Many Voices Working for the Community
The Oak Ridge Site Specific
Advisory Board (ORSSAB) held its regularly scheduled monthly meeting on
David Mosby, Chair
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
John Owsley, Ex
Jeannie Brandstetter, Spectrum
Pete Osborne, BJC
One member of the public attended the meeting.
A tentatively scheduled presentation on investigations into the May 8 ETTP sodium fire and the May 14 strontium-90 spill on Highway 95 was postponed, but Mr. Adler did provide a brief update on the investigations’ progress, the reports from which have not been completed. Situations at both sites are stable. He asked that the Board consider co-sponsoring a public meeting to “roll out” the findings. Specific time and location have yet to be determined, but he will work with the Executive Committee to set a date and location.
During and after the presentation, the following questions were asked by members of the Board, and the following responses were given.
Mr. Kennerly – Only federal employees can be on a Type B investigation?
That’s my understanding. They tap into commercial and private expertise, but they are headed by federal employees.
DeMint – Are
free liquids normally allowed at
No. There are restrictions on how much free liquid can come in a waste to the cell. Hazardous waste has to pass a test where you put the material on a piece of paper and see if water drips through. In the case of low level waste, there’s an allowance for no more than one percent. We don’t go for zero moisture, because a little bit of moisture helps with dust control, but we aren’t disposing of free liquids in any significant volume at the cell.
Mr. Trammell – I’d like to ask when you do have the meeting that you start out with some basic information about what you’re talking about. A lot of us aren’t real familiar with either one of the items that they had the problem with. If you can talk in layman’s terms about it and try to put it in perspective for us, I think that would help the public rather than having a scientist come in and start discussing things that won’t mean any thing to us.
We’ll make sure there’s proper background to set the stage for the more technical discussions involved.
Mr. Mulvenon – (The meeting should) tell us what really happened for both the sodium fire and the strontium spill. What are the issues involved, what happened? How did it happen? The question about free liquids is important – did it meet those requirements.
Those are the questions we’re asking. And we’ll do our best to present it in a way people can understand.
Mr. Mosby – An important question I’ve heard is “Is Accelerated Cleanup putting undue pressure on safety?” How do you ensure you get an independent look at whether these activities are related to Accelerated Cleanup?
I want to be careful not to say anything that would prejudge the efforts of those groups, so I won’t speculate as to what the problem was or how it can be fixed. There’s independence between the groups doing the study and the groups responsible for the activity. They will not just look at technical issues. They will also look at human/institutional issues and attempt to determine what really caused the problems. The report will draw conclusions and make recommendations.
Mr. Smith – We will host a meeting other than the regular SSAB meeting?
I expect the schedule will work out that it will be other than the regular Board meeting. Best estimate is early in the month of July.
Mr. Trammell – Will this investigation look at all aspects of the accidents, including non-DOE personnel’s response? If it’s not going to cover everybody, will there be a follow-up with those involved to debrief what happened?
I strongly suspect that the study looks not at just the cause, but also the nature and appropriateness of response actions.
Mr. Mulvenon – There are two basic things we are interested in – the accidents themselves, and the emergency response. The SSAB is not the only group interested in the emergency response. Make sure that that takes place.
Deputy Designated Federal Official and Ex-Officio Comments
Mr. Adler announced that the public meeting for the Proposed Plan for the Amendment of the Record of Decision for Interim Actions for the Melton Valley Watershed at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee: Revised Remedial Action for Seepage Trenches 5 and 7 is , Wednesday, June 16. The document addresses the change from in situ vitrification to in situ grouting as a treatment method for the trenches.
The Proposed Plan for Remedial Actions in Zone 2 at ETTP has been submitted to regulators. Expectations are that a comment period will be set and a public meeting scheduled sometime in July. Zone 2 includes about 800 acres inside the ETTP that are intended for eventual private industrial use.
Ms. Jones had no announcements, but offered to respond to questions.
Mr. Owsley had no announcements, but offered to respond to Board member questions. Mr. Trammell inquired about the state’s involvement in the investigations. Mr. Owsley said the state had submitted to DOE a list of questions to be answered, most of which have already been addressed. He said the emergency response to both incidents and transportation requirements are among two topics in which the state is very much interested. Questions not answered by DOE will be followed up on.
Mr. Adams asked about
municipal emergency responders and if they would be involved in any debriefing.
Mr. Owsley pointed out that T
Mr. Kennerly asked Mr. Owsley and Ms. Jones if their agencies were informed of the events in a timely fashion. Both said their agencies were notified in a timely manner.
Daniel M. Axelrod, retired
nuclear engineer and Presidential candidate of the Constructive Action Party,
asked when the advertised topic of the
Announcements and Other Board Business
Minutes of the
The Board approved “Comments on the DOE Public Involvement Plan” (Attachment 3).
The Board approved “ORSSAB Response to Oak Ridge Reservation Chemical Fire, RAD Spill” (Attachment 4) with amendments. Ms. Bogard asked that a reference to DOE’s past safety record be removed because it isn’t clear if the reference is to Oak Ridge Offices or all of DOE. Mr. Smith suggested removing a reference to “municipalities” since none have been identified as speaking out against DOE.
The Board approved the
election of Mr. Adams, Mr.
Mr. Adler welcomed
A presentation due to be made to outgoing member Mr. Rimel was postponed. Ms. Halsey said she would check his availability to attend the July Board meeting to accept his service plaque.
The agenda was approved with
the addition of Mr. Mulvenon’s request to seek an extension of the comment
period for the Proposed Plan for the Amendment of the Record of
Decision for Interim Actions for the Melton Valley Watershed at the Oak Ridge
National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee: Revised Remedial Action for Seepage
Trenches 5 and 7 under Item XI. Mr. Mosby sought to remove Item VII.F – consecutive
Board Finance - Mr. Trammell referred
members to the report supplied in the notebook. He said early indications are
that the Spectrum contract will have quite an impact on the budget. Members are
also studying the future role of a committee facilitator and expected impacts
on spending. An Executive Committee meeting to discuss the issue will be held
Thursday, June 17 at the
Ms. Halsey said she has received the format for the Board’s 2005 budget request to prepare for submission to headquarters. Mr. Mosby asked if the Board would be granted an increase in budget, and if there is anything the Board can do to improve potential for a fully-funded budget. She expects headquarters will make it as difficult as possible, but has a definitive need for that increase due to DOE-HQ prescribed changes to staffing support. She further noted that ORSSAB has one of the lowest levels of funding complex-wide and one of the largest reservations to watch over.
Because Mr. McCracken as yet is unaware of the budget increase due to the change in staffing structure, but he will be responsible for defending the increase to headquarters, Mr. Mosby suggested the Board Finance or Executive Committee send him a letter or meet with him to impress the importance of the Board’s financial needs. Ms. Halsey said a meeting in person might be more effective and said she could work to help set up a meeting between Mr. McCracken and the Board Finance Committee.
Mr. Trammell noted that judging from the Rocky Flats advisory board’s budget being cut almost in half, the ORSSAB might be in trouble. Mr. Mosby said that made it more important to educate Mr. McCracken about the Board’s needs prior to his having to defend the increase in funding.
Environmental Management – Mr. Mulvenon reported the
committee had been briefed by DOE on the ETTP Sitewide Work Plan, the ETTP Zone
2 Proposed Plan and the Proposed Plan for changes to the treatment of Trenches
5 and 7 in
He said a letter requesting an extension of the Public Comment Period for the Proposed Plan for the Amendment of the Record of Decision for Interim Actions for the Melton Valley Watershed at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee: Revised Remedial Action for Seepage Trenches 5 and 7 would be written and sent to allow the committee to write comments on the plan. The next meeting is June 16 at , when the committee is expected to formulate those comments.
Mr. Trammell noted his appreciation for the DOE-EPA-TDEC core team approach to project management. He said the apparent willingness of the agencies to work together in real time to accomplish accelerated cleanup goals seems to be having a positive impact.
Public Outreach – Mr. Mulvenon reported
that the committee had formulated the comments on the Public Involvement Plan
and members continue to work on the display about the ORSSAB at the
There are plans for Board
members to participate in
Ms. Campbell, Ms. Cothron
and Ms. Murawski provided to the Board an extensive update (Attachment 5) on
Ms. Campbell said the ultimate goal is to help students understand issues and activities relating to long-term stewardship, in addition to dispelling misinformation regarding the reservation. If those education goals are not developed, met and maintained, there is the potential for lost funding, unnecessary exposure and inappropriate use of land.
Ms. Murawski has been
compiling the notebook, which is in draft form. It includes lesson plans (five
stand-alone units) on topics such as Environmental Management, Legacy Waste and
Ms. Cothron researched case
studies for the kit, noting the difficulty she had locating information beyond
cleanup. Information contained in the draft uses a fictional site; the final
product will feature a study more tailored to
Mr. Smith said the kit is
exactly the kind of product the Board should be producing. Mr. Trammell noted
that Boards across the complex are dealing with the same kinds of
Mr. McCracken said the committee’s efforts to educate future generations are invaluable. He suggested that to present the material in a way that is durable and memorable could eventually result in its becoming a part of the education of local students.
Ms. Hill said as a former teacher she appreciated the effort of the subcommittee, noting that knowledge about any topic can sometimes alleviate uncertainty and fear.
He noted that all members are invited to attend the Thursday, June 17 meeting at to discuss the pros and cons of facilitation. Mr. Trammell suggested that anyone who could not attend but had comments or suggestions about facilitation contact Mr. Mosby or Mr. Mulvenon before the meeting. Ms. Halsey reported that she has procured a DOE facilitator for the June 17 meeting.
Nominating Committee – Mr. Adams, Mr. McLeod and
Ms. Halsey made three announcements:
Several promising individuals had applied for Board membership since
the recruitment drive had begun.
A draft fact sheet on an Explanation of Significant difference for the
· DOE is already working to reconcile the Public Involvement Plan comments, based on the draft supplied following the May Board meeting. Another meeting to discuss comment response will be scheduled soon after formal comments are received by DOE.
Additions to Agenda
Mr. Mulvenon requested an extension to July 15 of the Public Comment Period for the Proposed Plan for the Amendment of the Record of Decision for Interim Actions for the Melton Valley Watershed at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee: Revised Remedial Action for Seepage Trenches 5 and 7 because the Board can’t vote on any recommendation until its July meeting.
The meeting adjourned at
Mr. Mulvenon moved to
approve the minutes of the
Mr. Mulvenon moved to
approve the minutes of the
Mr. Mulvenon moved to approve the Comments on the DOE Public Involvement Plan. Mr. Million seconded, and the motion was unanimously approved.
Ms. Cothron moved to approve the ORSSAB Response to Oak Ridge Reservation Chemical Fire and RAD Spill to Steve McCracken. Mr. Trammell seconded the motion, and it was unanimously approved as amended.
Mr. Adams moved to approve the selection of a nominating committee. Mr. Million seconded the motion, and it was unanimously approved.
Mr. Mulvenon moved to approve a request that DOE extend the public comment period on the Proposed Plan for the Amendment of the Record of Decision for Interim Actions for the Melton Valley Watershed at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Ms. Hill seconded the motion, and it was unanimously approved.
1. Ms. Halsey will set up a meeting between Steve McCracken and Board members to discuss the Board’s FY 2005 budgetary needs.
Attachments (5) to these minutes are available on request from the ORSSAB support office.