Many Voices Working for the Community

Oak Ridge
Site Specific Advisory Board

4-c logo 100 pixels.JPG (11680 bytes)






Approved February 9, 2005 Meeting Minutes


The Oak Ridge Site Specific Advisory Board (ORSSAB) held its monthly meeting on Wednesday, February 9, 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

Heather Cothron

Amy DeMint

Steve Dixon

Luther Gibson

Stephanie Jernigan1

John Kennerly

 Zach Ludwig1

Katie Meersman1

James Miller

John Million

David Mosby

Norman Mulvenon

Tim Myrick

Sandy Reagan

Christopher Smith

Kerry Trammell, Chair

1Student representative   


Members Absent

Bob McLeod, Vice Chair


Deputy Designated Federal Official and Ex-Officios Present

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

Connie Jones, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Region 4

Pat Halsey, Federal Coordinator, DOE-ORO

Steve McCracken, Deputy Designated Federal Official, DOE-ORO

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


Others Present

Jim Donnely, National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), Y-12 Site Office

Spencer Gross, Spectrum

Pete Osborne, Spectrum

Harvey Rice, DOE-ORO

Mac Roddey, DOE-ORO, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)


Twelve members of the public attended the meeting.



Mr. Rice gave a Power Point presentation (Attachment 1) explaining the status of the transfer of newly generated waste (NGW) at the Y-12 National Security Complex and at ORNL.


He began by briefly explaining the history of the project. Currently, the DOE-ORO Environmental Management program (EM) is responsible for NGW. In 1995, EM began a “re-engineering study” to evaluate EM’s waste management responsibilities. In 1996 a report was issued recommending transfer of responsibility for waste management back to the waste generators. In fiscal year 2004, EM and the NNSA agreed to make the transfer to Y-12 in fiscal year 2006 and agreed to a target budget of almost $22 million. For fiscal year 2007 and beyond, NNSA will make additional budget requests for handling NGW. The transfer date for NGW at Y-12 is October 1,, 2005.


Mr. Rice said NGW activities include characterization, packaging, and all the activities EM currently handles at Y-12 for the NNSA. The transfer at Y-12 will not include the landfills, the EM Waste Management Facility (EMWMF), or the closed burial grounds.


Mr. Rice said while steady progress is being made at Y-12, a number of issues still need to be resolved at ORNL. He said ORNL has been doing a number of things to prepare to assume the responsibilities of handling NGW, but no target date for transfer has been set.


The transition scope at ORNL includes the Hazardous Wastes Operations Group storage facilities, NGW disposition activities, and perhaps liquid/gaseous treatment. It is uncertain if liquid/gaseous treatment is something ORNL needs or if it would transfer.


In his presentation, Mr. Rice noted a number of steps ORNL is taking to prepare for the NGW transition (Attachment 1, page 8).


He finished his presentation with the ORNL NGW Transition Status (Attachment 1, page 9).


A question and answer period followed Mr. Rice’s presentation.


Deputy Designated Federal Official and Ex-Officio Comments

Mr. McCracken said the President’s proposed budget for 2006 is very supportive of the work that has to be done in Oak Ridge. He said ORO came out better in the budget than other sites in EM. In summary, the budget for ORO EM is about $10 million less for 2006 than 2005. With the money in the budget, EM will continue to work at the accelerated rate to complete the work on schedule.

He referenced the ORO 2006 budget (Attachments 2, 3, and 4) and noted that since 2005 is the date for Bechtel Jacobs to complete its work, it was expected that appropriations in that area would go down; however, appropriations went up for continued work by Foster Wheeler, the subcontractor handling transuranic (TRU) waste.

Mr. McCracken also commented about Corehole 8 at ORNL. He described an area near the old cafeteria at ORNL that is highly contaminated and will probably have to be treated as remote-handled TRU waste. He said EM has a commitment to begin excavating that material in 2006. The schedule of excavation coincides with what it is believed to be the opening of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) for remote-handled TRU waste. But he said that is an optimistic view, and the material will probably be put in storage. Mr. Adler offered to supply the Board with an estimate of material that is expected to be excavated.

Mr. McCracken also talked about the property transfer of four office buildings to the Community Reuse Organization of East Tennessee at East Tennessee Technology Park (ETTP). Progress is slow but steady and should be complete by June.

Mr. Adler reported on the David Witherspoon cleanup work in South Knoxville. All the buildings on site have been taken down and have been taken to Oak Ridge. All scrap material has also been removed except for one small pile. That scrap could not be relocated because it has characteristics of hazardous wastes, which requires treatment before it can be disposed. It will be treated on site or transported to some off-site treatment facility. He said nothing seems to be standing in the way of the soil cleanup set to begin in the spring.

Ms. Jones had several comments:

·         DOE has notified EPA that there is sufficient funding to complete the fiscal year 2005 milestones.

·         Based on DOE’s forecast figures, EMWMF would not need to be expanded beyond the Record of Decision (ROD) capacity of 1.7 million cubic yards.

·         She announced that Patricia Goldberg has joined EPA and will be overseeing the decontamination and decommissioning (D&D) projects at ETTP and ORNL.

·         The Remedial Action Core Team, the D&D Remaining Facilities Core Team, and K-25 Core Team held a conference call to talk about methodology for the on-site disposal of concrete.

·         EPA Region 4 has been asked by EPA Headquarters to provide names of groups that are involved in conservation stewardship issues. She provided the names of the ORSSAB and the Local Oversight Committee (LOC). The White House is attempting to convene a workshop this summer on conservation and stewardship issues to receive input from stakeholders.

·         EPA has signed the Explanation of Significant Differences for construction of the Haul Road from ETTP to EMWMF.

Regarding the proposed 2006 budget, Mr. Owsley said DOE must comply with regulations regarding active waste management. Cleanup criteria are somewhat more flexible, and DOE, EPA, and the state of Tennessee have entered into an agreement, the Federal Facilities Agreement, that stipulates how milestones are to be dealt with. He is confident the three parties will be able to work through any difficulties that arise, either technical or budgetary. He said the state believes DOE has complied with the Accelerated Cleanup Plan goals to date, and he noted that the 2006 Accelerated Cleanup Plans for Melton Valley are ahead of schedule. The state is confident DOE will reach its goal of closing ETTP by 2008, provided that all involved work together in a reasonable manner.

Mr. Owsley said one of the major issues being worked on is the ETTP Zone 2 ROD. He said the D1 draft is being reviewed; this particular decision covers soil, buried waste, and subsurface structures. He said that would leave a number of questions to be answered in the subsequent site-wide ROD.

Concerning the Upper East Fork Poplar Creek Proposed Plan, which is the plan for the phase 2 ROD for Y-12, he said the state has approved the plan for public review, but he was not sure of the date. Ms. Halsey noted that the date for public review will be set around the end of March.

The state’s report of ambient monitoring will be issued in April. Mr. Owsley said there are no imminent health concerns related to releases from the Oak Ridge Reservation. He offered to report to the Board when the information became available.

Public Comment

Jim O’Connor, Oak Ridge City Manager, reported on actions the city is taking. The city has endorsed the designation of a conservation area on Black Oak Ridge and hopes the state of Tennessee and DOE will transfer that easement. He said that would help the city establish its western boundary for potential development off Wisconsin Avenue. That transfer is expected to take place in two or three weeks.


Also he said the city has endorsed the management plan for the conservation easement. The city believes it will be a good asset for the citizens of Oak Ridge, and the city is asking for public access and facilities to accommodate the community. He said the conservation easement fits into the city’s greenway and development plans.


He also said the city is still taking public comment on the historic heritage plan for ETTP.


Announcements and Other Board Business

The next Board meeting will be Wednesday, March 9, at the DOE Information Center. The presentation topic will be waste disposition issues at the Oak Ridge Reservation by David Adler.


Minutes of the January 16, 2005, Board meeting were approved with three editorial changes.


Ms. Bogard reported that Ms. Hill’s absences, including this meeting, were due to illness. The item to vote on her consecutive absences was removed from the agenda.


Committee Reports


Board Finance – Mr. Mosby reported that the committee did not meet in January but will meet in February and will redouble its efforts.


Environmental Management – Mr. Gibson reported the committee met on Jan. 19 and heard a report from Gary Riner on TRU wastes. He is scheduled to return to the February meeting to report on his trip to New Mexico to learn more about situation at WIPP. Mr. Gibson said a number of committee members will be attending the Waste Management Conference in Tucson later in the month.


The committee will meet again on Feb. 16 and hear an update from Joy Sager on the Toxic Substances Control Act Incinerator.


Public Outreach – Mr. Mulvenon showed the design for an ORSSAB shirt (Attachment 5). He asked how many members would be interested in purchasing a shirt. A show of hands was taken and 15 people responded they would like to have one. Cost of the shirt is estimated to be between $20 and $30. The shirt is part of the 10th anniversary of the ORSSAB. He said a celebration is also planned in September.


The ORSSAB exhibit at the American Museum of Science and Energy will be unveiled Thursday,

Feb. 17 at 1 p.m. A number of dignitaries will be on hand to participate in a ribbon cutting ceremony.


Mr. Mulvenon reported that the Public Outreach Committee will take over the publicity and marketing of the Stewardship Education Resource Kit.


The committee has volunteered to help with the membership drive for East Tennessee Public Television. Mr. Mulvenon said 10 people are needed to commit to the drive. The ORSSAB is scheduled to work March 17 from 6:30 to 10 p.m.


The committee is looking at the editorial plan for the next Advocate newsletter and the 2004 annual report.


A question was asked about billboard advertising. Mr. Mulvenon reported that the cost varied depending on location and number of boards. The range is $1,200 to $4,500 per month.


Stewardship – Mr. Adams reported the committee will be sending representatives to the Decontamination, Decommissioning, and Reutilization Conference in Denver in August. A proposal has been submitted for Mr. Adams to present the paper “Two Counties – One City,” which deals with efforts to ensure notices of contamination are noted on Anderson and Roane County land records, as well as city of Oak Ridge records.


Mr. Adams said work is still being done to fully implement the Geographic Information System with Roane County, which will show any notices of contamination on land parcels. Mr. Mulvenon said the system is in place, but as far as is known DOE has not filed any notices of transfer in Roane County. Mr. Mulvenon said there is still a problem with getting notices of contamination from the Anderson County land records to the city of Oak Ridge.


Ms. Campbell said the Stewardship Education Resource Kit is currently straddling two committees: Stewardship and the Public Outreach. She said when the teacher workshop is designed and scheduled then the Stewardship Committee will turn the project completely over to Public Outreach for marketing. She said the Stewardship Education Subcommittee has another project in the works and will be looking for volunteers to help.


One of the subcommittees is the Stewardship Status Team, which is responsible for an annotated outline for the Remediation Effectiveness Report and the Stewardship Implementation Plan. Mr. Mulvenon
said work continues on the plan. He went on to say the
Stewardship Status Team is studying regulatory basis of stewardship. The team is looking at laws that cover stewardship and will include that information in the annotated outline. The result will be an implementation plan for stewardship with pointers to the laws and regulations that drive it.


Executive – Mr. Trammell said work is being done to have a national forum on waste disposition sponsored by the all the SSABs. At the Executive Committee meeting in February, preliminary discussions will begin about what issues the ORSSAB would like to provide input. Mr. Trammell said he has volunteered to be on the steering committee for that forum.


Mr. Trammell said the city of Oak Ridge has the requested the ORSSAB to attend a work session on April 4. Mr. Mosby said the city believe that two organizations, the LOC and the ORSSAB are, in effect, making recommendations and decisions without input from city and county governments. The meeting
is to try to get understanding about how all groups can communicate to DOE the public’s view on issues. Mr. Trammell said he will explain how the Board works with DOE, how members are selected, and will emphasize the independence of the Board. He will also point out that government officials are always welcome to attend ORSSAB meetings for input.


Board Process – Ms. Bogard talked about travel and what is required to take a trip as noted in the ORSSAB Standing Rules.


She discussed the requirement in the current Bylaws for an annual board meeting. The committee recommended deletion of the requirement for the meeting. Deletion doesn’t mean an annual meeting won’t be held; only that the Bylaws would not require one. She asked for input about that item.

She also talked about Article V.G that addresses a quorum for a meeting. The committee recommended striking the word “official.” The committee also deleted the line about teleconferencing to establish a quorum.


Ms. Bogard encouraged all members to send her comments about how best to establish a quorum.

When revisions of the Bylaws are finished, the Board will vote on the proposed Bylaws as a package.

She said the committee also talked about issue managers, how effective they have been, and how to make them more effective. Ms. Halsey took on the responsibility to strengthen the communication between issue managers and DOE personnel.


Federal Coordinator Report

Ms. Halsey is working with the Executive Committee to try out some facilitators for the Stewardship and EM committees. She said she must get a task order in place with DOE that will allow some flexibility in choosing facilitators. She hopes to have the first facilitator in place for a tryout in March.


Additions to the Agenda

Mission of the LOC

Mr. Smith asked what the mission of the LOC was, if there is overlap with the ORSSAB’s mission, and is there any significant redundancy with the existence of the two organizations.


Mr. Owsley explained that the LOC is made up of local and county government officials. When DOE set up the ORSSAB, the LOC established its Citizens Advisory Panel (CAP) to expand its own public participation on environmental issues. As a result, he said, there is some overlap of missions between the ORSSAB and the CAP. But he said the state sees no overlap of the two. He noted that among the states that have SSABs, only Oak Ridge has an SSAB and a LOC. He said other states have SSABs that include local government officials as members. He explained that the ORSSAB does not speak for any one group while the Oak Ridge LOC has representatives of the various local governments.


Board Minutes Format

Mr. Gibson noted that in November 2004, the Board decided not to include in the minutes annotated questions and answers related to meeting presentations. He felt like inclusion of questions and answers in the minutes provided for ready reference in the minutes for later use.


Mr. Trammell suggested putting the topic on the agenda for the Executive Committee to discuss. He asked that if anyone has any comments about the issue that they be discussed with members of the Executive Committee.


The meeting adjourned at 9:30 p.m.





A motion was made and seconded to approve the agenda with additions. The motion was unanimously approved.



A motion was made and seconded to approve the minutes from the January 16 meeting. The motion was approved. Mr. Gibson voted no.



A motion was made and seconded to remove Pat Hill’s name from the agenda for a vote concerning her two consecutive absences. The motion was unanimously approved.


Respectfully submitted,


Rhonda Bogard, Secretary




Action Items

  1. Mr. Adler will research the estimated amount of material that is expected to be excavated from around Corehole 8.
  2. Ms. Jones will find out the date of the workshop on conservation and stewardship EPA is planning to have later this year.
  3. Mr. Owsley will inform the Board when the state’s report of ambient monitoring will be available.
  4. The Executive Committee will consider Mr. Gibson’s suggestion to reinstate the question and answer section to the monthly Board meeting minutes.