Many Voices Working for the Community
Approved December 13, 2006 Meeting Minutes
The Oak Ridge Site Specific Advisory Board (ORSSAB) held its monthly meeting on Wednesday, December 13, 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.
Steve Douglas - Secretary
Lance Mezga - Chair
Norman Mulvenon – Vice chair
Sean Purdy1, 2
2Second consecutive absence
Deputy Designated Federal Officer and Liaisons Present
Dave Adler, Liaison, Department of Energy – Oak Ridge Office (DOE-ORO)
Steve McCracken, Deputy Designated Federal Officer, DOE-ORO Assistant Manager for Environmental Management
Becky Brunton, Spectrum
Patsy Goldberg, Environmental Protection Agency, (EPA) Region 4
Spencer Gross, Spectrum
Pete Osborne, Spectrum
Dale Rector, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC).
Three members of the public were present
Deputy Designated Federal Officer and Liaison Comments
Steve McCracken: DOE has submitted to the regulators (EPA and TDEC) for approval an action memorandum on the remediation of the ponds at East Tennessee Technology Park (ETTP). DOE has selected ecological enhancement as the remediation technique, plus the covering of ‘hot spots’ in certain areas. Mr. Adler added that the importation of soils to cover those hot spots would also encourage growth of beneficial plant life.
Ron Newton will become the director of the Building 3019 Project at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Mr. McCracken said an environmental assessment has been issued on Building 3019. He said he will extend the public comment period on the assessment and hold a public meeting during that time. He said a technical staff will be available at the public meeting to answer questions about the project. Mr. Mulvenon suggested extending the public comment period through January 12, 2007.
Mr. McCracken responded to some questions that had been posed at the November meeting. He said that 8,297 cubic yards of process equipment and 4,333 cubic yards of demolition debris will be shipped out west as a result of work at ETTP. He also reported that 23,112 cubic yards of process equipment will be disposed at the Environmental Management Waste Management Facility (EMWMF). He said 555,309 cubic yards of structure, non-process equipment and piping, asbestos, and secondary waste would be disposed at the waste cell. He noted these were preliminary estimates and were subject to change.
At the November meeting during a discussion of uranium hexafluoride cylinders at ETTP, there was a discrepancy in the numbers reported shipped to Portsmouth, Ohio. Mr. McCracken reported that the total amount of cylinders at the beginning of the campaign was 6,793. Of those 924 were empty and shipped to Envirocare or Nevada Test Site before any other cylinders were sent to Portsmouth.
Mr. Mulvenon asked about the engineering study on the north building of K-25 at ETTP. Mr. McCracken said he would have to get the document. He said DOE agreed to leave building standing, clean it out, and put a new roof on it. He said DOE also agreed to do a cost benefit analysis on the building, but he didn’t recall the results of the study. He said there would be other engineering studies done because of the condition of the operating floor in the building.
Dave Adler: Responding to a question from the November meeting about the migration of contamination through Melton Valley, Mr. Adler said contamination levels in the hydrofracture wells were in the milli-curie per liter range, but in the overlying, upper levels contamination was in the pico-curie per liter range. Regarding the western migration of contaminants in Melton Valley, Mr. Adler said eight additional monitoring wells had been drilled on the western side of Melton Valley near the Clinch River. The first round of monitoring results, considered ‘highly preliminary’ because of well-drilling artifacts, had found low levels of naturally occurring organics and some detectable levels of radionuclides. The thought is the radionuclides come from a source in Melton Valley. He said another round of monitoring would likely yield better information. He said he would report when the next monitoring results are available.
Mr. Stow said he would be interested in learning the logic used in setting the placement and depth of the monitoring wells. Mr. Adler said he would find that information.
Mr. Adler said a response to Recommendation 151: Recommendations on Logistics for a Public Meeting on the 2006 Remediation Effectiveness Report and CERCLA 5-Year Review has been produced. He said the response is in the concurrence cycle and is generally favorable. He said it would be available by the January meeting.
Ms. Goldberg: Ms. Goldberg, attending on behalf of Connie Jones, had no comments
Mr. Rector: Mr. Rector, attending on behalf of John Owsley, had no comments.
Announcements and Other Board Business
The next board meeting will be Wednesday, January 10, at 6 p.m. at the DOE Information Center. The presentation topic will be “Plans for Independent Cleanup Verification at ETTP.”
The minutes of the November 8, 2006, meeting were approved.
Recommendation 152: “Recommendations on the Notice of Contamination and Future Use Limitations, and Intent to Provide Notations on Ownership Records in Melton Valley” was approved.
Revisions to the ORSSAB bylaws were approved.
Board Finance – Mr. Mulvenon said funds in some line items were reallocated. He reported that the committee will be reviewing the FY 2008 budget requests from the committees at the January meeting.
EM – Ms. Bogard said at its November meeting the committee heard a presentation on sodium shields that are stored on the reservation. She said the sodium is not considered waste because of its potential for recycling. She also said the sodium will not be disposed under the Bechtel Jacobs, Co., contract, but will be disposed under the proposed Integrated Facilities Disposition Project.
Mr. Mezga added that he and Kerry Trammell are developing comments or a recommendation concerning the scope of the Integrated Facilities Disposition Project.
Ms. Bogard said the December meeting will be a joint meeting with the Stewardship Committee to hear a presentation on groundwater remedies at ETTP.
Public Outreach – Mr. Stow said the committee discussed a large scale map to be placed in the DOE Information Center that would show areas of contamination and waste area groupings on the reservation. He noted the FY 2006 annual report had been completed (Attachment 1). He said representatives of the committee had briefed Oak Ridge Mayor David Bradshaw about the work of the ORSSAB and a similar meeting is scheduled with DOE-ORO Manager Gerald Boyd. Other meetings will be scheduled with various government and public officials throughout the fiscal year.
Mr. Stow said the exhibit at the American Museum of Science and Energy will be updated. He said the Advocate newsletter will be published in January 2007 with a lead story on either the completion of remediation in Melton Valley or on work at the Molten Salt Reactor Experiment.
Executive – Mr. Mezga said the committee discussed how to present the bylaws revision at this meeting. The committee also decided to postpone the presentation on independent verification of cleanup at ETTP to January and to have a presentation on the national waste disposition strategy at the February meeting. He said Ms. Halsey is looking into getting a representative from DOE Headquarters to make that presentation.
Mr. Mezga encouraged board members to participate in committees, and in particular Board Process to work on additional revisions to the bylaws.
Board Process – Mr. Douglas said the committee has moved its meeting time to just prior to the Finance and Executive Committee meetings. He said at the November meeting the committee discussed a new member orientation process. He said the committee would welcome input from the current members who recently joined the board as to what type of information would be helpful to prepare for board membership.
He said the committee would be soliciting input from all board members about the function of the board in general and how processes can be improved.
The committee was not scheduled to meet until March, but Mr. Douglas asked staff put a Board Process meeting on the January calendar.
He also asked that anyone who would like to propose additional revisions to the bylaws to attend the Board Process meetings to offer suggestions.
Stewardship – Mr. Bonner said the committee discussed a proposed long-term stewardship directive to be implemented by DOE for the reservation. No recommendation will be issued until the final directive is presented.
Mr. Mulvenon reported the Stewardship Education Subcommittee met on December 1 and noted the minutes were distributed at this meeting (Attachment 2). He said the committee is working to revise the Stewardship Education Resource Kit. He said the committee is reviewing previous comments by Daniel Axelrod to include more quantitative information in the kit and to describe what is and will be monitored on the reservation.
Federal Coordinator Report
Ms. Halsey reported that Wade Johnson had resigned from the board.
She reported that DOE had asked EPA and TDEC for an extension to prepare a response to comments on the 2006 Remediation Effectiveness Report and 5-year Review. She said it would be about April 2007 before a public meeting on the report would be held.
Mr. Mulvenon asked Ms. Goldberg if the recent EPA comments on the report were significant. Ms. Goldberg said she was not familiar with the comments. Mr. Mezga asked to have Connie Jones report on the comments at the January meeting.
Mr. Myrick asked why there was nothing in the EM Projects Update about the Molten Salt Reactor Experiment. Mr. McCracken said it was not left out intentionally, but the project has had a number of problems. He said the job was shut down because of a fluorine fire, and then it was discovered that some members of the work crew were acting improperly on the job. He said that it was in DOE’s best interest to extract uranium from the salt storage tanks to continue reducing the risk of criticality. He said he recommended to DOE headquarters to restart the job and attempt to drain the fuel and flush salts from the tanks. He said a complete operational readiness review will be done before work restarts.
Mr. Mezga asked if the work at the site was done by Bechtel Jacobs, Co., or by a subcontractor. Mr. McCracken said most of the technicians and operators were subcontractors. Mr. Mezga asked if he felt the problems with the work force were localized and not part of a wider problem. Mr. McCracken said he thought the problems were local.
Additions to the Agenda
Mr. Olson moved to approve the minutes of the November 8, 2006 meeting. Ms. Cothron seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Bonner moved to approve Recommendation 152: “Recommendations on the Notice of Contamination and Future Use Limitations, and Intent to Provide Notations on Ownership Records in Melton Valley.” Mr. Adams seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Douglas moved to accept all revisions to the ORSSAB bylaws proposed by DOE headquarters (Attachment 3) and to table revisions proposed by the Board Process Committee to a later date. Mr. Myrick seconded.
The motion carried with the following motions:
Ms. Bogard moved to revise Article II.A.1 to read ‘At the request of DOE-EM provide informed recommendations and advice to the Department of Energy Environmental Management Program regarding environmental restoration and waste management, as well as land use and economic development of contaminated areas. Also provide recommendations to DOE-EM based on concerns by stakeholders and affected agencies.’ Mr. Adams seconded. The motion carried 15 to 1 (Mr. Murphree voted against).
Mr. Mulvenon moved to revise Article II.A.4 to read ‘After consultation with DOE-EM, provide ORSSAB recommendations to other agencies, including the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the State of Tennessee, and other government entities, hereafter referred to as “the agencies.” A copy of any recommendation will be provided to DOE-EM.’ Mr. Stow seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Adams moved to accept the revision to ArticleII.B.3 (h) as proposed. Mr. Douglas seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Douglas moved to revise Article II.C.1 to read ‘Identify and prioritize issues for review, advice and recommendations. Mr. Olson seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Douglas moved to accept the revision to Article III.B.2 as proposed. Mr. Olson seconded. The motion carried 13 for, one against, and two abstentions. (Mr. Stow voted against; Ms. Bogard and Ms. Reagan abstained.)
Mr. Douglas moved to revise Standing Rule Article III.1 to read ‘DOE-EM shall provide a list of issues to be considered for the next year’s work plan. In addition, the Board solicits input on issues from Board members, liaison agencies, and stakeholders.’ Mr. Olson seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Olson moved to accept the revision to Standing Rule III.3 as proposed. Mr. Douglas seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Douglas moved to revise Standing Rule III.8 to read ‘The work plan shall be submitted to DOE-EM for approval.’ Mr. Stow seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
The meeting adjourned at 8:15 p.m.
Attachments (3) to these minutes are available on request from the ORSSAB support office.