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Oak Ridge
Site Specific Advisory Board

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Approved July 12, 2006 Meeting Minutes


The Oak Ridge Site Specific Advisory Board (ORSSAB) held its monthly meeting on Wednesday, July 12, 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

Rhonda Bogard, Vice-chair

Darryl Bonner

Donna Campbell

Heather Cothron

Steve Dixon

Steve Douglas

Wade Johnson

Sarah Lewis1

Gloria Mei

Lance Mezga

Norman Mulvenon

Ron Murphree

Tim Myrick

Robert Olson

Sandy Reagan, Secretary Sondra Sarten

Steve Stow


Members Absent

Ben Adams

Chris Grove2

Donnie Patterson

Sean Purdy1


1Student Representative

2Second consecutive absence


Deputy Designated Federal Officer and Liaisons Present

Dave Adler, Liaison, Department of Energy – Oak Ridge Office (DOE-ORO)

Pat Halsey, Federal Coordinator, DOE-ORO

Steve McCracken, Deputy Designated Federal Officer, DOE-ORO Assistant Manager for Environmental Management

John Owsley, Liaison, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC)


Others Present

Daniel Axelrod

Jeff Crane, Federal Facilities Project Manager, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Region 4

Spencer Gross, Spectrum

Pete Osborne, Spectrum


 Five members of the public were present.



CERCLA, RCRA, NEPA, and Other Regulations

Mr. Crane’s presentation was an overview of the regulatory programs involved in cleanup operations on the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR). His presentation focused on how the Resource Conservation Recovery Act (RCRA) and Comprehensive Environmental Restoration, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) related to cleanup operations. He noted some other federal regulations and what they address, such as the National Environmental Policy Act, Toxic Substances Control Act, the Clean Water Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, and Clean Air Act (Attachment 1, page 2, slide 2).


He explained how the ORSSAB contributes to cleanup as established through regulations.


Mr. Crane began by saying Congress passes legislation that sets up a regulatory program. Once legislation is signed into law the regulatory agency writes the regulations to implement the statutory requirements. The regulations are codified in the Code of Federal Regulations. When regulations are codified the administering agency sets up guidance for administration.


He said RCRA establishes requirements for hazardous waste management. CERCLA deals with hazardous substances that have been released into the environment.


Mr. Crane said the key components of RCRA are Subtitles C and D, hazardous waste and solid waste management programs. He said Subtitle D is a state delegated program for the management of solid waste, primarily municipal waste. He said Chestnut Ridge adjacent to Y-12 National Security Complex is a permanent Subtitle D landfill. It cannot accept hazardous or radioactive waste.


He described Subtitle C as a ‘cradle to grave’ waste management program for any waste considered hazardous. It establishes requirements for waste generation, transportation, treatment, storage, and disposition. He said the generator of waste must determine if any waste would be considered hazardous. The generator must produce the manifest to track the waste from creation to its final disposition. He mentioned some exclusions, which include low-level and transuranic wastes. They are designated under the Atomic Energy Act as special wastes.


Mr. Crane said transportation, storage, and disposition is the heart of the RCRA program for final disposition of hazardous waste. A facility must be permitted to manage hazardous waste. He said the program is very prescriptive and detailed for managing the waste.


In explaining how CERCLA relates to cleanup of the ORR, Mr. Crane said DOE is the designated lead agency for cleaning up the reservation.


He said the two key components of CERCLA are the removal response authority and the remedial response authority. Removal authority is designed to take quick action. Removal actions are time sensitive that deal with emergency responses, such as spills, and time critical actions that require prompt action, but do not require immediate action. Non-time critical actions allow even more evaluation and public input.


Mr. Crane said remedial response actions are documented in records of decisions (ROD) of final cleanup. In remedial responses, the level of assessment, public participation, and documentation are extensive.


He said the ultimate goal of a remedial response is protection of human health and the environment.


Mr. Crane said DOE developed helpful CERCLA guidance referred to as the “Four Key Principals to Environmental Restoration,” which were established to improve the focus on critical steps in deploying remediation in an effective manner. They include the establishment of a core team of decision makers engaged in the process of cleanup. The second key principal is thoroughly defining the problem. The third key principal is consideration of actions that might be deployed, and the fourth is consideration and management of uncertainties.


Mr. Crane noted the nine criteria in evaluating alternatives for cleanup. They are listed in Attachment 1, page 7, slide 1. He said the key criteria are protecting human health and environment and complying with appropriate requirements under other laws, such as the Safe Drinking Water Act and RCRA hazardous waste requirements. Another key requirement is public acceptance. The public is engaged throughout the process and not just at the remedy selection stage. He said that the state is an equal partner with EPA in its oversight capacity of cleanup.


After the evaluation process in the remedial investigation/feasibility study, a proposed plan for cleanup is drafted. A formal public meeting on the proposed plan is held for community input. Once a proposed plan is agreed upon a ROD is written. The ROD must note if the selected remedy is protective, if it complies with other regulations, if it is cost effective, if it is a permanent remedy, and if treatment was required. Remedies that leave residual contamination behind must be reviewed every five years.


Mr. Crane said when the lead agency for implementing a remedial response (e.g. DOE) writes a ROD it must enter into an interagency agreement with EPA. He said, however, at that point it is generally too late for an effective dialogue on the cleanup process. Agreements are made earlier in the process through the Federal Facility Agreement. The agreement establishes priorities for funding and setting milestones in the cleanup operations.


Mr. Crane said the ORR remedial response strategy (Attachment 1, page 8, slide 3) includes early responses for immediate threats, a series of watershed RODs, removal of contaminated buildings, accelerated cleanup, and the proposed Integrated Facilities Disposition Project.


He concluded his presentation by listing a number of things ORSSAB could do to provide effective input to the ORR cleanup program:

  • Stay involved and informed through agency participation in ORSSAB committees
  • Be engaged in the annual project prioritization
  • Be engaged with the community
  • Be engaged in setting long-term requirements for both operation and maintenance and institutional controls.


After the presentation Mr. Johnson asked who determines the need for legislation that Congress authorizes, who develops it, and who writes the regulations. Mr. Crane said Congress develops legislation in consultation with interested groups. Once the legislation is signed into law regulatory agencies design the program and the regulations are put in the Federal Code of Regulations.


Deputy Designated Federal Officer and Liaison Comments

Mr. McCracken introduced Ron Murphree, Sondra Sarten, and Steve Stow as new members to the Board. A fourth new member, Donnie Patterson, was not able to attend this evening.


Mr. McCracken said Jack Howard of DOE will provide a detailed report on the proposed changes to the demolition strategy of Buildings K-25 and K-27 at East Tennessee Technology Park (ETTP) at the July 19 Environmental Management Committee meeting.


He complimented Board members who participated in manning the ORSSAB booth at the Secret City Festival.


Mr. Adler said DOE has responded to three recommendations from ORSSAB. The responses to the recommendation for independent verification of cleanup at ETTP, the fact sheet for the explanation of significant difference for the Molten Salt Reactor Experiment ROD, and the Natural Resource Damage Assessment process are Attachments 2-4. He said a draft response has been written on the recommendation for long-term stewardship on the ORR and should be issued soon.


Mr. Crane stated its list of 2007 topics for ORSSAB was submitted by EPA’s letter of July 10, 2006 (Attachment 5).  Mr. Crane also expressed appreciation for Ms. Connie Jones role as EPA’s ex-officio representative and her role in processing the SSAB’s citizen excellence award.


Mr. Owsley introduced Chuck Head, senior director of TDEC’s land resources department.


Public Comment

Mr. Axelrod spoke on two topics, the Upper East Fork Poplar Creek ROD and the ORSSAB stakeholder survey, which was sent in June. He asked why the ROD for Upper East Fork Poplar Creek should be delayed until 2009 when other projects under the Accelerated Cleanup Plan are scheduled for completion in 2008. In regard to the stakeholder survey, he criticized the use of the term ‘contamination’ several times in the survey. He felt it left a bad impression of Oak Ridge. His complete comments are Attachment 6.


Announcements and Other Board Business

ORSSAB will meet for its annual planning retreat and meeting on Saturday, August 12, at Pollard Technology and Conference Center, 210 Badger Ave., Oak Ridge. The retreat will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., followed by the annual meeting from 4 to 4:30 p.m.


The minutes of the June 14, 2006, meeting were approved.


Recommendation 148: Recommendation on the Integrated Facilities Disposition Project – 2015 Cleanup Initiative for the Oak Ridge Reservation was approved (Attachment 7).


The item of two consecutive absences for Ms. Dunn was removed from the agenda as she has submitted her resignation from the Board.


Committee Reports

Board Finance Mr. Dixon said the committee reviewed the current cost report and noted a couple of line items were over budget and will probably be adjusted at the next meeting. Overall the budget is on target. He invited all members to attend the next meeting on July 28.


EM – Mr. Mezga said the committee discussed the engineering evaluation/cost analysis (EE/CA) for the K-1007 Ponds at ETTP and the Remediation Effectiveness Report (RER), and approved the recommendation on the Integrated Facilities Disposition Project. He said the committee will again discuss the EE/CA and the RER at a called meeting on July 26. FY 2006 accomplishments will be discussed at that meeting as well.


Mr. Mezga said that the July 19 meeting will act as a public meeting for a report on the change of demolition strategy of buildings K-25 and K-27 at ETTP.


Public Outreach – Ms. Cothron said she, Mr. Osborne, and Kerry Trammell attended the EPA Community Involvement Conference June 27-29 to receive the EPA Citizen’s Excellence in Community Involvement Award. She said she was pleased with the conference and recommended the Board participate in the conference in the future.


Stewardship – Mr. Mulvenon said the committee received the final version of the Melton Valley Land Use Control Implementation Plan. The committee also heard details of the reestablishment of the Oak Ridge Environmental Information System. The system was taken out of service after the events of September 11, 2001. Interested parties may set up an account to use the system.


The committee heard a report on the development of a long-term stewardship directive at the DOE Oak Ridge Office, which would be the basis for establishing a long-term stewardship plan.


The committee has seen the draft response to the outstanding recommendation on long-term stewardship for the ORR and looks forward to seeing the final response.


Executive – Ms. Bogard said the committee reviewed the agendas for the annual retreat and the new member training session on August 11. The committee sent some suggestions to Board Process for consideration.


The committee also discussed extended use of technical facilitators/advisers at the committee level to aid committees in formulating recommendations on technically challenging issues.


Board Process – Ms. Reagan said Mr. Douglas brought some suggestions of the Executive Committee to the meeting regarding agenda items for the annual retreat and the new member training. She said some of the same ideas that Mr. Douglas brought to the meeting had been discussed previously at Board Process. The committee decided not to adjust the agendas. However, she encouraged feedback on the retreat for evaluation to guide next year’s retreat.


She said one of the concerns among current Board members is the difficulty for new members to get involved and how to accommodate new members and help them understand their roles sooner. She said the Board may look at ways to get new members acclimated sooner at the retreat.


Ms. Reagan said new members are encouraged to attend the new member training on August 11 at the DOEIC. She invited current members to attend as well for a refresher. 


After the retreat she said the committee will begin the process of revising the bylaws to match the Environmental Management SSAB charter.


Nominating - Mr. Mulvenon submitted a slate of candidates for officers for FY 2007. The slate includes nominees Mr. Mezga, chair; Mr. Mulvenon, vice-chair; and Mr. Douglas, secretary. Ms. Bogard noted that nominations for officers will be taken from the floor at the August 12 meeting.


Federal Coordinator Report

Ms. Halsey said Dorothy Dunn had submitted her resignation to the Board because of health problems of a family member.


She reported the four new members will be receiving their appointment letters soon. She said the appointments had been approved at headquarters but letters had not yet been mailed to the new members. Ms. Halsey said reappointments for additional two-year terms had been received for Mr. Adams, Ms. Bogard, Ms. Mei, and Mr. Myrick.


She reminded the Board of the new member training on August 11 and encouraged current members to attend.


Additions to the Agenda

No additions.



Mr. Myrick was absent for all votes.



Mr. Mulvenon moved to approve the agenda.  Mr. Olson seconded and the motion passed unanimously.



Mr. Mezga moved to approve the minutes of the June 24, 2006 meeting. Mr. Olson seconded and the motion carried unanimously.



Mr. Douglas moved to approve Recommendation 148: Recommendation on the Integrated Facilities Disposition Project.  Ms. Cothron seconded and the motion carried unanimously.


The meeting adjourned at 8: 21 p.m.


Action Items

  1. Mr. McCracken will keep the Board informed on the start date and the estimated cost of completion for new work outside the accelerated closure plan. Status. Mr. McCracken reported on the Integrated Facilities Disposition Plan at the May meeting.  The plan has not yet been approved by DOE Headquarters.
  2. Mr. McCracken will report to the Board on new plans and costs to demolish K-25. Complete. Details will be provided at the July 19 EM committee meeting.
  3. Mr. Skinner will work with the Board to address Mr. Axelrod’s suggestion for additional slides in the Stewardship Education Resource Kit.



Attachments (7) to these minutes are available on request from the ORSSAB support office.