Many Voices Working for the Community
Approved November 9, 2005 Meeting Minutes
The Oak Ridge Site Specific
Advisory Board (ORSSAB) held its monthly meeting on Wednesday, November 9,
2005, at the
Kerry Trammell, Chair
2Third consecutive absence
Deputy Designated Federal Officer and Ex-Officios Present
Pat Halsey, Federal Coordinator, DOE-ORO
Connie Jones, Ex-Officio, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Region 4
Doug McCoy, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC)
Steve McCracken, Deputy Designated Federal Officer
Susan Gawarecki, Local Oversight Committee
Spencer Gross, Spectrum
Bill McMillan, DOE-ORO
Pete Osborne, Spectrum
Mike West, Bechtel Jacobs Co. (BJC)
Joe Williams, BJC
Seven members of the public were present.
Haul Road Update
Mr. McMillan, DOE project manager for the haul road, said the presentation was in two parts. The first part was an update of construction and the second part was a summary of the planned operations after the road is opened.
Mr. Williams gave the update on the haul road construction portion of the presentation. The road is a dedicated route for trucks to carry waste from East Tennessee Technology Park (ETTP) for disposal in the Environmental Management (EM) Waste Management Facility (EMWMF) at Y-12 National Security Complex (Y-12). He began by noting what had been completed to date and what is left to be done (Attachment 1, page 1, figure 2).
He said final cost to build
the road is going to be about $20 million, which is almost twice the original
estimate of $11-$12 million. He said the
increase was primarily due to underestimating construction costs during the
design phase. A number of realignments
to minimize archaeological, cultural, and biological impacts increased
costs. An additional bridge and an
The road crosses parts of
all three of the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR) program areas of responsibility
for ETTP, Y-12, and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The road crosses two public highways and one
railroad. Accommodations were made to protect
threatened and endangered species of the
Mr. Williams explained the construction of mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) walls, which are built at the bridge approaches (Attachment 1, page, 5, figure 10).
He also explained how the
bridges will be set in place (Attachment 1, page 6, figure 12). The bridges are pre-built in
Mr. Williams said the haul road will be open for hunting, except near the bridge approaches because of their proximity to the public roads. He said no waste transporting or haul road construction will be done during hunting weekends.
Mr. Williams said a bypass channel will be dug around a weir on Bear Creek to restore the creek to a free flowing condition and enhance biological diversity. The weir is currently an impediment to fish migration. Bypassing the weir will create a wetland upstream of the weir. This work will be done in lieu of wetland mitigation, which would require the creation of 2.6 acres of wetlands to compensate for the loss of 1.3 acres of wetlands as a result of the road construction.
In conclusion, Mr. Williams noted remaining construction milestones (Attachment 1, page 12, figure 23).
He said the road is set to open January 11, 2006.
A number of questions were asked after Mr. Williams’ presentation. Following are abridged questions and answers:
Mr. Adams – This was an excellent presentation. I’m wondering if you could make this available for national publication.
Mr. Williams – OK.
Ms Cothron – What was the original purpose of the weir?
Mr. Williams – I assume some water quality sampling and stream flow gauging was done.
Mr. McMillan – DOE had an interagency agreement with the U.S. Geological Survey for flow monitoring. The weir was placed there by the USGS.
Ms Bogard – I thought there were three bridges. Has that changed?
Mr. Williams – No. Two cross the highways and one is
Mr. Douglas – You said the road is open for hunting. Will it also be open for hiking and biking?
Mr. Williams – No. The expressed purpose of the haul road is for limited access to haul waste more efficiently and with less risk to our drivers and the public. It is not an open public road.
Mr. McCracken – Let me clarify that a little. The issue that was brought up during the design phase of the haul road was that it would shut down a major portion of the reservation for hunting. Our issue was not having our trucks on the road during the times of the hunt, about three weekends a year. We felt it was not a great concession during those six days of the year that we would not haul material on the road, so wouldn’t have to worry about pushing hunters back from the haul road. The hunters will not be driving on the road. They just don’t have to worry about truck traffic during a hunt.
Ms. Martin – Have you thought about naming the road after someone?
Mr. Williams – We want to name each of the bridges for someone or some thing. And then we’ll name the road itself.
Mr. West, manager of waste generator services for BJC, began his portion of the presentation by saying that he is responsible for waste transportation and safety for BJC’s EM projects.
He gave a brief summary of operations of the haul road (Attachment 1, page, 13, figure 26). He reiterated that the main purpose of the road was to get trucks hauling hazardous waste off the public roads. He said about 14,000 vehicles travel along Highway 58 in front of ETTP daily. He said to add 60,000-70,000 truck trips hauling waste over the next few years would create a large problem.
Mr. West said a centralized transportation contractor will use trucks designed for use on the haul road, and all drivers will receive the same safety training. Access controls will include properly badged and trained personnel, and trucks will be specifically identified for haul road use. Security patrols will be on the road at times during waste transportation.
Trucks will be equipped with two-way communication to report problems quickly. Traffic controls include slower speeds and limited access to the road. Monitoring will include air, road, and package/truck monitoring (Attachment 1, page 14, figure 27).
He explained the need for a transportation safety document (TSD). He said transportation of hazardous waste on a dedicated road requires the same compliance with hazardous materials regulations set by the Department of Transportation (DOT). But a couple of exemptions from regulations have been requested through a TSD. The exceptions are related to documentation about what is being transported and the containers used for transport, but the TSD still must demonstrate safety compliance standards set by DOT.
Mr. West offered to return in December or January to give more detail on the TSD after it has been completed and approved by DOE, which is the approval authority for on-site transfers of hazardous materials.
Mr. West was also asked a number of questions after his presentation.
Mr. Gibson – You mentioned some air monitoring you were doing for particulate and that you could analyze for radiological or chemical contamination. Do you have a protocol or schedule yet for what you will do?
You said there will be traffic around the hub facility at the four-way stop where employees come in at Portal 6. Are you giving special consideration to contamination there so that personal vehicles don’t get contaminated?
That might be a natural place where something might come out if not secured properly.
When you turn off the
So when the bridges are installed that will be discontinued?
Mr. West – I can’t answer that right now. I’ll have to get back to you on that. I’ll have to check with our health and safety people. The monitoring is set up to look for less than 10 microns of particulate. But the system is set up so that we can use different cartridges for chemical sampling, but I don’t know what protocol we’ll be using.
The haul will not be contaminated. If we find contamination, we’ll clean it up to clean limits.
We’ll just have to enhance our monitoring there.
(to Mr. Williams) Joe, is that the interim loop we’re going to bring in?
Mr. Williams – Yes. While the bridges are being constructed that will allow us to connect to Blair Road so we can get traffic off that section of Blair Road between that curve and going back to Portal 5, so we can start using the road as early as next week or so, as soon as we get all the signs up and the readiness reviews done and get everything checked out.
Yes. Once the Highway 58 bridge is in service, we’ll stop using that.
Mr. Douglas – How will emergency response be coordinated?
So the city will have no primary response?
Mr. West – It will be coordinated between ETTP and Y-12 depending on the location. Again, we’ll have patrols on the road and the drivers will have two-way communication so we’ll be able to dispatch from either location.
Not initially. There may be mutual aid or something like that.
Mr. Miller – In a follow up about emergency response. There are at least two opportunities where other agencies would get involved in case of an accident on the bridges. I’m assuming in that case the city and state would get involved.
Mr. West – Yes. The bridges are designed in such a way to minimize impact.
Mr. Williams – We took that into consideration in designing the bridges. The bridges drain to the ends and there is a 40-inch parapet wall that is outboard on both bridges that cross the highways to minimize the chances of anything spilling over the sides.
Mr. Myrick – One of the justifications for building the road was increased efficiencies. Are you seeing huge increases in efficiencies to make the $20 million worthwhile?
Mr. West – We’re certainly seeing efficiencies in equivalencies in documentation. In commercial transport I have to fill out bills of ladening and manifests. Since we’re in a controlled environment, I’ll be able to put that same information on a waste shipment worksheet. The level of efficiencies gathered there - will it be a savings to offset the $20 million? No. The big thing is the increase in safety to the public.
Mr. McCracken – The efficiencies are going to be huge. We don’t have stop signs to deal with any more. We don’t have things that go along with flagmen or down time because there is a traffic issue on the highway. If you have one accident on that highway, we all know we’ll be shut down for a long time. I don’t know if you can do engineering calculations of efficiencies, but it is my intuition and belief that they will be bigger than you can calculate.
Ms. Gawarecki – At Portal 6, have you done any traffic studies during peak hours of shift changes? How will a four-way stop sign impact back up and flow into the plant?
Are you planning not to have everybody stop? Will you allow free-flow of traffic?
What I’m trying to get at is when you put a stop sign on a road you get tremendous back up during peak times. Do you have a plan to ameliorate that?
In the TSD, what is it you are asking to be exempted so they are efficient to you?
So the packaging will be equivalent?
The sediment behind the weir dam. Has the degree of contamination been reviewed by TDEC as to whether this will drive a cleanup or is it considered below levels of concern?
Are you planning to do any periodic surveys of the haul road for radiological contamination and especially before opening the area to hunters?
Mr. West – We will have the dispatch office right there so we will be able to control the flow of trucks when we have traffic coming out of the Portal 6 parking lot. One of the traffic studies we did looked at whether a bridge should be built there. The study did not warrant that and indicated that we could control traffic with administrative controls.
No. We’ll still have everybody stop. I’m saying we’ll be able to minimize the interaction by the timing of trucks coming across there.
We’ll have to evaluate that as we go. If we have to shut the haul road down and allow cross traffic to pass that would be an option, I guess.
Primarily in two areas: the assignment of packages we are going to use and the labeling and manifest requirements. Because it’s on a controlled road, we can ask for an exemption from some of the labeling requirements.
Yes. We’ll be using accepted packaging – Type A. The advantage of that is if you get into the detail of surface contaminated objects you have to do certain types of surveys. For a Type A package you just have to account for the total amount of radioactivity in the containers.
Mr. McCoy – Data were collected. There were very, very small amounts. Below levels of concern. Especially if we were going to leave it in place. As a matter of fact, it was so low that if it came out it would go to Y-12 (EMWMF).
Mr. West - Yes. Our radiological contamination program will be continuous monitoring. The program is set up that the entire haul road will be surveyed at least once a month. And prior to shutting down the road for managed hunts we’ll do additional surveys.
Mr. Dixon – How many trucks will be used and where will they be stored and serviced?
Mr. West – I don’t know how many trucks are in the fleet. As far as the number of trucks on the haul road at any given time, about 14. They will be stored and serviced at the hub facility at Portal 6.
Mr. Adams – Who owns the trucks?
Mr. West – They are owned by the subcontractor, WSMS (Waste Safety Management Solutions).
Mr. Mezga – How many trips per day will they make?
So about 28 trips per day?
Mr. West – We’re trying to make two to three turnarounds during an eight-hour shift.
There will be some peaks and valleys based on the generation rate.
Mr. McMillan again offered to return in December or January to provide the Board another update. He also offered to arrange tours of the haul road for any interested Board members.
Deputy Designated Federal Officer and Ex-Officio Comments
Mr. McCracken reported that the budget requests for FY 2006 will likely be met.
He said a number of people from DOE Headquarters on the EM senior staff, including Assistant Secretary James Rispoli, visited the ORR recently and were impressed with the work being done on the reservation.
He noted that a significant milestone had been reached with the completion of decontamination and decommissioning activities of Buildings K-29, K-31, and K-33 at ETTP.
Mr. Trammell asked what the future of those buildings was. Mr. McCracken said K-29 will be demolished, because its structural integrity was not conducive to reuse. A final survey is being done on K-31, and a few small locations have been found that will be cleaned up. Mr. McCracken said K-31 will be the focal point of marketing for reuse. Once a tenant is found for K-31, K-33 will be marketed for tenancy. He said there is no intent to tear those buildings down because of the investment that has been made to ready the buildings for reuse.
Mr. Trammell asked about PCB contaminations found in Building 1035 at ETTP related to plans for leasing or transfer of the building. Mr. Adler responded that a portion of the building has PCB contamination but has been closed off for use. Another portion of the building is leased by a company to store railroad equipment, the equipment is not stored on the floor but was on wooden flats that would prevent contamination of the equipment. He said as part of the effort to characterize the building for possible transfer, some levels of PCB contamination were found on the flooring. Personnel working in that part of the building must now wear protective booties. Discovery of the contamination may preclude eventual transfer of the building. He said the contamination is difficult to clean up but could be done by painting the floors with a protective coating or removing the floor.
Mr. Trammell asked about the proposed Integrated Disposition Plan for ORNL and Y-12. That plan would have surplus buildings at both plants become part of the EM Program. The buildings would be demolished and contaminated soils remediated. Mr. McCracken said the plan has been received favorably and is being reviewed at DOE headquarters. If it’s approved, budget would have to be acquired to do the work.
Mr. Trammell asked about a
report of phosgene gas that may have been stored in some of the uranium
hexafluoride containers at ETTP. Mr. McCracken said an extensive search for
documentation has been done in
Mr. Trammell asked if a new contractor will be hired to operate the Toxic Substances Control Act Incinerator (TSCAI). Mr. McCracken said BJC will operate the incinerator for at least another year. He also said the incinerator will continue to operate beyond 2008, but at this time there is no rush to find another contractor to operate the incinerator at the end of BJC’s current contract.
Mr. Myrick asked about the A-76 process, a governmental process to determine if jobs held by federal employees can be contracted to private enterprise. Mr. McCracken said Assistant Secretary Rispoli had ordered a stop to the process since EM was well into the cleanup program and the work was going well under its current staffing arrangement.
Mr. Douglas asked about the transuranic waste (TRU) waste handling at the Foster Wheeler Waste Processing Facility. Mr. McCracken said the plant was going through an operational readiness review to resume handling of contact handled (CH) TRU waste. DOE will do its own operational readiness review when the Foster Wheeler review is finished. With the completion of both reviews processing is due to start up in early December.
Mr. McCracken said the intent is to get the plant ready to process remote handled (RH) TRU waste within a year or two, and the plant would then process CH and RH TRU waste at the same time.
Mr. Bonner asked if the containers holding CH TRU waste had to be vented and if that was done before they were received at the Waste Processing Facility. Mr. McCracken said the containers are vented by BJC before they go the processing facility. Venting prevents the build up of pressures by organics in the container head space that might lead to an inadvertent ignition.
Mr. Miller commended DOE on reaching the disposition
of the legacy low level and mixed low level wastes. Mr. McCracken reminded the Board of another
upcoming milestone, the completion of remediation of
Mr. Adler had no comments.
Ms. Jones reported that EPA Region 4 had completed
negotiations for updating Appendix C milestones for FY 2006-08, which is
consistent with the cleanup agreement for
Mr. Trammell noted an EPA report called “Long-Term
Stewardship: Ensuring Environmental Site Cleanups Remain Protective Over Time”
(a copy of the document is available at the EPA website: www.epa.gov/landrevitalization/download/lts-report-sept2005.pdf
or from the OR
Mr. McCoy had no comments.
Mr. Gibson noted an item found on the DOE website called the Unreviewed Safety Questions (USQ) Quarterly Report. The report identified seven USQ determinations for the ORR. He suggested these are items the Board should be aware of for possible consideration.
McCracken commented by saying that the EM Program has a safety basis for each component of work done in nuclear facilities. They define certain parameters, and if the parameters change, a review must be done to determine if it’s a positive or negative USQ. He said it is a sign of a disciplined operation when people see a changed condition and enter into the USQ process to determine if that changed condition has a safety issue associated with it.
If it is a positive USQ then an additional safety basis must be put in place to deal with the changed condition.
Mr. McCracken said the process to evaluate the change of a safety basis is good and is dependent upon workers identifying a changed condition. He said for workers to do that they must know what the safety basis is. He said managers are careful not to criticize workers when they discover, or think they discover, a changed condition because that would undermine the system.
He offered to share more with the Board about USQs if members were interested.
Mr. Gibson also said he was impressed with some of the work that had been completed at ETTP. He noted the area around the K-1002 cafeteria site had been graded and seeded. And he said the debris from the demolition of the K-1004 A, B, and C laboratories had been removed.
Announcements and Other Board Business
The next Board meeting will
be Wednesday, December 14, 2005 at the
The minutes of the October 12, 2005 meeting were approved.
The agenda items for two consecutive absences for Mr. Myrick and Ms. Reagan were removed from the agenda.
Board Finance – Mr. Dixon reported that the committee reviewed expenditures, the budget, and DOE allocation of funding for the Board. The committee approved two expenditure requests from the Public Outreach Committee for the Teacher’s Workshop for the Stewardship Education Resource Kit and newspaper advertisements for the new member recruitment campaign.
EM – Mr. Myrick reported that the committee addressed four items at its October meeting: Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA); an update on the K-1007 ponds engineering evaluation/cost analysis at ETTP; the delisting of leachate coming out of the EMWMF; and discussion of securing a technical adviser to help committee members understand the upcoming site wide Record of Decision for ETTP.
Mr. Myrick said the NRDA presentation was very good and commended DOE and the trustees for coming to a mutually acceptable agreement. He said the committee has offered to draft a letter to all parties involved endorsing the work and encouraging a similar process in future NRDA activities.
Mr. Trammell reminded the Board that the next committee meeting will have a presentation on independent verification – what it is, how it was used at Rocky Flats, and how it may have application at ETTP. Mr. Mezga encouraged Stewardship Committee members to attend the meeting as it is relevant for that committee as well.
Public Outreach – Ms. Cothron said the
committee discussed budget and the Teacher’s Workshop for the Stewardship
Education Resource Kit which will be held in February 2006. She said Mr. Douglas will be attending the
Perma-Fix conference in
Stewardship – Mr. Bonner, vice chair, reported the October meeting began with a stewardship education minute concerning the definition of stewardship. The committee heard a presentation from Sid Garland on the draft version of the long-term stewardship implementation plan. He said committee members were given copies of the document for study and asked to return comments to Mr. Garland. Mr. Garland will return to present the revised plan in December.
Executive – Mr. Trammell said the
committee discussed new member recruitment and said Ms. Halsey will report
during her comments. He said he and Mr.
Dixon met briefly with Assistant Secretary Rispoli during his visit to
Mr. Trammell reminded Board members to review the materials in the meeting packets, particularly correspondence, the EM Updates chart, and the Recommendation Tracking Chart.
Board Process – Ms. Bogard talked about the new mentoring plan (Attachment 2). She said the program is to begin immediately and to run for three months at which time it will be evaluated for effectiveness. She said the hope is to secure a facilitator who could help with at least one mentoring training session. She ran through the list of responsibilities for the mentors and protégés. She also noted the mentor/protégé pairings (Attachment 2, page 2). Mr. Myrick requested that mentors and protégés be seated together at Board meetings.
She said the Board Process meeting in November has been cancelled.
Federal Coordinator Report
Ms. Halsey said there were currently two vacancies on the Board, and a new member recruitment campaign had been launched. She said there has been several inquiries and five applications received. She said a recruitment effort had not been planned until spring 2006 because there had been enough candidates in the pool to fill vacancies. But she said the pool had dwindled, and a recruitment process was begun.
She said she has asked Spectrum to begin a search for a technical adviser to assist the EM Committee in reviewing the proposed plan for the upcoming site wide Record of Decision for ETTP. She said it’s a very important document, and the committee should have a competent adviser.
Mr. Trammell also noted that work was being done to secure a facilitator for the EM and Stewardship Committees. He said several applications had been received, and he hopes someone can be secured soon to provide long-term facilitation.
Ms. Halsey said the ORSSAB will be hosting the spring SSAB Chairs’ meeting in April. She said a tour of ORR will be conducted on April 26. The meeting itself will be April 27-28. She said Assistant Secretary Rispoli will be asked to attend and address the meeting.
Additions to the Agenda
Mr. Myrick moved to approve the agenda. Mr. Adams seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Dixon moved to approve the minutes of the October 12 meeting. Mr. Myrick seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
The meeting adjourned at 8:16 p.m.
Sandy Reagan, Secretary
Attachments (2) to these minutes are available on request from the ORSSAB support office.