no plans to take action at this time, but sometime in the future a decision will be made whether these areas can be removed from the National Priorities List. The state’s position is that it is ready to be a party to the decision. Mr. McCracken added that much information is available on this project, and he would like to see DOE and the SSAB continue working on it. Mr. Trammell said that he thought it was part of the Performance Management Plan mandate.

            Is the state’s guidance on perpetual institutional control still in place? The policy, which was instituted under the previous administration, states that if DOE wishes to consider perpetual controls as a final remedy, then it must provide assured funding (something other than annual appropriations). The present administration has indicated that the policy still stands. Mr. Trammel asked if EMWMF was the only project or area for which DOE had agreed to provide assured funding and if DOE and the state agree on the definition of institutional controls. Mr. Owsley said that while the state and DOE agree on the definition of institutional controls, they do not agree on whether funding is required. At this time EMWMF is the only site where long-term institutional control has been identified as a final remedial decision; interim RODS and measures such as caps are in place in several areas of the reservation. The state has agreed that natural attenuation is a reasonable approach for the majority of risk in Melton Valley for now, but the final decision has not been reached. The issue will have to be resolved soon because of ETTP closure in 2008. Mr. McCracken remarked that the agreement on EMWMF is the only such arrangement in the country that he is aware of. And while there is no doubt that other areas of the reservation will require institutional controls, whether DOE will agree to more trust funds is another issue. The DOE-Headquarters’ position is that annual appropriations will be used to support the controls.

            What is the status of the Upper East Fork Poplar Creek FFS? The document has been delayed at EPA’s request for three months because of changes in personnel. This should not affect the schedule for the ROD, which is due in October 2005. Work scheduled in ROD will not start until after 2008. Mr. Crane remarked that EPA is in the process of finalizing funding for two new employees to work on Accelerated Closure aspects of cleanup at the Savannah River Site and Oak Ridge. He hopes to have a meeting in early March to start work on the FFS.

            What is the status of Site Treatment Plan milestones for mixed transuranic (TRU) waste? TDEC and DOE are at the last level of the formal dispute process regarding whether the state has jurisdiction over mixed TRU waste. It is in the state’s purview to act unilaterally to issue milestones regarding this waste. If the state does this, DOE’s only appeal will be through the courts. TDEC has been working with DOE to establish reasonable milestones, understanding that the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant is not currently open to accept these wastes from Oak Ridge. Regardless, the state holds to the fact that it has jurisdiction.

Public Comment


Announcements and Other Board Business

The next Board meeting will be Wednesday, March 10, at the DOE Information Center. The presentation topic will be ETTP covenant deferrals.

Minutes of the January 14, 2004, Board meeting were approved without change.

Committee Reports

Board Finance - Mr. Trammell reported that the Board Finance Committee met January 22 to discuss options for board staffing and the procedure for travel requests. The Finance Committee will review requests only to determine if money is available; it will then send them on to the Executive Committee for approval. The committee also reviewed last month’s expenditures and FY 2005 committee budget requests. The final FY 2005 budget will be developed at the next committee meeting. Ms. Halsey added that she met with the DOE Contracts Officer and the DOE Procurement Specialist. A contractor to replace BJC has been identified, and the Statement of Work is 99% complete. The Request for Proposals package is being put together for Small Business Administration approval. Ms. Halsey has been assured that a new contract will be in place by mid-March. The contract is based on the requirement that Pete Osborne and Jeannie Brandstetter will be employed by the contractor to supply support for the board. Mr. Adams asked if the board can interview the contractor. Ms. Halsey said she can request a meeting prior to award of the contract.

EM - Mr. Gibson reported that the EM Committee met January 21 to discuss Corehole 8. The anticipated approach for the project will be to perform an engineering study to obtain data about the concentrations and characteristics of contaminants. This data will be compared to that obtained by the Bethel Valley Groundwater Engineering Study (BVGES). The committee has some concern that BVGES will not look at in situ remediation options. A response from DOE was received on the board’s Corehole 8 recommendation from last year. The committee began discussing TRU issues and will discuss them in more depth in March. The committee was going to look at ETTP historic preservation issues in February, but the topic was put on hold; instead, the meeting will focus on the ETTP site-wide ROD. Ms. Halsey noted that the Architectural Consultant’s Report on ETTP historic preservation options would be ready soon and would be made public.

Public Outreach - Mr. Mulvenon reported that the Public Outreach Committee met February 3 to discuss, among other topics, a possible exhibit at the American Museum of Science and Energy [minutes of the meeting were distributed (Attachment 3)]. Museum officials Jim Comish and Steve Stow attended the committee meeting to discuss the concept, and they invited members to view potential exhibit spaces.  Ms. Cothron, Mr. Mulvenon, and Mr. Osborne visited the museum on February 5, and a preferred space was identified. The committee’s February 12 meeting will focus on outreach to legislators and presentations to Oak Ridge and Powell high schools.

Stewardship - Ms. Campbell reported that work on the Stewardship Education Resource Kit is progressing. Mr. Sheth and Ms. Kosny have provided helpful insight from their schools. Ms. Murawski is working on detailed teacher plans for the kit, and Ms. Cothron is developing stewardship case studies. The Education Subcommittee is reviewing videos for stewardship tie-ins.

Mr. Adams reported that the Stewardship Committee met January 20 to review ongoing committee activities. Mr. Adams said that he will attend the Waste Management ‘04 conference and participate in the poster session and an Oak Ridge session led by Gerald Boyd. A poster is being developed for the conference explaining recent innovations in integrating stewardship information in city and county Property Assessor and Register of Deeds systems. The next committee meeting will focus on the Remediation Effectiveness Report.

Executive - Mr. Mosby reported that the Executive Committee met January 29. Mr. Adams’ travel request to the Waste Management ’04 conference was approved, as was funding for several outreach activities. The current ORSSAB budget table is attached to the Executive Committee minutes.

Federal Coordinator Report

Ms. Halsey made several reports:

            Cleanup ProgressAnnual Report to the Oak Ridge Community has been distributed.

            A kickoff meeting for updating the Public Involvement Plan for CERCLA Activities at the DOE Oak Ridge Reservation will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday at the DOE Information Center. A draft of the plan should be out by the end of May.

            The Executive Committee discussed several presentations for future board meetings. The committee selected for March a discussion of the ETTP covenant deferral process. Susan Cange will make the presentation, and she will also address vapor intrusion issues. Mr. Crane added that EPA will send someone to participate.

The meeting adjourned at 8:20 p.m.



Ms. Cothron moved to approve the minutes of the January 14, 2004, Board meeting. Mr. Adams seconded the motion, and the motion was unanimously approved (Ms. Murawski was absent for the vote).

Respectfully submitted,

Luis Revilla, Secretary


Attachments (3) to these minutes are available upon request from the ORSSAB support office.

Action Items

1.    Ms. Halsey will request that the board be allowed to meet with potential new contractors that will be supplying support services to the board. Completed 3/15/04