Many Voices Working for the Community

Oak Ridge
Site Specific Advisory Board

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 Approved December 8, 2004, Meeting Minutes


The Oak Ridge Site Specific Advisory Board (ORSSAB) held its regularly scheduled monthly meeting on Wednesday, December 8, 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

Dick Berry
Rhonda Bogard, Secretary

Donna Campbell

Heather Cothron

Amy DeMint

Steve Dixon

Stephanie Jernigan1

John Kennerly

Zach Ludwig1

Bob McLeod, Vice chair

Katie Meersman1

James Miller

John Million

David Mosby

Norman Mulvenon

Tim Myrick

Sandy Reagan

Kerry Trammell, Chair


1Student representative   


Members Absent

Ben Adams

Luther Gibson2

Pat Hill

Christopher Smith


2 Second consecutive absence


Deputy Designated Federal Official and Ex-Officios Present

Dave Adler, Ex Officio, DOE-Oak Ridge Operations (DOE-ORO)

Pat Halsey, Federal Coordinator, DOE-ORO

Steve McCracken, Deputy Designated Federal Official

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

Tom Gebhart, on behalf of John Owsley, Ex Officio, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC)


Others Present

Jeannie Brandstetter, Spectrum

Paul Clay, Bechtel Jacobs Company LLC

Dennis Hill, BJC Public Affairs

Mike Hughes, BJC

Pete Osborne, Spectrum

Walter Perry, DOE-ORO Public Affairs


Two members of the public attended the meeting.



David Witherspoon, Inc. 901 & 1630 Sites Cleanup

David Adler of DOE provided the Board with an update (Attachment 1) on the David Witherspoon Inc. Cleanup Site in the Vestal neighborhood of South Knoxville. In the '50s, '60s and '70s, the scrap metal recycler David Witherspoon, Inc. handled several tons of metal from Oak Ridge that were contaminated with radioactive material including uranium. The company also handled the deconstruction of transformers, many of which contained high levels of the harmful chemical Polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs.

Currently the primary contaminants at the site are uranium, heavy metals, organics and PCBs. Due to the presence of residual soil, surface and ground water contamination, DOE is removing contaminated soils and debris, equipment and buildings which are being disposed of in Oak Ridge facilities. A final Record of Decision is expected to be issued in Fall 2008.

Oak Ridge Environmental Management ETTP End Use

Mr. McCracken sought to share with the Board answers to some of the questions they’ve posed to DOE regarding the end state of ETTP:

·         What’s the appearance of the site going to be?

·         How useful and how ready is the site going to be for industrialization?

·         How will historic preservation be addressed?

He said the best way to answer those questions is by showing people what DOE expects the site to look like if projects proceed as planned. He began by displaying a view graph of the ETTP site as it appears today. Some items, though not contaminated, will be removed to make the site more amenable to redevelopment.

Another slide showed a partial industrialization of the site, with the front half of the site prepared for reindustrialization first. He said that presents a good start with minimal redevelopment of the land. Part of this option involves an on-site spoils area for construction debris.

Another artist rendering depicted historic preservation plans, which are currently that the footprint of the K-25 building be used. This will entail a wall as high as 17 feet and as wide as 400 feet be left in place and be decorated with murals depicting the Manhattan Project era, with the surrounding courtyard engineered to slope toward the wall. The historic preservation aspects of the project would not be funded by EM.

He pointed out to those present that some of the artists’ renderings still depict the TSCA Incinerator, which is slated to be torn down in 2006. Mr. McCracken said he believes DOE-HQ will eventually ask Oak Ridge EM to keep the incinerator operating until the complex-wide waste inventory can be further reduced. He noted it is not necessarily always an efficient means of dealing with waste, but it is the only means for burning PCB waste. He said DOE has begun negotiations with the state. DOE will own the facility; it remains to be seen who the operator will be.

Mr. McCracken cautioned members that the current plans are subject to change, since they are based on the assumption that no contamination exists beneath K-25. If that assumption turns out to be incorrect, everything changes. 

Deputy Designated Federal Official and Ex-Officio Comments

·         Mr. McCracken introduced James Miller, a newly appointed member from Knoxville. Mr. Miller is an employee of …

·         He also mentioned a ceremony held in the American Museum of Science and Energy (AMSE) earlier in the day during which U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp’s stated his desire to maintain that facility for historical preservation. Mr. McCracken said preservation efforts at K-25 can serve to enhance that image. Mr. Trammell went on to point out that Mr. Wamp had urged the community to avoid seeking funds from the National Park Service and begin looking for other sources of revenue.


Mr. Adler had no comments.


Ms. Jones had no announcements, but offered to respond to Board member questions.


Mr. Gebhart had no announcements, but offered to respond to Board member questions.


Public Comment



Announcements and Other Board Business

Mr. Trammell said a card was circulating for Al Brooks, a member of the Stewardship Committee who has recently been in the hospital.


The agenda was approved without change.


The next Board meeting will be Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2004, at the DOE Information Center. Presentation topic: Overview of the 2003 Annual Site Environmental Report


The minutes of the Nov. 10, 2004 Board meeting were unanimously approved with the addition of two members to the list of members present. Mr. Myrick also requested that a conversation that took place at that meeting be noted. The discussion centered on waste management transition issues at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Y-12. He said he seeks to have that issue put on the agenda for the Environmental Management Committee to address in March and wanted to make DOE aware of those intentions so they could be prepared to discuss the issues.


Ms. Bogard led members through the text of the recommendation on proposed haul road from ETTP to EMWMF (Attachment 2) which outlines the aspects of the current haul road plan with which the Board does not agree. Mr. Mulvenon moved to approve the recommendation; Ms. Cothron seconded.


Throughout the course of the discussion, several opinions were put forth:

Mr. Mosby questioned whether “other options” need to be investigated, and Mr. Kennerly questioned how long such study would take and at what cost.


Mr. Myrick sought information on the impact the new road would have on the sanctioned deer hunt and the impacts a decreased habitat/hunting area would have. He did say he appreciated the efforts put forth by BJC to work to alleviate the concerns about the impact on research studies being conducted in the area.


Several members noted that the original cost savings projected for the project, which was predicted to nearly completely offset the cost of construction, no longer exists. Mr. Adler did say that some cost savings have been identified, but at best could offset only about half the cost of building a new road.

Members also questioned the impact to natural resources and final disposition of the road and its bridges.

Mr. McCracken said whatever is done needs to be done quickly because the proposed completion date of September 2005 is fast approaching. He went on to say he is not convinced that a two-lane road is necessary. He believes truck traffic could be better managed on a one-lane road.


Ms. Reagan asked if the recently let transportation contract would allow use of the haul road, and it will.


Mr. Myrick noted that the 10,000 trucks coming from the Witherspoon site are driving 10 times as far as the 100,000 trucks which will travel from ETTP to EMWMF which amounts to the same number of   truck miles, and Mr. McCracken said DOE will always have situations where trucks are on public roads, But in trying to reduce and/or eliminate some risk, he can devote attention to areas where risk still exists.


Ms. Bogard, who had traveled the proposed route, suggested that she’d like to see equal amounts of creative thought and funding go to finding ways to prevent accidents on public roads as opposed to avoiding those roads altogether.


Mr. Trammell said he thinks the eventual $6 million or so cost will serve as an insurance policy to preserve public safety.


The Board unanimously approved the recommendation.


Committee Reports

Board Finance - Mr. Mosby reported that the Board Finance Committee did not meet formally as planned on  Nov. 30 (due to lack of a quorum).


The next committee meeting is Thursday, Dec. 30 at 5 p.m.


Environmental Management – Mr. Mosby reported that the Environmental Management Committee had met on Nov. 17. Topics discussed include Corehole 8, Upper East Fork Poplar Creek and the Haul Road. He said use of a technical advisor is being considered by the committee for UEFPC. The committee also discussed concerns about historic preservation.


The next committee meeting is Wednesday, Dec. 15 at 5:30 p.m.


Public Outreach - Mr. Mulvenon reported that the Public Outreach Committee met on Nov. 23 and discussed the AMSE exhibit currently on display. Mr. McCracken viewed the exhibit Dec. 8 and noted he was impressed. The committee and Mr. Osborne were credited with the success of the project. Future plans for the exhibit include the installation of a thermal imaging camera installed in a small airplane that will allow visitors to the exhibit to see a thermal image of themselves. Other activities of the committee include an ongoing analysis of the annual stakeholder survey, planning for the FY 2004 Annual Report and a recent presentation given to Roane County Mayor Ken Yager.


He said the committee approved funding for the production of a QuickTime video to introduce the Stewardship Education Resource Kit, and the public notice in The Oak Ridger ran Tuesday, Dec. 7.


Mr. Mosby suggested the Board begin outreach efforts to inform the public about the efforts of the Board to perform more outreach activities.


The next committee meeting is Thursday, Dec. 16 at 5:30 p.m.

Stewardship – Mr. Mulvenon reported that the at its Nov. 16 meeting, the Stewardship Committee discussed stewardship issues at ETTP and, because Jeff Crane of EPA was present, continued their discussions of Land Use Control Implementation Plans and Land Use Control Assurance Plans. The Stewardship Status Team continues to meet almost weekly to investigate existing regulatory means for enforcing long-term stewardship.


The next Stewardship Education Subcommittee meeting is Thursday, Dec. 16 at 4:30 p.m.

The next full committee meeting is Tuesday, Dec. 21 at 5:30 p.m.


Executive - Mr. Trammell reported on the Nov. 30 committee meeting. Agenda items included facilitation needs (consensus is that some type of assistance is needed in committee meetings) and issues left from retreat including how to improve meetings and make them run more smoothly. Mr. Trammell asked Board members for their input on the latter issue.


The next committee meeting is Dec. 30 at 5:30 p.m.


Board Process - Ms. Bogard reported on the Nov. 17 meeting and presented a set of proposed changes to a portion of the bylaws. The committee is working on the bylaws and special rules piecemeal and bringing suggested changes to the full Board each month to address questions as they arise. She invited participation on the committee from all members, and offered copies of working copies of the bylaws to any interested members.


The committee has also determined that new Board members need to have mentors, and Mr. Mulvenon has agreed to serve in that capacity for Mr. Dixon, Mr. Miller and Ms. Reagan.


For the Board Process minute, Ms. Bogard explained the number of votes needed for the Board to approve a recommendation or comments intended for DOE. A two-thirds majority of the full Board must approve recommendations/comments intended for DOE. Ms. Bogard noted this prevents minority opinions from being presented as representative of the entire Board. Both she and Mr. Trammell urged members to make every effort to attend Board meetings.


The next committee meeting is Wednesday, Dec. 15 at 4:45 p.m.


Federal Coordinator Report

Ms. Halsey made two announcements:

·         There is a Board chairs conference call on Wednesday, Dec. 15 from 3 to 4:30 p.m., and members arriving early for the 4:45 p.m. Board Process Ad Hoc Committee meeting are invited to sit in and hear the discussion.

·         Staff member Jeannie Brandstetter is departing the Board at the end of December to take a position with the Citizens Advisory Board at DOE’s Paducah, Ky. site.


Public Comment Period



The meeting adjourned at 8:30 p.m.



Mr. Berry was absent for votes on all motions



Mr. Myrick moved to approve the draft minutes of the Nov. 10 Board meeting with one editing change and one content change. Mr. Mosby seconded the motion, and it was unanimously approved by a voice vote.



Mr. Mulvenon moved to approve the haul road recommendation; Ms. Cothron seconded the motion, and it passed unanimously with 14 members present and voting.


Respectfully submitted,


Rhonda Bogard, Secretary




Attachments (2) to these minutes are available on request from the ORSSAB support office.