Many Voices Working for the Community

Oak Ridge
Site Specific Advisory Board

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Approved February 8, 2006 Meeting Minutes

 

The Oak Ridge Site Specific Advisory Board (ORSSAB) held its monthly meeting on Wednesday, February 8, 2006, 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

Rhonda Bogard, Vice-chair

Darryl Bonner

Donna Campbell

Heather Cothron

Steve Dixon

Steve Douglas

Chris Grove

Meredith James1

Wade Johnson

Gloria Mei

Lance Mezga

Norman Mulvenon

Tim Myrick

Ken Sadler

Kerry Trammell, Chair

David Wesolowski

 

Members Absent

Tonya Justice1, 2

James Miller2

Sandy Reagan, Secretary

Robert Olson


1Student Representative

2Second consecutive absence

 

Deputy Designated Federal Officer and Ex-Officios Present

Pat Halsey, Federal Coordinator, Department of Energy – Oak Ridge Office (DOE-ORO)

Connie Jones, Ex-Officio, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Region 4

Steve McCracken, Deputy Designated Federal Officer

John Owsley, Ex-Officio, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC)

 

Others Present

Susan Cange, DOE

Susan Gawarecki, Local Oversight Committee

Luther Gibson

Spencer Gross, Spectrum

Brian Henry, DOE

Jim O’Connor, Oak Ridge City Manager

Pete Osborne, Spectrum

Lawrence Young, Community Reuse Organization of East Tennessee (CROET)

 

Eight members of the public were present.

 

Presentation

Reindustrialization of the East Tennessee Technology Park

Susan Cange, leader of the reindustrialization and technical assistance team, presented the program on the end use of East Tennessee Technology Park (ETTP) when cleanup is complete.

 

She said DOE would continue to have responsibility for the Toxic Substances Control Act Incinerator, the K-1070-C/D classified waste burial ground, two telecommunications buildings, and some buildings designated as having historical significance after the completion of the remediation activities.  She said U.S. Enrichment Corporation will continue to have responsibility for Buildings K-1600 and K-101, while the National Nuclear Security Administration will have responsibility for Building K-1650, the emergency response center.

 

She noted land use controls that will be in place for the entire site (Attachment 1, page 2). 

 

Once cleanup of ETTP is complete, the area will be developed for use as a private industrial park.  Some buildings have already been transferred to CROET and others are the process of being transferred.  Attachment 1, page 3 indicates buildings that have been or are being transferred to CROET, including two land parcels, ED-5 East and West.  Attachment 1, page 4, indicates facilities that are potential candidates for transfer.

 

She said in addition to transferring buildings, work is being done to transfer infrastructure and utilities to the City of Oak Ridge (Attachment 1, page 5).  She said a memorandum of agreement has been signed by DOE, Oak Ridge, and CROET to transfer the water treatment plant, underground potable water lines, underground sewer lines, and roads indicated on the attachment.  A new sewer lift station will be built to send sewage to a new treatment plant at Rarity Ridge.  She said the railroad that runs through the site will also be transferred to CROET.  A separate memorandum of agreement is being developed concerning the transfer of the electrical distribution system.

 

Ms. Cange explained the various land use controls that will be in place (Attachment 1, pages 7 and 8).  The land use controls are spelled out in the Zones 1 and 2 Records of Decision (DOE/OR/01-1997&D2 and DOE/OR/01-2161&D2).

 

She talked about the general site conditions at the completion of cleanup (Attachment 1, pages 10-13).  Attachment 1, pages 14-16 outline how the various utility systems will be transferred.  She noted that discussions are ongoing concerning the transfer of storm drains.  Mr. O’Connor said the discussion is about 26 monitored (storm drain) outfalls that the city does not wish to be responsible for.  He said the city would maintain drainage along the sides of roads.

 

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

 

 

Question

Answer

Mr. Adams – On slide 15 it says Oak Ridge will be taking over natural gas as the service provider.  Is that a new relationship the city is undertaking as opposed to the utility district?

Mr. O’Connor – It is the utility district and not the city.

Mr. Mulvenon – For buildings K-1200 and

K-1006, are those negotiations in progress now?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is the trigger for transferring or not transferring K-31 and K-33 to CROET?  If they are not transferred they will be torn down, correct?

 

 

 

What’s the window?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is the mechanism for all the utility transfers to the city?

 

Mr. Trammell – What are the time frames for those transfers?

Ms. Cange – Yes. We have received a request for transfer of the leased facilities in the 1200 complex from Materials & Energy Corp.  We also have received a proposal for the transfer of K-1006 from Materials and Chemistry Laboratory.  We are in the process of evaluating the proposals and negotiating the transfers.  Both of the companies have requested funding as part of the transfer in order to perform some DOE responsibilities. We’re still evaluating that.  The transfers are done under a federal regulation that allows us to transfer for less than fair market value.

 

Mr. Young – I think the trigger is really incumbent upon CROET to request that from DOE.  That is going to be dependent upon whether we are able to find companies desiring to locate into those facilities.  If we’re successful doing that we’d make a transfer request.

 

Mr. McCracken – We will keep the demolition of those buildings in our baseline.  We will have a plan to take them down.  But we’re looking at giving the potential of reusing those buildings as much time as we can.  They are not a high priority given the other work that has to be done, but we don’t think they should be taken out of the baseline.

 

Ms. Cange – They are direct transfers to the city.

 

 

Most of the utility systems are scheduled for transfer by March 2008.

Mr. Douglas – With the transfer of the

K-1515 water treatment plant, does that include the settling ponds?

Ms. Cange – It does not include the former pond that is no longer in use or the current pond being used.  It does include the K-1513 intake pump stations, the

K-1529 and K-1530 storage tanks, and the remainder of the K-1515 facility.  The ponds will remain with DOE.

Mr. Owsley – A follow-up question on the remaining facilities DOE plans to transfer to the city.  Do you have a status on those, because most have a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System or water pollution control permit.

 

 

But the lift station and material going into Rarity Ridge will be a permitted activity.

 

 

You said the excavation/penetration permit program would be in place until the cleanup program is complete.  It is TDEC’s understanding that the permit program will be in place as long as risk to an industrial worker remains below 10 feet.

Ms. Cange – There have been discussions with TDEC regarding the transfer of permits.  The pollution discharge permit is still undecided regarding the permitted outfalls we talked about earlier.  As far as waste water, those will be closed out once the facility is turned over to Bechtel Jacobs, Co., for decontamination and decommissioning.

 

Yes.  That will, I believe, be controlled by the city of Oak Ridge.

 

 

Ms. Cange – There will be certain areas at the site where there will be a restriction that prohibits excavation below 10 feet.  There will not necessarily be a permitting process to excavate in those areas.  That will be a specific restriction that is carried with the land.  The process I was referring to is what is happening at the site before cleanup is complete, where we want to make sure before anyone digs that there has been a thorough check to make sure they are not going to hit utility lines or areas of contamination.

Mr. Myrick – Knowing what has gone through those drain lines from previous processes, how are we going to make sure that lines are clear of uranium and technicium and other contaminants that other cities don’t have to deal with?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You mentioned the haul road…

 

 

 

Ms. Cange – Based on the sampling that is occurring for the waste water sludge, I’m not sure there are those constituents of concern in those waste water lines, but I would have to confirm that with Mr. Young’s contractor.

 

Mr. Henry – It is my understanding that the sewage lines that will remain have been relined.

 

Mr. Owsley – I just wanted to point out that there will be a [Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act] decision on all parts of that property prior to transfer.  It will be either cleaned up or controlled.

 

Mr. McCracken – Our commitment is to let the haul road return to its original state.  I picture that as grading out the gravel and getting it to where the same weeds that were there before can grow again.  However, I wouldn’t expect us to return the roads that were already there before we started to return those to their natural state.

Mr. Johnson – If a tenant expresses an interest in an area where a building sits, but not the building, would the building be demolished, or would the tenant demolish it, or must it go as is?

 

What’s being done to recruit or encourage organizations to investigate this area?

Ms. Cange – There are plans to transfer buildings to for re-use and there are plans to transfer land parcels, particularly ED-5 East and West to CROET for new construction.  The land parcels could either be leased or sold.  Buildings that will not be transferred will be demolished, and at some time in the future the property where the buildings stood will be available for transfer and construction of new facilities.

 

 

Mr. Young – There is a significant, ongoing effort utilizing existing marketing partners, such as the Oak Ridge partnership, and the Tennessee Valley Authority’s ongoing marketing effort, as well as the state’s Office of Economic and Community Development and the Roane County Alliance.  We try to supplement those existing efforts to get the word out within those agencies to their clientele that there are opportunities available here.

 

Mr. Trammell – At the last CROET board meeting there was a report by the strategic planning committee that laid out the strengths and weaknesses of the area and there was discussion of bringing in an industrial real estate agency to market the area.

Mr. Wesolowski – There is a burial ground immediately adjacent to the preferred use area.  Does that burial ground contain toxic or radiological material that could potentially create a plume less than 10 feet below the surface within the preferred area?

 

Will CROET retain control of this property indefinitely or is there intent to transfer to a government or private organization?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These buildings represent substantial value.  Are they to be sold at near market value and if not will that represent a gift to some business or Oak Ridge?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Will the business or properties become subject to city and county taxes?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Those very large buildings might require some special marketing to special companies, like car companies.  Is there an effort along those lines?

Ms. Cange – That’s a classified burial ground.  There will not be any contamination in that area that requires controls.

 

 

 

 

 

CROET will either lease or sell the property that is transferred to them.

 

Mr. Young – There will be parcels that will remain with CROET indefinitely so long as there is a business case to do so.  If there is no desire on the part of the private sector to acquire fee simple ownership of the property, then in all likelihood we would go through a leasing mechanism or simply maintain it and hold it.

 

We’ve developed a business model whereby there are significant expenses that we know are looming for us in the maintenance of these properties.  There are also near-term costs of improvements.  So our business plan is to lease those properties and from that income stream improve the properties to bring them up to standard.  There is no intent to develop those properties and bring them up to market standard and provide them as a gift to any entity.

 

Yes.  The buildings we have acquired are subject to county taxes once we acquire them.  We are a 501-C3 not-for-profit corporation, but that does not automatically provide for any tax abatement.  We have negotiated an in lieu of tax payment with the taxing entity for those buildings.  It is our intent that when the buildings are turned over to private sector owners they would be fully taxable or that entity would enter into an in lieu of tax agreement.

 

We are cognizant of the benefits and detriments associated with those buildings.  As Mr. Trammell said, we would enter into an agreement with a nationally know real estate agency with regard to the ultimate marketing of those facilities.  But the unique nature of them really does limit the universe of prospective clients, particularly if you’re looking at a single user.  So the process we’ve used recently is not to look at them as single user facilities. Car companies use very large buildings, but they build them.  So we are looking at potentially dividing the buildings up for customers who would use 200,000 to 250,000 square feet.  If we could acquire two 250,000 square-foot tenants, which would be more than the town has ever actually acquired, that would only account for a relatively small portion of one of those buildings.

Mr. Mezga – What provisions have been made for maintenance for those systems that require excavation of soil to reach the utility lines, and also in the case of some of the old sewer lines, if pieces of the system have to be removed and replaced, the management of those materials?

 

 

 

 

 

I’m guessing the city doesn’t want to be involved in doing radiological surveys for contaminated soil.

Ms. Cange – We are in the process of working with the environmental management program on those characterization activities in concert with the transfer of the utility lines.  The city is not interested in having lines transferred where there will be restrictions on digging.  Most of the preliminary work that has been done has indicated that the lines are not in areas where we will need those types of restrictions.  We recognize that we might have to re-route a line, but so far we haven’t encountered that.

 

By the time cleanup is complete we would have identified those areas where restrictions will be necessary.  We don’t expect them to be very extensive based on the data that have been collected to date.  Once cleanup is complete and areas have been released then there won’t be the need for oversight and control.

 

Mr. McCracken – In the footprint of the classified burial ground, on the backside of the hill there is a series of ridges and ravines. We have suggested and the state agrees that that would be a very good spoils area for building debris because it meets an industrial cleanup standard so that state would not have to be concerned about taking an industrial cleanup standard off site and where it’s going to go because it would stay on site.

Mr. Adams – Have the land parcels at ETTP been considered for use in a conservancy?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Did that close the book on that effort?

Mr. Owsley – The general consensus of the land use working group that DOE established to look at ETTP and the surrounding area felt that the Black Oak Ridge area was best suited for conservation and that’s why they and the other Natural Resource Damage Assessment trustees looked at that property for a conservation easement in restitution for resource damages.

 

It was only a partial settlement.

Mr. Bonner – What are the plans for the fueling station?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On slide 10 you say the site will be left in a safe condition for industrial workers.  What is CROET doing, considering the unique history of ETTP, to address safety concerns for potential tenants at the site?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Given the various restrictions at ETTP, what is the flexibility for infrastructure upgrades for tenants?

Ms. Cange – It’s my understanding that it will be closed and demolished.  I’ll have to confirm that.

 

Mr. McCracken – I don’t know specifically where it is, but there are some underground storage tanks that we have to get out of the ground and that may be where it is.

 

 

 

 

Mr. Young – The current status of the site, being in effect mixed use, in other words private sector workers with ongoing decontamination and decommissioning activities, necessitates a higher level of safety concern and a higher level of cooperation between the existing tenants and the ongoing regulations that DOE observes.  Once the site is cleaned up and is no longer a DOE site and is a private sector based business park then the safety activities will be regulated by that which you would expect in other private sector business parks.

 

The issue with regard to radionuclides is different today than it will be post-2008.  It will be easier in 2008.  We are under more strict circumstances now because of the co-use of the facility.  But when it’s no longer a co-use facility it will be regulated principally the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

 

Ms. Cange had alluded to some of the activities that are now underway with regard to engineering that are going to take place within the next two years to bring the systems up to specifications that would allow the city to take over those systems in a reasonable and cost effective way.  In the last seven years or so, we’ve been investing in the systems to bring them up to specifications so that the city will be able to provide tenants the same level of utilities that would be found at other locations in the city.

 

Mr. O’Connor – The real limitation is going to be the 10 foot dig rule.  The city is not interested in taking over those spots.  We don’t want a 12-foot manhole in a 10-foot dig rule area.  The state is going to be right there with us and hopefully not let us take anything that will have any major hazards to it.

 

Deputy Designated Federal Officer and Ex-Officio Comments

Mr. McCracken reported that appropriations for DOE’s Environmental Management program in the proposed 2007 national budget are the same as 2006.  He said the integrated facility disposition project should continue to be pushed for consideration of funding beyond 2007.

 

Concerning recent injuries in work areas, Mr. McCracken said 60 to 80 percent are minor injuries.  He said work is not stopped, but rather an attempt is made to change workplace behaviors to prevent those kinds of injuries.  He said major injuries are in a different category that are addressed from leadership to the workers.  He said it’s important to understand how major injuries occur and that steps are taken eliminate the causes.

 

Mr. McCracken reported that the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (DNFSB) is interested in the work controls for sampling soil at Corehole 8 at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.  He said the board would not normally be interested, except that the soil around Corehole 8 is seriously contaminated.  He said he would brief the DNFSB on the plans in the next few weeks.

 

Mr. McCracken reported that Foster Wheeler Environmental Corp. is currently processing contact-handled (CH TRU) transuranic wastes at the Transuranic Waste Processing Facility.  He said the next milestone is for Foster Wheeler to begin processing remote-handled (RH TRU) waste, which is anticipated to begin by the end of 2006.  He said CH TRU from Nuclear Fuel Services would be processed first and then Oak Ridge generated CH TRU would begin around the end of February.  He said he would report on the specific date.

 

He noted that Building K-29 at ETTP is currently being demolished.  He said that is first gaseous diffusion plant ever to be demolished.

 

He did not have any information concerning plutonium contamination of uranium at Y-12 National Security Complex.  He said he would check to see if someone from Y-12 could possibly speak to Board on the issue.

 

Ms. Gawarecki asked if higher than expected levels of radiation had been encountered during the grouting of Trenches 5 and 7 in Melton Valley.  Mr. McCracken had no information except that during the grouting process some grout was forced out of another area which he said was a minor problem.  He said if would follow up on Ms. Gawarecki’s question.

 

Mr. Jones reported that EPA was reviewing DOE’s milestones for Appendix E in the Federal Facility Agreement.  She said EPA was also reviewing the Explanation of Significant Difference to the Molten Salt Reactor Experiment Fuel Salt Disposition Record of Decision (ROD) (DOE/OR/01-1671&D2).  She said there didn’t appear to be any technical problems with the proposed change.

 

Ms. Jones said EPA has issued comments to DOE on the remedial investigation/feasibility study for the sitewide ROD for ETTP.

 

Mr. Owsley reiterated the state’s position that questions concerning the reindustrialization of ETTP would be answered in the final sitewide ROD for ETTP, so that the site will be safe for transfer once cleanup is complete.

 

Ms. Halsey reported for Dave Adler, DOE Ex Officio.  She referenced Ms. Jones’s comments about the Appendix E milestones and noted that a copy of the milestones had been distributed (Attachment 2).  She said the table indicates where funding shortfalls in 2006 impacted the milestones.  Five milestones had been impacted: soil characterization in Zone 2 at ETTP; removal of centrifuge equipment in the K-1210/K-1220 buildings at ETTP, the K-1064 Peninsula Scrapyard, the K-25/K-27 centrifuge and the Y-12 excess materials removal; and the characterization of field work at Corehole 8.  She said other items are also listed as a result of funding shortfalls from previous years.

 

Ms. Halsey reported that there will be a delay in the remedial investigation/feasibility study for the sitewide ETTP ROD, but that it would be delivered by the end of the year.

 

Public Comment

Mr. Gibson suggested in response to the discussion on the recommendation for independent verification at ETTP that the background and discussion portion of the recommendation remain.  During the deliberation about the recommendation there was a suggestion to eliminate background and discussion.  Mr. Gibson felt that those two elements were important for understanding how and why the recommendation was developed.

 

In response to Mr. McCracken’s comments about the DNFSB’s interest in Corehole 8, he said the letter issued by the DNFSB was a harsh observation that integrated safety management principles were not being followed by the contractor, Bechtel Jacobs, Co.  Mr. McCracken said DNFSB’s points were valid.  He said the next step will be to show the DNFSB how the work will be performed and he believed that they would accept the plan.

 

Mr. Gibson said the Southwest Information Research Center in New Mexico had requested an extension of the public comment period on Class 3 permit modification for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) to accept RH TRU wastes.  He said the group had referenced a number of recommendations that had been issued by the ORSSAB.  He said a copy of the request was available and he could provide it if requested.  Mr. Mezga stated that the extension had been granted because the administrative record file for the WIPP was not available for public comment as it should have been.

 

Announcements and Other Board Business

The next Board meeting will be Wednesday, March 8, 2006, at 6 p.m. at the DOE Information Center. The topic will be an update on the Molten Salt Reactor Experiment.

 

The minutes of the January 11, 2006, meeting were approved.

 

The Recommendation for Independent Verification at East Tennessee Technology Park was sent back to the Environmental Management Committee for revisions.  

 

Mr. Trammell announced that Pat Hill had submitted her resignation from the Board effective immediately.

 

Committee Reports

Board Finance – Mr. Dixon reported that the committee had addressed the carryover of the FY 2005 budget allocation to FY 2006.  All expenses from FY 2005 have been paid.  The FY 2007 budget allocation request was approved and sent to the Executive Committee. The budget will now go to Ms. Halsey for review to determine the government’s estimate. The committee will review her determination at its February meeting.

 

EM – Mr. Mezga reported that the committee heard a presentation on newly generated waste at the Y-12 National Security Complex.  The committee also received a detailed report on haul road cost overruns.  The committee finalized the recommendation on independent verification, which the Board considered at this meeting.

 

The topic for the February meeting will be on CH and RH TRU waste.  The committee will also consider a fact sheet on the explanation of significant differences to the Molten Salt Reactor Experiment ROD.  The work plan will likely be modified to reflect a change in the delivery of the remedial investigation/feasibility study on the site wide ROD for ETTP.  That topic will be replaced in March with a report on the decontamination and decommissioning of Buildings K-25/K-27 at ETTP.

 

Mr. Mezga noted a correction on the February calendar.  The committee will have its February meeting at the DOE Information and not on Badger Avenue as the calendar indicated.

 

Public Outreach – Ms. Cothron reported that the teacher’s workshop for the Stewardship Education Resource Kit is scheduled for Thursday, February 9 and Saturday, February 11 at Pollard Auditorium.

 

She asked for volunteers to participate in the membership drive for East Tennessee Public Television on March 16.

 

She noted that the Cleanup Progress Report had been published, which includes information about the work of the ORSSAB.

 

Ms. Cothron said the committee is considering having a booth at the TDEC hazardous waste conference in Gatlinburg May 3-5.  She asked for volunteers to man the booth.

 

Stewardship – Mr. Mulvenon reported the January program was on the land use control implementation plan for Melton Valley.  He referred to the minutes for details on the discussion.

 

The committee work plan will be modified to reflect the change in the remedial investigation/feasibility for the ETTP sitewide ROD, as the committee was planning a combined meeting with Environmental Management in March.

 

The February meeting will have an update on two outstanding recommendations to DOE that originated from the committee.

 

Executive – Mr. Trammell said the committee had a discussion with Emily Guffey from the DOE Oak Ridge Financial Services Center concerning travel policies and procedures.

 

He said the committee also discussed the spring SSAB Chair’s meeting, which will be April 27-28 in Knoxville.  He invited Board members to attend the proceedings.

 

Board Process – Mr. Mulvenon reported for Ms. Reagan.  He said the committee encourages mentors and protégés to remain in close contact with one another.

 

He presented the Process for Tracking Recommendations (Attachment 3) and noted that it was not a formal process, but a set of guidelines for issues managers to use in following the status of recommendations.  He said the guidelines would be used for six months.  After evaluation at the end of that period the guidelines may be considered for inclusion in the standing rules of the Bylaws.

 

Federal Coordinator Report

Ms. Halsey said it was possible a new member to replace Ms. Hill could be selected by the March meeting.  She said 37 applications for board membership had been received during the recent recruitment campaign.

 

Additions to the Agenda

No additions.

 

Motions

2/8/06.1

Mr. Mulvenon moved to approve the agenda.  Mr. Myrick seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

 

2/8/06.2

Mr. Adams moved to approve the minutes of the January 11, 2006 meeting.  Mr. Bonner seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

 

2/8/06.3

Mr. Mulvenon moved to send the Recommendation for Independent Verification at East Tennessee Technology Park back to EM committee for discussed revisions.  Ms. Cothron seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

 

Action Items

  1. Ms. Cange will confirm the final disposition of the fueling station at ETTP. Complete. Per Bechtel Jacobs, the ETTP fuel station is scheduled to be demolished beginning October 1, 2007.
  2. Mr. McCracken will report when Foster Wheeler begins processing Oak Ridge generated CH TRU waste.
  3. Mr. McCracken will see if someone from Y-12 can speak to the Board concerning plutonium contamination of uranium.
  4. Mr. McCracken will check to see if higher than expected levels of radiation have been detected at Trenches 5 and 7.
  5. Ms. Hughes will research hypothetical maximum exposure results found at other locations compared to Oak Ridge’s number of 12 millirems. Complete.  See Attachment 4.
  6. Ms. Hughes will provide the 2005 ASER guidance when it becomes available.
  7. Mr. McCracken will get more information about what non-ORO wastes will be shipped to the TSCA Incinerator for disposition.
  8. Mr. McCracken will keep the Board informed as he can on start date and the estimated cost of completion for new work outside the accelerated closure plan.

 

Attachments (4) to these minutes are available on request from the ORSSAB support office.