Many Voices Working for the Community

Oak Ridge
Site Specific Advisory Board

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Approved July 14, 2004, Meeting Minutes

The Oak Ridge Site Specific Advisory Board (ORSSAB) held its regularly scheduled monthly meeting on Wednesday, July 14, 2004, at the DOE Information Center in Oak Ridge, beginning at 6 p.m. A video of the meeting was made and may be viewed by phoning the Information Center at 865-241-4780.


Members Present

Ben Adams

Jake Alexander

Heather Cothron

Dick Berry

Rhonda Bogard

Donna Campbell

Luther Gibson

John Kennerly

Zach Ludwig1

Bob McLeod

Katie Meersman1

John Million

David Mosby, Chair

Norman Mulvenon, Vice Chair

Linda Murawski

Luis Revilla, Secretary


Christopher Smith

Kerry Trammel 


Members Absent

Amy DeMint

Pat Hill

Stephanie Jernigan1


1Student representative 


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 Official

Connie Jones, Ex Officio, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

John Owsley, Ex Officio, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC)


Others Present

Jeannie Brandstetter, Spectrum

Pete Osborne, Bechtel Jacobs Company


Three members of the public attended the meeting.


Connor Matthews, the facilitator for the Aug. 7 Board retreat, was introduced. He discussed the retreat agenda, Board member survey and the purpose of the event:

·         Where is the organization?

·         How is ORSSAB doing?

·         What could you be doing better?

·         What is focus for next year?


Three outputs are expected from the retreat:

·         FY 2005 Work Plan

·         Organizational Structure

·         Increased participation


DOE, EPA and TDEC ex officios presented to the Board each agency’s preferences for topics to be studied in FY 2005.


Mr. Adler noted that the EM program is seeing a shift from “what decisions will we make?” and “what scope will we clean up?” to “how do we implement decisions made?” Of DOE’s recommendations for ORSSAB study in FY 2005, there’s a mixture of decision processes and oversight of ongoing field activities. DOE’s seven named priorities:

·         Integration of Historic Preservation into Closure Activities

·         Oversight of ETTP Demolition/Disposition/Transportation

·         Bethel Valley Corehole 8/Groundwater Engineering Study Report

·         Upper East Fork Poplar Creek Soils Proposed Plan

·         CERCLA 5-Year Review/Institutional Control Status

·         Low Level Waste Disposition

·         CERCLA Waste Facility Expansion


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





Response (abridged)

Mr. Adams – Transportation is a major issue. Are you planning to build new roads or routes that will keep K-25-type material off our roads?

We are evaluating alternatives to existing public roads that would make it possible to minimize our use of existing public roads. It’s a huge volume of material that we’re talking about transferring from the ETTP area - thousands of truckloads. We are looking at building a new road to make that operation safer.

Mr. Adams - Cut us in on that process pretty early.


Mr. Mosby – If we were to limit the scope of what we pursue, are there any of these (topics) that rate more importance?

Oversight of the ETTP building demo activities including transportation of building disposition materials would be a significant priority for us. I’m reluctant to prioritize because I don’t think they’re major tasks and I hope we can kind of squeeze them onto your plate. Corehole 8 shouldn’t be a very big deal - that’s a presentation or you can comment. I’d say that the decision-making for the Y-12 site will be a pretty high priority for us. That’s a decision that will determine the fate of tens of millions of dollars. The activities are a few years down the road, but the decisions are near-term. The next one I would list is oversight activities on low-level waste disposition activities. Everything I’ve mentioned is in Tier 1. Everything else is in Tier 2. I realize we can’t ask for too much.

Mr. Trammell – One of the things we spent a lot of time and did a lot of work on was TRU waste issues. I don’t see anything mentioned in here.

That’s not out of desire to prevent you from delving into that. One issue hasn’t changed. We need a pathway for disposition of remote-handled TRU waste and your continued interest in that is encouraged.


Mr. McCracken – From a status standpoint, it should be something you would want us to update you on. It’s not going to be an easy task and it’s an important one. To ask for regular updates is a good idea, just to keep a light on it.

Mr. Gibson – Are you getting waste that’s going to the TSCA incinerator in on the schedule that you envisioned to begin to undergo closure in 2006? Not only the waste we have locally but there are other sites that depend on it.

I’m not knowledgeable on the off-site waste situation, so I won’t speak to that, but certainly disposition of some portion of the waste stream that we’re trying to disposition by 2005 is dependent on incinerator operations. We would want, as part of the 2005 disposition project oversight, involvement to the oversight on the incinerator itself as one of the key disposition pathways for some of the waste.

Mr. Gibson - Is the schedule in place such that you can close the incinerator on schedule?

Mr. McCracken - For the purposes of our uses, yes. My direction is to close that facility in ’06 and tear it down in ’08. That’s my baseline. That doesn’t mean other people aren’t thinking about what future uses of the TSCA Incinerator might be. If something changes, I’ll let you know.


In her opening remarks, Connie Jones, EPA Region 4, noted that although DOE requests appropriate levels of funding, the budget does not fully fund ongoing projects. She encouraged the Board assist DOE in attaining adequate funding for Oak Ridge Offices, pointing out that any reduction in funding will slow cleanup progress.


Ms. Jones went on to cite four other areas EPA would like the Board to study:

·         Bethel Valley Corehole 8/Groundwater Engineering Study Report

·         CERCLA Waste Facility Expansion

·         Land Use Control Implementation Plans/Stewardship Initiatives

·         Use of Innovative Information Technologies (in support of stakeholder outreach, project planning/execution and land use controls


After the presentation, the following response was given by Ms. Jones to a question from Mr. Adams.





Response (abridged)

Mr. Adams – We’re not getting a lot out of headquarters on Long Term Stewardship. What can you do for us? We may need to turn to you. You have been complimentary of the way we have taken on things and tried to understand, and I don’t know that we’ve ever asked you specifically and I’d like for you to think about it. Maybe you can make suggestions. Maybe you can give us a technical advisor. You can do certain things toward assisting in a tracking mechanism. You have money, you have people, you have a different view. See if you can figure out something that can help us.

We’ve not been specifically asked. I can go back and see what assistance and resources we have to help you in that endeavor. 


John Owsley, TDEC, reiterated the point made by DOE and EPA that topics offered for addition to the Work Plan are not intended to limit the Board’s efforts.


Topics suggested by the state:

·         Long-Term Stewardship of ETTP

·         DOE’s Comprehensive Waste Disposition Plan for the ORR

·         Emergency Management Responsibilities

·         Spallation Neutron Source Waste Management/Environmental Monitoring Plans

·         Environmental Monitoring of the ORR and environs


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





Response (abridged)

Mr. Gibson – Some of the topics here, although they are covered in the Tennessee Oversight Agreement, are probably not within the scope of this board.

I was warned of that exact issue and for the record, the Spallation Neutron Source is not a DOE Environmental Management Program issue. Our Oversight Agreement is with the Department of Energy so we have a mandate to look at all impacts to public health and the environment. I didn’t ask permission to put that up there.

Mr. Gibson – With Emergency Management, the way you explained it, there may be something there, but that’s one of the ones that’s been looked at and viewed as questionable

Correct. Of the two incidents most recently, one was directly from an Environmental Management project; the other was not. It did occur at the East Tennessee Technology Park on property that will be relinquished for private use at some time in the future, so it will be an issue of importance to the state.


Mr. McCracken – If there’s time on the agenda sometime next year it may be of interest to this group to understand how we are set up to manage emergencies. It’s not an insignificant thing we do and I don’t know if anyone’s ever talked about how we stand up when an emergency occurs. You can think about it.

Mr. Mulvenon – This question actually crosses over all agencies. I’ve been thinking about core teams. A lot of the items that were listed depend on the cooperation between all the agencies. I continue not to get the flavor that the core team approach is working exactly like it should be. I’m asking all three agencies to comment on that.


From my perspective the core teams are working very well. We have always worked together. We have not always agreed. It is, in fact, cleanup by committee, so there are some protracted negotiations during some of the more contested decisions, but those negotiations have always conducted in professional and courteous manner. To our own credit, we’ve gotten a great deal of work done in the years we’ve been at it. We’ve turned the corner from studying to actually getting in the field and doing some work. From the state of Tennessee’s perspective, we have a very workable situation here where issues are dealt with by staff until they can’t be resolved and move up chain of command as quickly as possible. Those that can be resolved and expedited are done. Those that cannot, at least all three parties understand the situation.

Mr. Mulvenon - The Zone 2 Proposed Plan for ETTP was supposed to be released today and I understand it’s been delayed. I’m confused about why delays of that type occur with documents that have been “massaged” by the core teams.

To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t aware the document hadn’t been released, but that’s not unusual. I’m confident that work is getting done.


Ms. Jones – You’re right. I echo everything that John Owsley just said. All three parties and those representatives to the core teams work very, very hard. Some projects lend themselves to being a little more challenging. One of the big issues is the lack of time we have, specifically at ETTP, to try to do things in a very organized way based on the core team principles. It may appear that we don’t fully address issues, but in any project whether it’s remediation or a construction project there will be some things that inevitably come up at the last minute. It doesn’t stop the progress. It may slow it a little bit, but we work through those issues and that’s what we’re doing with the Zone 2 Proposed Plan. Specifically, these were not new issues. We thought we would be able to work through them – we were trying to get the documents in and out the door and one issue just didn’t quite cut it. It’s not a show-stopper; we’ll offer options and try to get that document through. In terms of the core teams, work is getting done. We may not have the luxury of time to tie all the ribbons around as neatly but we are addressing issues as they come as fast as we can to keep the projects moving


Mr. McCracken – There is no conceivable way I can think of we would be where we are now without the core team approach. It is so complicated when you’re dealing with Melton Valley and Y-12 and ETTP… and in carrying out the activities, we have to do it with everyone else watching because that’s the way we do work. Frankly I think it’s a study for getting things done within the DOE that you’ll never see anywhere else. We’ve gotten good at it. Given the magnitude of this job, if you did not drive the decision-making down to a core team level and give them some opportunity to make decisions, you’d never get anywhere. Does that mean you never have problems? No. We all know that when you get a work product done, there are going to be some people, whether in DOE or EPA or the state, that say, “I don’t like that.” That’s not to the detriment of the core team concept. It’s great. That doesn’t mean it’s without problems, but to the credit of these groups they continue to work together to get things done.


Deputy Designated Federal Official and Ex-Officio Comments

Mr. McCracken made three announcements:

·         With Jessie Roberson’s last day July 15, he expects Acting Assistant Secretary for EM Paul Golen soon will reveal what his plans are for his term in office.

·         The tentative date of July 15 for the public meeting on the two Type B investigations has been shifted, since Gerald Boyd has not yet received the reports. Mr. Boyd asked that the Board be assured that when received, the reports will be issued to the public through a meeting facilitated by the ORSSAB, and not before then.

·         Since the incident on Hwy. 95 there is increased interest in devising methods for transporting waste from Melton Valley and ETTP to the EMWMF waste cells without traveling on a public roadway. He noted that on a previous job (at another site) that would have entailed hauling 10,000 loads on public roads, an alternate route was constructed. Projections are for 50,000-70,000 loads of material to be moved from ETTP and Melton Valley to EMWMF.


Mr. McCracken said the leak on Hwy. 95 had a huge impact on the community, yet from a health standpoint, actual impact was negligible. The site shouldn’t allow such incidents to become the concern of the community. The public needs to be able to focus on issues that are genuine health concerns, and “that wasn’t it.” He said DOE intends to involve the state and public in the process.


Ms. Bogard asked why waste was being moved from ETTP to Y-12. Mr. McCracken said one component of cleanup for every major cleanup site in the DOE system, with the exception of Rocky Flats, is on-site disposal. The choice is whether you have an on-site capability for the whole reservation or an on-site capability for each of those valleys. The decision was made to have one on-site disposal facility for the entire reservation because that’s an easier thing to manage - one spot instead of three spots. He noted that it’s been common practice on the ORR to move things “in commerce” when necessary and to experience no problems. Taking into account the effects of the recent Hwy. 95 incident, Mr. McCracken said if problems do occur, he’d prefer they happen on a DOE-owned, non-public road. Now that DOE has to carry shipments “70,000 more times, what do you think the chances are that we might slip again?”


Mr. Mulvenon said past efforts by members of the public to prove that Oak Ridgers “don’t glow in the dark” were harmed by the incident. He said Board members stand behind DOE in its efforts to ensure no similar incidents ever occur. The Board’s offer to assist and advise is open at all times.


Mr. Kennerly mentioned his concern that intersections of a haul road be bridged with existing public roads to minimize the potential for an accident. Mr. McCracken said DOE would likely opt to go over or under existing roadways.


Mr. Adams asked that if a funding shortfall occurs and a road construction diverts money from other projects in the program, the Board be informed as soon as possible.


Mr. Adler made one announcement. The aforementioned delay in the release of the Proposed Plan for Zone 2 Soils at ETTP should be brief, and DOE expects the document to be ready soon. He predicts a public meeting will be held early in August. He noted that changes to the Proposed Plan don’t relate to a change in cleanup alternatives.


Ms. Jones made one announcement. The ETTP core team had finished dynamic verification strategy. The document is not finalized, but the team can provide information on that approach if and when it is desired by the Board or one of its committees.


Mr. Owsley made one announcement. A public hearing on the proposed Title V draft permits for DOE Oak Ridge Y-12 National Security Complex and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory will be held at 6 p.m. Aug. 19 at the DOEIC. These sources have applied to the Tennessee Air Pollution Control Division for major source operating permits subject to the provisions of paragraph 1200-3-9-.02(11) of the Tennessee Air Pollution Control Regulations.


Public Comment


Lorene Sigal, a member of the ORSSAB Stewardship Committee, commended the state and EPA for listing stewardship activities among the topics on which they’d like the Board to focus. She also thanked DOE for including the public on the five-year review, but asked that the agency begin to give consideration to how stewardship activities play into final Records of Decision.


Mr. Berry made five comments:

·         The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) Web site puts out a weekly newsletter where plans for continued expansion are outlined. He suggested members visit the site. (Two available sites are  and

·         Procurement for grouting of Trenches 5 and 7 in Melton Valley is being reviewed, and is written such that the prime contractor will perform the actual grouting. Because project management is not generally a role of companies which perform grouting, he suggested that a team approach is a preferred approach to the project.

·         The Civil Engineers Association recently produced a book titled “Management of the Hanford Engineering Works in World War II.” In terms of historic preservation, he said it contains all the elements of a product the Oak Ridge site ought to be producing, and he offered to loan it out.

·         He also offered to loan out his official program of the 1975-76 Freedom Train.

·         TVA’s Annual Environmental Report is available, and worth reading for its relation to air quality.


Announcements and Other Board Business

Mr. Mosby introduced Zach Ludwig, a junior at Knoxville’s Karns High School, as a student representative.


He omitted Item VII.D. from the agenda.


Mr. Revilla presented the minutes of the June 9, 2004 (Attachment 4) Board meeting along with changes (Attachment 5), which were unanimously approved.


After a presentation by Mr. Mulvenon on behalf of the Stewardship Committee, the Board approved the Annotated Outline for a Long-Term Stewardship Implementation Plan (Attachment 6) to prompt DOE’s creation of an implementation plan. He reminded members that Stewardship Strategic Plan has been signed and the next logical step is an implementation plan.


Mr. Gibson put forth a draft recommendation (Attachment 7) with editorial changes (Attachment 8) from the EM Committee on the Proposed Plan for the Amendment of the ROD for Interim Action in Melton Valley: Revised Remedial Action for Seepage Trenches 5 & 7 to approve DOE’s remedy option of in-situ grouting versus the previously selected option of in-situ vitrification.


Mr. Berry suggested that language in the recommendation be strengthened by removing references to “conditional” approval. He suggested approving the method, but asking DOE to provide the Board with its offering criteria already available.


Mr. Adams asked if the Board ought to pass on commenting, since DOE can not compel it to act. Mr. Mosby said the decision is the Board’s to make. Mr. McCracken noted that he agreed with Mr. Gibson’s concerns about the execution of the work and Mr. Berry’s comments. He further suggested that the Board may state its support of the substitution of grouting for ISV, with the proviso that successful execution of the work requires certain things. That would give the Board periodic opportunities to revisit the project.


Mr. Gibson said he intended that DOE pay special attention to design and implementation of the remedy, and agreed to reword the recommendation to remove references to “conditional” approval and clarify the Board’s comments.


Mr. Gibson noted that the recommendation will be copied to EPA and the state, and he hopes that if either of those agencies has reservations about the method, ORSSAB will receive a response to this recommendation.


The recommendation was passed with planned changes to omit references to “conditionally” approve the remedy option of grouting (Attachment 9).


Committee Reports

Board Finance - Mr. Trammell said discussion at the June 24 meeting focused on the 2005 budget. Staff support and requests for technical advisors has increased the budget, but the Board is in line with budget for this year and has no costs that are out of line. Mr. Kennerly asked if having a $35,000 rollover might hurt the FY 2005 budget request. Ms. Halsey said in 2005, the Board will spend its entire budget.


Environmental Management – Mr. Gibson reported that the EM committee met June 16 to hear an update from the ETTP team on Zone 2 soils. They heard a dry run made on the presentation being prepared for the presentation on Zone 2 at ETTP. Gerald Eddlemon has been tasked as a Technical Advisor to the committee and will review the Zone 2 Proposed Plan and summarize what the site will look like under that proposed plan. He has been invited to attend the committee’s next meeting July 21 at 5:30 p.m. where he will be introduced to members. Other items on that meeting’s agenda are key issues to approach at the retreat.


The abbreviated committee meeting was followed by a public meeting on the Proposed Plan for Amendment of the Record of Decision for Melton Valley Interim Actions: Seepage Trenches 5 and 7.


Public Outreach – Mr. Mulvenon reported that work continues on an exhibit for the Museum of Science and Energy. The new display for ORSSAB will include touch-screen computers which tell the story of cleanup. Mr. Mulvenon, Mr. McLeod and Ms. Cothron participated in the Board’s booth at the Oak Ridge Secret City Festival June 26. The 2003 Annual Report draft has been issued, with comments due to Mr. Osborne immediately, and the Advocate editorial plan is complete.


The committee has changed standard meeting day from the first Tuesday of the month to the last Tuesday of the month, and has begun crafting a work plan for the next fiscal year. The committee’s next meeting is July 27.


Stewardship – Mr. Adams discussed “the map” and displayed a hard copy of the draft map. He noted that the Tennessee Valley Authority will soon have completed a new map which makes use of the same (true north) grid preferred by the Stewardship Committee, which brings “the map” closer to fruition. Mr. Adams said the strength of the committee comes not from DOE-HQ or a uniform set of goals, but from the members who are working on products such as the Annotated Outline for a Long-Term Stewardship Implementation Plan and the Stewardship Education Resource Kit. He stated his hope for someone at headquarters to step forward and make Stewardship a priority now that Jessie Roberson is leaving the office of assistant secretary. The next meeting on July 20 will focus on retreat topics.


Executive Committee - Mr. Mosby said the Executive Committee has been discussing how the Board will handle committee facilitation for the coming year. The contract with The Perspectives Group expires in September. In addition, the current facilitator is several hundred miles away and is “inflexible about meeting with committee chairs to help them and expedite their agendas and their work plans,” and the committees might be better served by having a facilitator who is closer. At a special meeting on June 17, members established expectations and defined needs for a committee facilitator for FY 2005. A follow-up meeting on July 12 set action items of discussing with The Perspectives Group their ability/requirements for continued work with the Board, and to investigate more accessible facilitator options. He further noted that any new facilitator would be at a disadvantage for having not attended the retreat and witnessed the structure of the work plan. Mr. Berry suggested a DOE facilitator, such as was used for the June 17 meeting, but Mr. Mosby noted the perception of bias could impact committee and by extension, Board output. 


Board Process Committee – Mr. Revilla said plans were moving ahead for the Aug. 7 retreat at the DOEIC. The noon meal will be catered by Famous Dave’s of Knoxville, and he asked members with dietary restrictions to let staff know in advance. He pointed out the draft retreat agenda, and noted that the committee again meets Monday, July 19 at 5 p.m. to finalize plans for the retreat.


Nominating Committee – Mr. Adams, Mr. McLeod, Mr. Berry and Mr. Gibson proffered a slate of candidates on which Board members will vote at the meeting following the Saturday, Aug. 7 retreat. The proposed slate: Secretary, Rhonda Bogard; Vice-chair Bob McLeod; Chair, Kerry Trammell. Mr. Mosby asked for additional nominations. None were made, so the nominations were closed.


Federal Coordinator Report

Ms. Halsey made several announcements:

·         The Public Involvement Plan, due on July 15, went to the regulators on Monday, July 12. There is a copy of the D1 at the DOEIC. A color copy was sent to the Board for its files.

·         There was a review of the ESD fact sheet for addition of facilities in Melton Valley; the information sheet will be placed at the DOEIC July 15.

·         Mr. Osborne will be joining the Spectrum staff in late July. She had asked him to stay with BJC to use funding still held by that company. Some items to be funded by BJC include food for the retreat, technical advisor support for the Zone 2 Proposed Plan and Roane State’s evaluation and ranking of new Board member applications.

·         On July 15, the information center offices and meeting space will be utilized by a closed session for the first half of the day, closing access to the ORSSAB.


The meeting adjourned at 9:05 p.m.




Mr. Alexander was absent for votes on all motions.



Mr. Revilla moved to approve the minutes of the June 9, 2004, Board meeting, as edited. Mr. Adams seconded the motion, and it was unanimously approved.



Mr. Mulvenon moved to approve the Annotated Outline for a Long-Term Stewardship Implementation Plan. Mr. Million seconded, and it was unanimously approved.



Mr. Gibson moved to approve the revised “Recommendation on the Proposed Plan for the Amendment of the ROD for Interim Action in Melton Valley: Revised Remedial Action for Seepage Trenches 5 & 7”. Mr. Mulvenon moved to strike the word “conditionally” from the recommendation and all related references in the first paragraph of the “Recommendation” portion. Mr. McLeod seconded the motion to amend, and the motion was approved by a vote of 14 in favor, 1 against (Mr. Adams) Mr. Trammell seconded the main motion, and it was approved by a vote of 14 in favor, 1 abstention (Mr. Adams).



Mr. Revilla moved to close nominations for Board officers. Ms. Murawski seconded the motion, and the motion was approved by a vote of 14 to 1 with Mr. Gibson voting against.


Respectfully submitted,

Luis Revilla, Secretary




Attachments (9) to these minutes are available on request from the ORSSAB support office.