Many Voices Working for the Community

Oak Ridge
Site Specific Advisory Board

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Approved March 10, 2004, Meeting Minutes

The Oak Ridge Site Specific Advisory Board (ORSSAB) held its regularly scheduled monthly meeting on Wednesday, March 10, 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
Jake Alexander
Dick Berry
Rhonda Bogard
Donna Campbell
Heather Cothron
Amy DeMint
Luther Gibson
John Kennerly
Bob McLeod
John Million
David Mosby, Chair
Norman Mulvenon, Vice Chair
Luis Revilla, Secretary
Atur Sheth1
Christopher Smith
Kerry Trammell

1Student representative

Members Absent

Pat Hill
Barbara Kosny1
Linda Murawski
George Rimel2

2Second consecutive absence

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

Jim McBrayer, Bechtel Jacobs Company LLC (BJC)
Pete Osborne, BJC

Thirteen members of the public attended the meeting.


Susan Cange of the DOE Reindustrialization Program gave a presentation on the covenant deferral process at the East Tennessee Technology Park (ETTP). This process allows for the transfer of property prior to completion of cleanup, provided its use is consistent with protection of human health and the environment. The presentation also touched on current investigations of the vapor intrusion pathway to ensure that transfers are protective. A copy of Ms. Cange’s presentation is included as Attachment 1.

The property transfer process at ETTP is being accomplished by DOE with assistance from the Community Reuse Organization of East Tennessee (CROET) and BJC. Twenty-six facilities that have the potential to be transferred were identified. To date, CROET has submitted proposals requesting transfer of eight facilities, including five office buildings (K-1007, K-1225, K-1330, K-1400, and K-1580); two manufacturing facilities (K-1035 and K-1036); and one land parcel (ED-5 East). DOE concurred with the proposals, and transfer of the office buildings is scheduled to be complete by June 2004. Transfer of the other three facilities will be complete by October 2004. Concurrence by the State of Tennessee and EPA is required for the covenant deferral process to be used to transfer the properties.

To demonstrate that the transfers are protective of human health and the environment, DOE performed radiological surveys, and because volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are present in groundwater at the site, EPA recommended investigation of vapor intrusion to determine if VOC vapors are migrating to within the buildings. The results of the vapor intrusion sampling are available at the DOE Information Center Internet site ( Comments will be accepted through March 20, 2004.

After the presentation, the following questions were asked by members of the Board and the public, and the following responses were given by Ms. Cange.


Response (abridged)

Mr. Revilla: Are there restrictions by the city or state on the uses to which transferred properties can be put?

Yes, there are DOE restrictions on use, consistent with the environmental assessments that were done.

Mr. Revilla: Are restrictions publicly available?

Yes, they’re available in the building deeds.


Mr. Revilla: Who is responsible for the ultimate demolition of properties once the new owners are through with them?

The new owners are responsible for demolition. They can also transfer the buildings to other owners, again, consistent with deed restrictions.

Mr. Gibson: Did anyone consider surface flux measurements over the VOC plumes to see if there were any vaporous emissions?

We discussed installing piezometers, but EPA thought it would not be representative of what’s happening in the buildings.

Mr. Gibson: Attenuation factors seem to be in the ballpark, but how were they selected?

The trigger levels were established by looking at the air preliminary remediation goals and identifying a 1x10-5 risk and a hazard index of 0.1. Attenuation was considered because we used the air preliminary remediation goals and were trying to evaluate what happens in the time the air moves from beneath the slab to where someone would be breathing it.

Mr. Gibson: It appears that you used the same attenuation factors on all five buildings. Is that because of the design?

The reason why we’re collecting the sub-slab samples first is because there are so many factors that can influence the air results, such as someone removing nail polish on their lunch break. By doing sub-slab collection first, you can tell if there is even the potential for intrusion into the building.

Mr. Gibson: On the K-1580 report there were five sampling locations but only four reported. What happened there?

We were unable to collect the fifth sample. We have to obtain an excavation/penetration permit prior to sampling, and we’re only allowed to work in the specified area. We kept hitting metal boxes, so we were unable to collect the final sample.

Mr. Gibson: Did objective observers participate to assure correct purging of samples?

Yes, observers were there to assure that the canisters were pulled appropriately.

Mr. Million: How do you collect samples through building slabs?

We drill through the floor to create a pathway and then insert a canister, trapping air within it. The canister is sent to a laboratory for analysis.

Mr. Trammell: Is it reasonable to say that if the correct cleanup decisions are not made now that it will affect future use of ETTP?

Yes, but I should add that the primary source for vapor intrusion is from the VOCs in groundwater. At ETTP, the groundwater has been monitored for over 10 years, and a steady decrease has been observed in VOC concentrations. Unless some new source is introduced, this problem should be lessening as a remedy is implemented.

Mr. Kennerly: Are the transfers making a patchwork quilt of ETTP?

Yes, but the overall vision is that other remediated facilities and lands will later be released, creating a more contiguous industrial park.

Mr. Kennerly: Could unremediated lands adversely affect transferred properties?

The deeds are the key in determining what uses buildings may be put to and therefore in identifying the potential for migration of contaminants. Any migration of contaminants would, of course, be addressed.

Mr. Kennerly: How do you decide how much property goes with the buildings?

Currently we’re transferring the buildings with the underlying property. For the first five office buildings, we’re looking at including ancillary facilities, such as air condition units.

Mr. Kennerly: Does that include parking lots?

Parking lots will not be transferred at this time, but easements will be given. Parking lots will be released once remediation activities at the site are complete.

Mr. Alexander: What release standard will be used for surface contamination inside buildings?

We’re using DOE Order 5400.5.

Mr. Alexander: Does the addendum to the environmental assessment cover all this activity, or will there be any other National Environmental Policy Act documentation?

The environmental assessment covers this activity.

Mr. Alexander: What is the enforcement authority for deed restrictions?

The enforcement is that DOE can seek restrictions through the district courts.

Mr. Alexander: If the ownership changed hands could DOE enforce restrictions to the new owner of the land?

I’m not sure what the plans are for maintaining some sort of database; that’s a question for the DOE Realty Office.

Mr. Mulvenon: If CROET transfers the property to a private entity, it goes into the public domain. It then comes under the purview of the Roane County deed system. Has this been discussed with the county?

I’m not sure; that’s really a question for CROET.

Mr. Mosby: Is the property being transferred coming off the list used to figure payment in lieu of taxes?


Mr. McCloud: Are you saying that if you find VOC vapors in the soil that you will not monitor the indoor air quality?

No. If we find vapors in the soil, we will monitor the air in the building; if we do not, we will not monitor the air.

Mr. McCloud: Are you assuming then that there is no source in the buildings for VOCs?

If there are VOC sources in the buildings, they will be regulated by governing licenses and permits. For example, the 1200 complex is leased to companies that use VOCs; the state monitors those activities. There are no VOC sources in the five office buildings I mentioned.

Mr. Adams: Is the vapor sampling done over time or all at once?

We’ve scheduled one sampling in summer and one in winter.

Mr. Adams: You made reference to the water table and the VOC concentrations. Has the water table gone up or down?

I don’t know. My comments were related only to concentrations of VOCs in groundwater.

Mr. Berry: Are there restrictions on what type of structures can be built?

There are restrictions in the deeds governing what can be built.

Mr. Smith: Who is the regulating authority after the property is released by DOE?

The City of Oak Ridge.

Ms. Gawarecki: As the VOC plumes degrade over time, they produce different breakdown products, the most persistent of them being vinyl chloride. Have you looked at this aspect of vapor monitoring?

It’s my understanding that we looked not only at the constituents but at the degradation products as well.

Ms. Gawarecki: What is the status of two current tenants, M&EC and MCL, being allowed to staying in their buildings?

There are several factors to consider, and we’re still working through them. The decision on M&EC has not been made. (Mr. McCracken added that M&EC can stay in its building through the end of its lease in 2008; any time beyond that is in discussion. If there is a way to let their operation continue and then close the facility under their various licenses and permits, then DOE can support that. However, M&EC is going to have to take the initiative to make this happen through their license and permit issuers.)

Deputy Designated Federal Official and Ex-Officio Comments

Mr. McCracken made two announcements:

$    Significant steps have been taken in getting shipments of depleted uranium hexafluoride cylinders underway. Shipments should be starting in the very near future.

$    A meeting to discuss historic preservation issues at ETTP will be held March 16 at 8:00 a.m. at the DOE Information Center.

Mr. Adler announced that a public meeting was held March 9 in the Vestal community concerning the startup of cleanup activities at the Witherspoon sites.

Public Comment

Mr. Gibson remarked that the East Tennessee Chapter of the Air and Waste Management Association will hold a meeting at 11:30 a.m. on March 19 at Sagebrush restaurant. The TDEC Deputy Director of Air Pollution Control will speak on the Ozone Early Action Compact Update.

Mr. Berry informed the Board that a new book by Isaac Asimov is available: “The Oppenheimer Case…Security on Trial.” He also mentioned an article from the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists related to the how the earth is responding to ecological challenges. Copies are available from Mr. Berry.

Mr. Trammell reported that he had worked last week in Nashville with the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce committee looking at accelerated cleanup. Karen Stchowski, Deputy Commissioner of Environment and Conservation, and John Owsley spoke to the group about accelerated cleanup.

Announcements and Other Board Business

The next Board meeting will be Wednesday, April 14, at the DOE Information Center. The presentation topic is to be determined.

Minutes of the February 11, 2004, Board meeting were approved with one editorial change.

The Board approved comments (as amended by Mr. Alexander) on the Oak Ridge Reservation Risk-Based End State Vision, Revision D1, February 1, 2004 (Attachment 2).

Committee Reports

Board Finance - Mr. Trammell reported that at its February meeting the committee reviewed travel requests for the National Academies of Sciences Stewardship Workshop, staffing issues, the FY 2005 budget request, and a draft Procedure for Approval of ORSSAB Expenditures (Attachment 3). The procedure explains the role of the Board Finance Committee in the expenditure approval chain. The committee’s role is to determine if funds are available; the Executive Committee is the only body that actually approves expenditures.

Environmental Management - Mr. Gibson reported that the committee’s February meeting was to center on historic preservation, but the agenda was changed to focus on follow-up on the Focused Feasibility Study for ETTP Zone 2 Soils. The committee also discussed in situ vitrification versus grouting for Trenches 5 and 7 in Melton Valley. In March the committee will discuss transuranic waste issues and a possible recommendation to encourage the State of New Mexico to expedite opening of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant to Oak Ridge remote-handled transuranics.

Public Outreach - Mr. Mulvenon reported that he and Mr. Adams had given a presentation at Powell High School on February 18. Mr. Mulvenon gave a solo presentation at Oak Ridge High School on February 27.

Stewardship - Mr. Adams reported that he and Mr. Trammell participated in a poster session at the Waste Management ’04 conference in Tucson last week [Mr. Trammell’s trip report was distributed (Attachment 4)]. Stewardship Committee member Lorene Sigal will give a presentation on March 16 at the National Academies of Sciences Stewardship Workshop in Washington, D.C. Mr. Sheth reported that the Stewardship Education Subcommittee is continuing its work on the Stewardship Education Kit.

Executive Committee - Mr. Mosby reported that the committee’s February meeting was postponed until March 8 because of bad weather. At the meeting, the committee approved the Procedure for Approval of ORSSAB Expenditures and travel requests for the National Academies workshop and for the Spring SSAB Chairs Meeting.

Federal Coordinator Report

Ms. Halsey reported that she has been working on a letter to Sandra Waisley at DOE-Headquarters identifying how DOE-ORO will support ORSSAB in FY 2005. She has also been working with the DOE contracts office to identify the 8(a) contractor that will assume BJC’s role in supporting the Board. The transition should take place by the end of March. In response to a request from Mr. Adams at the last Board meeting, she has been able to secure a place for two Board members as Contract Technical Monitors for the 8(a) contract. Mr. Adams and Mr. Mulvenon were identified at the March 8 Executive Committee meeting as the monitors.

Mr. Alexander asked Ms. Halsey to comment on a letter from Mike Owens at DOE-Headquarters announcing the establishment of the Office of Legacy Management (Attachment 5). How, he asked, is DOE-ORO’s reporting affected by this organizational change? Mr. McCracken responded that stewardship responsibility for Oak Ridge will remain with the DOE-ORO Manager.

The meeting adjourned at 8:30 p.m.



Mr. Revilla moved to approve the amended minutes of the February 11, 2004, Board meeting. Mr. Gibson seconded the motion, and the motion was unanimously approved.


Mr. Alexander moved to approve the amended comments on the Oak Ridge Reservation Risk-Based End State Vision, Revision D1, February 1, 2004. Ms. Cothron seconded the motion, and the motion was approved by a vote of 15 in favor, one abstention (Mr. Berry).

Respectfully submitted,

Luis Revilla, Secretary


Attachments (5) to these minutes are available upon request from the ORSSAB support office.

Action Items