Many Voices Working for the Community

Oak Ridge
Site Specific Advisory Board

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Approved January 12, 2005 Meeting Minutes

The Oak Ridge Site Specific Advisory Board (ORSSAB) held its monthly meeting on Wednesday, January 12, 2005 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

Dick Berry

Rhonda Bogard, Secretary

Donna Campbell

Amy DeMint

Steve Dixon

Luther Gibson

John Kennerly

 Zach Ludwig1

Bob McLeod, Vice Chair

James Miller

John Million

David Mosby

Norman Mulvenon

Tim Myrick

Sandy Reagan

Christopher Smith

Kerry Trammell, Chair

1Student representative 


Members Absent

Heather Cothron

Pat Hill 2

Stephanie Jernigan1

Katie Meersman1

2Second consecutive absence


Deputy Designated Federal Official and Ex-Officios Present

Dave Adler, Ex Officio, Department of Energy - Oak Ridge Offices (DOE-ORO)

Martha Berry, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Pat Halsey, Federal Coordinator, DOE-ORO

Steve McCracken, Deputy Designated Federal Official

John Owsley, Ex Officio, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation


Others Present

Spencer Gross, Spectrum

Joan Hughes, UT-Battelle

Tim Joseph, DOE-ORO

Pete Osborne, Spectrum

Wayne McMahon, BWXT Y-12

Pat Scofield, UT-Battelle

Tony Poole, Bechtel Jacobs Company

Charlie Valentine, UT-Battelle


Twelve members of the public attended the meeting.



Tim Joseph, DOE Project Manager for the 2003 Annual Site Environmental Report (ASER), opened the presentation with some brief comments then introduced Joan Hughes, ASER Project Director for the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR). 

Ms. Hughes gave a Power Point presentation (Attachment 1) of the main findings of the report at the three ORR sites, Y-12, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and the East Tennessee Technology Park, as well as non-site specific information gathered throughout the reservation.  She mentioned that ASER information is available through the main volume, a data volume that is available on-line, and a summary that is published after the main volume.

Following the presentation a panel consisting of Charlie Valentine, Pat Scofield, Wayne McMahon, and Tony Poole answered several questions from the group.


Deputy Designated Federal Official and Ex-Officio Comments

Mr. McCracken had a number of comments: 

·         He said the Explanation of Significant Differences for the haul road construction is in the approval process.  He expects construction to begin soon and the road to be in use by late summer 2005.  He said the bridges will take longer to build than originally thought, and he did not have a timeframe for completion.  The bridges may be single lane to save money. 


·         He also said there are now plans to keep the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Incinerator in operation another couple of years past its due date for closure in 2006 and demolition in 2008.  The idea being that another couple of years are needed to work off available wastes from other sites within the DOE Complex.  He said DOE is looking at perhaps awarding a different operations contract for the incinerator that will have incentives to maintain and operate the incinerator as a longer-term project.  The current contract has no incentives to maintain the incinerator for operation past 2008.  He said the primary concern by the state is that the incinerator would be privatized, but that will not happen.  DOE will continue to be the owner of the incinerator.


·         Mr. McCracken briefly mentioned that he was pleased with the 2005 budget allocation, but was not yet authorized to release details.  He did say he didn’t expect any significant negative impacts.


Mr. Owsley announced that he had attended an intergovernmental meeting in December that included a number of agencies that represent various aspects of concern to communities around the country. These agencies express opinions to DOE on a number of issues including waste management.  One thing discussed at the meeting was the national SSABs Chairs’ letter to DOE requesting a national dialogue forum on waste management disposition.  He said two of the groups he was involved with endorse such a dialogue and will recommend it to DOE.  He said he expects the other agencies involved will also recommend the dialogue to DOE.


Regarding Mr. McCracken’s comments about the TSCA Incinerator, Mr. Owsley said the state expects compliance of regulations.  He said if the incinerator continues to operate within the existing permits, then the state has no problem.  However, if the incinerator was transferred to a private owner, the state would require that the incinerator be closed and then be reopened as a new facility with proper permits.


Public Comment



Announcements and Other Board Business

The next Board meeting will be Wednesday, February 9, at the DOE Information Center. The presentation topic will be transition of responsibility for newly generated waste.


Minutes of the December 8, 2004, Board meeting were approved with one editorial change.


Committee Reports


Board Finance - Mr. Mosby said the committee met prior to the Board meeting to discuss the current budget.  He said $86,000 had been spent of the ORSSAB budget.  The next meeting for the committee will be Thursday, Jan. 27.


Environmental Management – Mr. Gibson said the committee met on Dec. 15.  He gave a report on his trip to Nashville to the Perma-Fix Mixed Waste Treatment Forum (Attachment 2).  The committee also updated its work plan tracking chart to track newly generated waste.  He said transuranic waste is scheduled for the next meeting on Jan. 19 at 5:30.


Mr. Berry gave a report about some research he had done on transportation of materials by rail and barge (Attachment 3).


Public Outreach – Mr. Mulvenon reported the committee met on Dec. 16 and continued to look at ways to improve advertising the SSAB.  He said ads had been placed in the Oak Ridger and Oak Ridge Observer newspapers.


He reported that the SSAB display in the American Museum of Science and Energy should be ready for unveiling later in January.  A brief ceremony featuring local dignitaries is being planned.


Several presentations about the ORSSAB have been made to local high schools and also to representatives of Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam’s office.  Mayor Haslam’s aide Margie Nichols expressed interest in touring the Spallation Neutron Source and information on arrangements were sent to her.


Mr. Mulvenon also reported that the committee will take on the task of marketing the new Stewardship Education Resource Kit to area high schools.


Stewardship – Mr. Adams began the report by showing a video presentation that accompanies the Stewardship Education Resource Kit that explains to teachers how to use the kit.


He said the committee will have its next meeting on Jan. 18, and the topic will be a brainstorming session on improving stewardship outreach.


At its last meeting Jason Darby of DOE talked about planning for the CERCLA Five Year Review.  The question was raised about being able to find available information.  Since documents are stored in various places it was suggested that a three-position coordinate be assigned to all documents to keep track of them.  The goal is to help DOE with its contractors to ensure information related to stewardship is readily available to the public. Mr. McCracken said what DOE needs is a letter from the SSAB stating what it would like for DOE to keep, because what DOE is required to keep is often not what people want.


Ms. Campbell said the Stewardship Education Resource Kit is finished and is ready for initial distribution.  She said while the current committee has the privilege of finishing the kit, it has been a project in the works for a number of years that has involved many people.  She said the next step is to set up workshops with teachers to show them how it should be used and give them background on the kit.  Mr. Trammell noted that the Chairs of the SSABs nationwide have expressed a great interest in the kit and would like to learn more about it.


Executive – Mr. Trammell said the committee discussed facilitation, and two standing committees, Stewardship and Environmental Management, will use facilitators on a trial basis in February.  He encouraged attendance at those meetings and asked for feedback.  He said the next Executive Committee meeting will look at how the ORSSAB can make better use of DOE, state, and EPA officials.


Board Process - Ms. Bogard discussed Section VI. Removal of Board Members as written in the current Bylaws for the Board Process Minute.    If a member misses two meetings in a row, a motion will appear on the agenda to vote on possibly recommending dismissal.  If two-thirds of the members present vote to dismiss, the recommendation is forwarded to DOE for final disposition.  If a two-thirds majority is not received then the clock “resets” to zero.  If the member is in attendance then the motion may be removed from the agenda.


Ms Bogard reviewed some of the recommended changes to the bylaws from the Board Process meeting. In Article III. Members one change would allow for two student representatives instead of one on the Board.  Board Process also recommended that we leave the member term limits as is (three two-year terms).  It was noted that individuals wanting to continue their involvement in SSAB activities can participate in committees and request to be considered for reappointment after one year.   Under Article IV Officers detail was recommended to be added that acknowledges that officers will be elected at the August Board meeting.  It was also recommended that duties for the Secretary be modified to reflect the distribution of labor with the administrative staff.  Reviewing an annual work plan was added to the Secretary’s responsibilities.  Under Article V Meetings it was recommended that the requirement for an annual meeting be deleted.  The annual meeting is the retreat normally held in August.  The retreat could still be held, but it would not be required by the bylaws.


The committee will discuss further proper wording for achieving a quorum for Board and committee business and a quorum for making recommendations to DOE.  Mr. Mosby suggested the wording be changed from “official business” to “ordinary” business for the purposes of establishing a quorum.  Ms. Bogard offered to have the Board Process Committee discuss the issue further.


Mr. Gibson suggested canvassing other SSABs to determine how they handle terms of service for members.  Ms. Halsey said she would request information from the other SSABs concerning how they handle terms of service.


Mr. Smith suggested that absences that are the result of members being on SSAB business should not be counted against them. Ms. Bogard offered to have the Board Process Committee consider adding that to the bylaws.


Memos and Other Reports

Ms. Halsey again reminded everyone of the grand opening of the new ORSSAB display at the American Museum of Science and Energy.  She encouraged everyone to attend and said invitations will also be sent.  She hopes the public will learn more about the ORSSAB by viewing the display during visits to the museum.


She mentioned that the Department of Labor has taken over the responsibility to compensate workers or families of workers who had become ill or injured as a result of working with hazardous materials at DOE sites.  She there are plans to discuss the situation further at a public meeting to be held later in January, but didn’t know when the notices would be sent about the meeting.  She asked that everyone watch for that notice and inform friends and neighbors who might be affected.


The meeting adjourned at 8:45.




Mr. Mulvenon moved to approve the minutes from the December 8 meeting.  Mr. Adams seconded the motion, and the motion was unanimously approved.


Respectfully submitted,


Rhonda Bogard, Secretary




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