Many Voices Working for the Community

Oak Ridge
Site Specific Advisory Board

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Approved May 11, 2005 Meeting Minutes


The Oak Ridge Site Specific Advisory Board (ORSSAB) held its monthly meeting on Wednesday, May 11, 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

Meredith James1

John Kennerly

Bob McLeod, Vice Chair

John Million

Norman Mulvenon

Tim Myrick

Robert Olson

Sandy Reagan

Kerry Trammell, Chair


Members Absent

Heather Cothron

Luther Gibson

Pat Hill

Tonya Justice1

James Miller2

Dave Mosby

Christopher Smith


1Student representative

2Second consecutive absence


Deputy Designated Federal Official and Ex-Officios Present

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

Pat Halsey, Federal Coordinator, DOE-ORO


Others Present

Daniel Axelrod

Patsy Goldberg, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Region 4

Spencer Gross, Spectrum

Joan Hughes, UT-Battelle, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)

Pete Osborne, Spectrum

Dale Rector, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation


One member of the public was present.




Mr. Mulvenon and Ms. Campbell did a presentation on the Stewardship Education Resource Kit (Attachment 1).  During the presentation Mr. Mulvenon explained why the kit was developed, the history and background of the kit, the details of the kit, and goals for its use.  The text of Mr. Mulvenon’s presentation is found in its entirety in Attachment 1.


Part of the presentation was the showing of a video that is included with the kit.  Ms. Campbell explained that the video was developed so users would have some introductory information about the kit.


After the video was shown Mr. Mulvenon continued with the remainder of the presentation. 

At the conclusion of Mr. Mulvenon’s presentation, Ms. Campbell noted that the kit will be introduced in Anderson, Knox, and Roane Counties, and probably in Meigs and Rhea Counties.  A workshop for teachers is being developed that will be held in the fall.  Ms. Campbell said an important part of the workshop will be getting feedback from teachers on how it will fit into their curricula.  She said an evaluation form is included with each kit that teachers can use to provide feedback.


Ms. Campbell said the kit will be updated every six months to a year.


Mr. Mulvenon said that while the Stewardship Education Subcommittee is responsible for developing and updating the kit, the Public Outreach Committee will handle marketing of the kit to schools and other interested organizations.


After the presentation a number of questions were asked.  Following are abridged questions and answers.




Ms. Bogard – What topics do the lesson plans include and why were those particular topics chosen?

Ms. Campbell – The emphasis is on stewardship. We started with a history of Oak Ridge.  Then we explain what stewardship is and why it’s important.  Then we have a lesson on public participation.  Within that we have a case study where students are divided into three groups representing stakeholders and they come up with their own solution to the stated problem.


At the end of the course, students will be able to define stewardship and what their role is in stewardship.  They will know current laws and regulations, and why there is some contamination left in the ground

Ms. Hughes – I’m responsible for the coordination of the Annual Site Environmental Report for the reservation and I work with a group of students at Karns High School to produce a summary of that report.  I’d like to know how I can become involved in looking at the kit and using it in our work to produce the summary.  I think there is a lot of information in the kit that will be useful to us in producing the summary.









Mr. Mulvenon – We’ll make sure we work out something with you.  We’ll help you.

Mr. Axelrod – I was a member of the Stewardship Working Group in 1999 that produced the “Stakeholder Report on Stewardship.”  In general, I find the kit is well thought out and presented.  But I find it is almost entirely qualitative and associated with the process of how people function.  There is almost nothing of any quantitative nature, in other words, what is it we are being stewards of. 


I refer you to Lesson 4, Section 4.1, number 1, but no examples are given of preserved data, which really goes to the heart of what stewardship information retention.  At least one or two tables for high school students would be valuable to provide quantitative information.  I think there is a need for a summary quantitative table as well.  I find this is a major weakness of the kit that there is no quantitative data of what we are being stewards of.

Mr. Mulvenon – We keep an open file that includes all of your suggestions and suggestions of others.  We noted during the presentation that we will update the kit regularly and add to it in such a way that will make it more substantive.


Mr. Myrick – At the last Public Outreach Meeting, we discussed the idea of taking the fairly generic case study and turning it into a quantitative case study.  We’d give the students some specific information and data, have them take that data, analyze it and come back with a solution.  It’s our intention to have that in place by the time we have the workshop in the fall.

Ms. James – Many science teachers are very involved in their own lesson plans and have been using them for years.  How are you going to make it appealing to them so they will take whatever time is necessary away from their own lesson plans to present the kit?

Ms. Campbell – Two ways.  First Becky Ashe is the director of the science program in Knox County Schools so she would strongly encourage teachers to use the kit.  Dr. Ganguli with Oak Ridge High School would encourage Oak Ridge teachers to use it.


Also, we have attached performance indicators, which teachers must meet, to each lesson, so they know at what point they are fulfilling the requirements of the State of Tennessee by teaching the lesson.  They will know they are not wasting time, but fulfilling state requirements.



Deputy Designated Federal Official and Ex-Officio Comments

Mr. Adler had three comments

·         Construction on the Haul Road from East Tennessee Technology Park (ETTP) to the Environmental Management Waste Management Facility (EMWMF) is progressing well.  The existing Flanigan Loop Road has been upgraded and should be put into use soon.  Bulldozers are shaping the roadbed on the rest of the route

·         Expansion of the EMWMF to 1.2 million cubic yards is complete.

·         The transfer of four building at ETTP from DOE to the Community Reuse Organization of East Tennessee (CROET) is just about complete.  Once the transfer is made, CROET will lease the   buildings to private businesses.  A lease is being worked out and a signing ceremony is expected at the end of May.


Dale Rector, TDEC, reporting for John Owsley, said that new TDEC Commissioner Jim Fyke has about 25 years experience in conservation and had been the director of Nashville parks under then-mayor Phil Bredesen.  He said the Deputy Director of Environment is Paul Sloan and Karen Stukowski will remain as Mr. Owsley’s supervisor.


Mr. Rector responded to two action items from the April 13 meeting. 


·         A new radiological license is not required of the new owners of the K-31 and K-33 buildings at ETTP, unless their operations included handling radiological material.

·         The state’s environmental monitoring report should be out by the end of the month.  He said the report will be available on the agency’s website, on computer disc, and the information will be sent to DOE.


Mr. Rector said each month a conference call is held among officials from TDEC, DOE, Kentucky, and Ohio regarding the transport of uranium hexafluoride containers from ETTP to Portsmouth, Ohio.  He said there have been a few issues related to that project:

·         Fire tests are being done on 48-inch overpacks that will hold non-ANSI (American National Standards Institute) compliance cylinders.  If those overpacks pass the tests then non-compliant cylinders can be shipped with Nuclear Regulatory Commission permission.

·         EPA Region 5 has a problem with PCBs being stored in its region.  Mr. Rector said that problem must be solved or PCBs must be removed from the surface of the cylinders.

·         At the April 13 Board meeting, a question was raised about improper spacing between trucks carrying the cylinders.  Mr. Rector said that issue has been addressed and trucks are maintaining proper spacing.


Concerning the Haul Road, he said construction of the road will disturb some high quality wetlands along the route.  An agreement is being worked out to remove a weir on Bear Creek that is detrimental to the habitat of the Tennessee dace and possibly the spot-finned chub, both of which are on endangered species lists.  He said removal of the weir would be in partial exchange for disturbance of the wetlands.  The agreement would be included in Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act documents.


Mr. Mulvenon asked if removing the weir is partial compensation for loss of wetlands what the remaining payment would be.  Mr. Rector said it would be building new wetlands by constructing culverts a little higher on the uphill side of the Haul Road that would cause water to back up.


Ms. Reagan asked if credits could be bought in the wetland bank or if the area would have to be mitigated.  He said wetlands would come from additional acreage that was gained through remediation of the Interim Holding Pond and possibly more.  But he said he thought that area should not be counted toward compensation of loss of wetlands along the road.  He said compensation should come from wetlands restoration and removal of the weir.


Mr. Adams asked if there were plans for hardwood reforestation along the Haul Road.  Mr. Adler said there were no plans for any re-plantings because only a very few trees were removed along the route.  Responding to a comment Mr. Mulvenon made, Mr. Adler said trucks hauling trees along Highway 95 were coming from logging operations in the area and not from Haul Road construction.  He said he would find out if any large trees had been cut down.


Public Comment

Mr. Axelrod   read a statement to the Board (Attachment 2) regarding his recommendation for a 300 giga-watt nuclear power plant.  He also favors nuclear fuel reprocessing.  Mr. Axelrod distributed a copy of a full-age advertisement (Attachment 3) he plans to run in the May 30 Oak Ridger outlining his platform as a presidential candidate.  He also distributed his thoughts on responsibilities of DOE as principal steward of the Oak Ridge Reservation after Dec. 31, 2008 when cleanup operations are complete (Attachment 4).


Announcements and Other Board Business

The next Board meeting will be Wednesday, June 8, at the DOE Information Center.  Presentation topic will be on DOE’s Environmental Management Program Coordination with ORNL and the National Nuclear Security Administration concerning potential criticality issues at ETTP.


Mr. Adler introduced Mr. Olson and Ms. James as two new Board members.  Ms. James and Ms. Justice, who was not present, are new student representatives to the Board.


The minutes of the April 13, 2005 Board minutes were approved without change.


The agenda was approved with three additions.


Mr. Kennerly moved to table until the June meeting the second reading and vote on the Proposed Change to ORSSAB Bylaws Article III.B, “Terms of Board Service.”  The motion carried.


The Board approved the Comments on the Public Health Assessment for the Toxic Substances Control Act Incinerator (Attachment 5).


A letter was distributed from Jean Sulc, Chair of the Savannah River Site Citizens Advisory Board, sent on behalf of all nine SSABs to Charles Anderson, DOE Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Environmental Management (Attachment 6).  The letter, endorsed by all the chairs of the SSABs proposes convening a National Stakeholder Workshop regarding waste disposition.


The FY 2004 Annual Report was distributed (Attachment 7).


Committee Reports


Board Finance – No report


Environmental Management – No Report

Public Outreach – Minutes of the Public Outreach Committee meeting for May 3 were distributed (Attachment 8).  Mr. Mulvenon reported that the committee talked with Mr. Myrick about his presentations to Oak Ridge High School and how the case studies he used in his presentations could be incorporated into the Stewardship Education Resource Kit.


Mr. Mulvenon noted the committee:

·         Is working on completing the ORSSAB exhibit at the American Museum of Science and Energy

·         Is making plans to participate in the Secret City Festival June 17 and 18 and the Y-12 Safety Expo on June 22

·         Is making plans for the ORSSAB 10th anniversary celebration

·         Reviewed the editorial plan for the Advocate newsletter


Mr. Mulvenon requested help from the Board membership to participate in the Secret City Festival and Y-12 Safety Expo.


Stewardship – Mr. Adams reported the Stewardship Committee received updates on the Stewardship Education Resource Kit and the attempts to get a meeting set up between Anderson County and the City of Oak Ridge on standardizing information in land records on notices of contamination.


Mr. Adams said he did a run-through of the presentation he will make at the Decontamination, Decommission, and Reutilization Conference in Denver in August.  It was determined the presentation needs some modification. 


The committee decided to delay a request to DOE to determine the feasibility of a three-point coordination system to track records until the committee heard a presentation by DOE’s Cathy Marciante on records management and tracking.


Mr. Adams reported he made a presentation on stewardship to students at Roane County High School.


ExecutiveMr. Trammell referred members to the Executive Committee meeting minutes.


He noted a draft letter that came out of the SSAB Chairs’ Meeting held in Augusta, Ga., in April to be sent to Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman (Attachment 9).  The letter recommends that when Environmental Management sites are transitioned to other agencies or offices that local advisory boards be established that are similar in structure to current SSABs.  The letter also requests that DOE continue convene nationwide advisory boards regularly to discuss issues of common concern.


Mr. Trammell said he plans to sign the letter as Chair of the ORSSAB.  There were no objections from the Board members.


Board Process – Ms. Bogard said the agenda for the next Board Process meeting has several important items to be discussed and she invited other members to attend and participate.


The first item will be the August planning meeting. One issue related to the meeting is the date.  Input is needed to determine the best date, either August 6 or August 13.


The committee will also consider three other topics:

  • How to better prepare members for meetings
  • How to better utilize Internet resources
  • How to provide group discussions with experts to better educate members


Federal Coordinator Report – Ms. Halsey reported on an action item from a previous meeting concerning possible participation by the ORSSAB in a White House sponsored “Cooperative Conservation Conference.”  EPA was one of five federal agencies asked to submit “best examples” of stakeholders involved in regulation, stewardship, preservation, conservation, and protection.  EPA Region 4 had submitted the ORSSAB as one of the examples.  Connie Jones of EPA communicated to Ms. Halsey that there were approximately 75 nominees submitted by EPA nationally, but only five groups had been selected to participate in the conference.  ORSSAB was not selected to participate.


Additions to the Agenda

Review of Bylaws - Ms. Bogard led the Board through a review of all the major revisions to the Bylaws that the Board Process Committee has been working on since September 2004.  She noted that “95 percent” of the changes were minor “unnoticeable” editorial changes.


She distributed a revised set of Bylaws to replace the set included in the Board members’ packets (Attachment 10).  She also distributed an explanation of the major revisions (Attachment 11).


After going through the review she encouraged members to read the proposed bylaws and the current bylaws after the meeting and note the differences.  The revised bylaws will be voted on at the June meeting.


No objections were raised on the proposed changes.


Travel Reimbursement - Mr. Kennerly reported on some problems members had experienced with travel reimbursement.  He said people had been required to pay for travel expenses and had not been reimbursed in a timely manner.  He said he learned from the DOE chief financial officer that expenses incurred by travelers before the trip, for example conference registrations, can be reimbursed immediately.  But he said that did not happen in his case recently.


He also learned that expense receipts can be turned in immediately on return from a trip and the traveler can promise to file a trip report at a later date.  He delayed turning in receipts until he finished his trip report, because he didn’t believe he would be reimbursed until the trip report was filed.


He said reimbursements for recent travel were also delayed because of a change in accounting systems by DOE.  Ms. Halsey expressed regret for the delay and said it should not have taken so long to reimburse the travelers.


Nominating Committee - Mr. Trammell requested volunteers for a nominating committee for election of FY 2006 officers.  Mr. Adams, Mr. Berry, and Mr. Dixon volunteered to serve on the committee.


Report on Presentation at the Knoxville Technical Society – Mr. Berry reported on a presentation for the Knoxville Technical Society by Frank Munger, reporter for the Knoxville News Sentinel, who covers activities on the Oak Ridge Reservation.  He said Mr. Munger talked about what constitutes news concerning energy related matters and contamination on the reservation.




Mr. Kennerly moved to postpone the second reading of proposed bylaws change.  Mr. Mulvenon seconded, and the motion was approved with one abstention (Mr. Berry).



Mr. Adams moved to approve the minutes.  Mr. Million seconded, and the motion carried unanimously.



Mr. Mulvenon moved to approve the Comments on the Public Health Assessment for the Toxic Substances Control Act Incinerator.  Mr. Myrick seconded and motion carried unanimously.


The meeting adjourned at 8:56 p.m.


Action Items

  1. Mr. Adler will check with Jason Darby to see if there has been any action on Mr. Adam’s suggestion to develop a three-point position tag to indicate where documents are located.  (Carryover item from 4/13/05)
  2. Mr. Adler will prepare a schedule of final RODs, including expected initiation and completion date; issues to be addressed; and stewardship issues such as responsibility, funding, and public involvement for the future. (Carryover item from 4/13/05)
  3. Mr. Adler will check to see if any large trees have been cut to make way for Haul Road construction.
  4. Mr. Owsley will determine if a new radiological license would be required of new owners of the K-31 and K-33 Buildings at ETTP. Complete.  See Mr. Rector’s comments in Ex Officios reports.
  5. Mr. Owsley will inform the Board when the state’s report of ambient monitoring will be available. Complete.  See Mr. Rector’s comments in Ex Officios reports.
  6. Connie Jones, EPA Region 4, will provide an update on the “Cooperative Conservation Workshop” the White House is planning to have later this year.  Complete.  See Federal Coordinator’s Report.


Respectfully submitted,


Rhonda Bogard, Secretary




Attachments (11) to these minutes are available on request from the ORSSAB support office.