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Oak Ridge
Site Specific Advisory Board

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Approved May 14, 2008 Meeting Minutes


The Oak Ridge Site Specific Advisory Board (ORSSAB) held its monthly meeting on Wednesday, May 14, 2008, 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

Bill Bass

Darryl Bonner

David Branch

Claire Campbell1

Miranda Clower1

John Coffman

Steve Dixon - Vice chair

Mike Haygood

Charles Jensen

Ted Lundy – Secretary

David Martin

Steve Mead

Gloria Mei

Lance Mezga - Chair

Ron Murphree

Tim Myrick

Robert Olson

Sondra Sarten

Steve Stow

Kevin Westervelt


Members Absent

Rhonda Bogard2


1Student Representative

2Third consecutive absence


Deputy Designated Federal Officer, Liaisons, and Federal Coordinator Present

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

Pat Halsey, ORSSAB Federal Coordinator

Connie Jones, Environmental Protection Agency, (EPA) Region 4

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

   Environmental Management (EM)

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


Others Present

Becky Brunton, Spectrum

Susan Gawarecki, Local Oversight Committee (LOC)

Spencer Gross, Spectrum

J.T. Howell, DOE

Alice Murphy

Norman Mulvenon, LOC

Pete Osborne, Spectrum

W.E. Tewes

Kerry Trammell


Twenty-seven members of the public were present.



Report on Submittal of the Integrated Facility Disposition Project CD-1 Document

Mr. Howell is the federal project manager for developing the critical decision 1 (CD-1) for the Integrated Facility Disposition Project (IFDP). The main points of his presentation are in Attachment 1.


The IFDP is a plan to clean up those portions of the Oak Ridge Reservation not covered under the Accelerated Closure Plan. Work to be done under IFDP consists of activities in the current EM baseline, but not yet under contract as well as the transfer of additional excess facilities from National Nuclear Security Agency (NNSA), Office of Science (SC), and Nuclear Energy (NE). The scope of IFDP includes decontamination and decommissioning (D&D) of excess facilities, treatment of legacy wastes (including remote-handled transuranic (TRU) wastes), soil and groundwater remediation, reconfiguration of waste management facilities and utilities, surveillance and maintenance of excess facilities, and waste treatment and disposal options.


Mr. Howell said the project will affect 439 facilities at Y-12 and ORNL. It will encompass removal of 5.4 million square feet of building space, produce about 2 million cubic yards of debris, and is expected to cost $4-$8 billion over 15-20 years (Attachment 1, page 4). At ORNL 327 facilities, about 1.5 million square feet, will go through D&D. The majority of the work will be done in the central campus. At Y-12, 112 facilities, 3.9 million square feet, will go through D&D and be demolished.


Mr. Howell said about 1 million cubic yards of contaminated soil will be removed and disposed. He showed a map of plumes at Y-12 and ORNL that are contaminated primarily with volatile organic compounds and uranium (Attachment 1, page 6).


The major challenge in doing IFDP is working within areas of ongoing operations (Attachment 1, page 8).


Mr. Howell reviewed the project status (Attachment 1, page 9). CD-0, the mission needs statement, was approved in July 2007. Preparation of CD-1, which includes alternative selection and cost range, is currently being developed. He said that document is almost complete and will be submitted to DOE headquarters in late May 2008. The hope is to have CD-1 approved by September 2008. The next step would be establishing the performance baseline and construction start package for headquarters approval (CD-2/3A). The timeline for that document is FY 2009-10.


Mr. Howell concluded his presentation by showing current aerial photos of Y-12 and ORNL and an artist’s concept of what the two campuses will look like when IFDP is complete.


After Mr. Howell’s presentation a number of questions were asked. Following are abridged questions and answers.


Mr. Owsley – You said 2 million cubic yards of debris will be generated. Do you have an estimate for how much of that is clean and how much is contaminated? Mr. Howell – No. But based on the capacity of the Environmental Management Waste Management Facility (EMWMF) we don’t think it will handle all of it at this point. When we get to the CD-2 phase, we’ll have to do an engineering study on sorting and segregating. We would like to use the maximum available at EMWMF and also the sanitary landfill on Chestnut Ridge. Mr. Owsley – Are there any plans for onsite disposal of any hazardous or radioactive waste beyond what is suitable for disposal in EMWMF? Mr. Howell – No. If it doesn’t meet the waste acceptance criteria for EMWMF it will be shipped off-site. Mr. Owsley – You mentioned some work will be re-sequenced. When do you think that will be needed? Mr. Howell – We have to start some of the re-sequencing within the first five years of scope, because we’ve identified our high-risk facilities at Y-12 as Alpha 4, Alpha 5, and Building 9206. Of those only Alpha 4 is in the baseline today. At ORNL, the high-risk facilities are 3026 and 3038, which are in the baseline. Mr. Owsley – So would we expect re-sequencing in the 2009-10 timeframe? Mr. Howell – We don’t have approval to go through with the project until we have a CD-2 approval. But we have to start preparation in the CD-2, working with the regulators, on this re-sequencing before we can finalize what we submit for CD-2.


Mr. Adams – Regarding the 2 million cubic yards of debris. Is that down and crushed or the volume of the buildings as they stand? Mr. Howell – That is down and crushed.


Mr. Westervelt – Is there a list of the 439 facilities targeted for IFDP and can we get the list? Mr. Howell – Yes there is a list. Steve, can we provide the list? Mr. McCracken – I know of no reason why we couldn’t provide it. Mr. Howell – The only thing could be if there is anything sensitive for Y-12. We can check to see if we can provide that. Mr. McCracken – There is a reluctance to show maps with building numbers and identifiers for security reasons. We might can provide a list of facilities and not connect them to building numbers. But we’ll check on that.


Mr. Mezga – Is CD-1 available to the public? Mr. McCracken – I think the only piece that might not be available is the acquisition strategy part. Mr. Howell – I know the acquisition strategy is not available to the public.


Mr. Martin – Will foundations and slabs below grade be removed? Mr. Howell – We have plans to remove slabs and foundations to below grade. We have some slabs and foundations at Y-12 that have to be removed in order for us to do our cleanup.


Mr. Murphree – Does IFDP include removal of newly generated waste? Mr. Howell – No. Not unless it’s generated as a part of us doing the cleanup. Mr. Murphree – Do you have a list of prioritization of the buildings to be demolished? Mr. Howell – Not at this point.  Mr. Murphree – If you don’t have a prioritization how do you budget over the life of the project without straightlining the whole thing? We’ve seen budgeting go up and down and projects are drawn out and the cost goes up because of the inconsistencies in funding. So how will you budget for that? Mr. Howell – We have basically a level budget based on $500-$550 million per year. Realize, however, that the work at East Tennessee Technology Park (ETTP) is consuming part of that budget, and that work is not scheduled to ramp down until 2015-16. At that time all of that $500-$550 million could be targeted for IFDP. That is un-escalated budgeting, by the way. We will scope out work that fits within that $500-$550 million each year, or until work at ETTP is finished and then budget with what’s left from work at ETTP.


Mr. Stow- Is the Beta 3 Building that has the calutrons in at Y-12 to be demolished? Mr. Howell – No. That is one of the buildings on the list for preservation.


Mr. Olson – Who is responsible for the surveillance and maintenance of these 439 facilities? Mr. Howell – Right now it’s a combination of the Office of Science, Nuclear Energy, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), and EM. Whichever entity owns a particular facility is responsible for the surveillance and maintenance of that facility.


Mr. Adams – Mr. McCracken, could you make some comment on the position this group should take concerning this project? Mr. McCracken – The expectation I would have of this group is that it would comment on the scope of the cleanup, anything that you think is important in advice to us (EM) in our decision-making. Mr. Adams – What I’m concerned about is the ability of DOE to prevail on the U.S. government to provide that kind of money to do the work and what ORO feels is a realistic chance of getting it. Mr. McCracken – The presumption that we have is that we will do this work with stable funding, or not substantially increasing funding from what we anticipate we’ll be getting in the FY 2010-11 timeframe. If your question is if it is justifiable to expect or ask for stable funding over the period it would take to do this work that’s going to cost $4-$8 billion, our position would be that we must complete the restoration in Oak Ridge without saying we know for certain what that would be. I think, though, the records of decision of today are already relatively clear – that we will clean up these places to industrial standards so there will be no further impact to the environment and to people. I don’t know how long it will take, but we’re not suggesting that the $4-$8 billion is going to be funded in a short time. Where this group could play a role is in prioritizing the most important work to be done first. Mr. Howell – One of the things we have going for us is that we have the full support of the Office of Science as well as NNSA because this affects their mission, too.


Mr. Mezga – There are 220 non-EM facilities in the IFDP. What is the process for moving those into the Federal Facility Agreement (FFA)? Mr. McCracken – The sooner we can pull these facilities into the FFA and re-sequence the work, the better, and we’re thinking about how we can do that. Mr. Owsley – In order for the facilities to be pulled into the FFA they must be covered under Comprehensive Environmental Restoration, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) and it would include those we are willing to pull into the FFA and re-sequence the work. Some of the facilities do not fall under CERCLA and will have to be dealt with in another manner. But I must make it clear that we consider the work currently in the FFA as high priority work. We will be looking for a balance between the contamination that is in the ground and needs to come out and that which is above ground and needs to come down. Ms. Jones – We have not had discussions among the FFA parties regarding the scope of this project and its impact on the FFA as well CERCLA and on the current negotiations. That dialog needs to occur soon especially since another document (CD-2) will be prepared.


Mr. Olson – This a comment rather than a question. There is going to be a significant surveillance and maintenance cost if the job is done well, and it seems to be distributed over several organizations, which experience leads me to suspect a lot of it can’t be identified, so the true ongoing cost is not necessarily known. One of the objectives of D&D is tear a building down and eliminate the surveillance and maintenance costs. I think that would be an important part of prioritizing the work. It’s not entirely desirable to have that cost buried in a number of different organizations.


Mr. Bonner - Of the 439 facilities, how many are nuclear category 2 and 3? Mr. Howell – It’s in the range of 40 facilities at ORNL.


Mr. Tewes­ – Do you have a plan for preventive maintenance so you don’t have the kinds of problems that you have at K-25? Mr. Howell – Yes, but funding is limited, focused on those that are the most important. All the programs that own buildings have money that they are putting toward preventive maintenance. That’s part of the surveillance and maintenance we’ve referred to.


Mr. Trammell – It’s been stated that some of the waste from this project will have to go off site. We will be losing some of the pathways before this project is complete. Nevada Test Site will be closing. The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant will close. Are we looking at the potential of storing a large quantity of material that needs to go somewhere else? Mr. Howell – There is the potential for having to store a small amount for 10 or 15 years. But the intent is to eventually get rid of all the material. Mr. McCracken – The only disposition pathway we know that’s ending after 2010 is sending mixed low-level waste to Nevada Test Site. I think we go into this knowing our pathways to disposal are limited. I don’t think we have a large amount of material we can’t handle. We must do the work, so we’re going to have to do it in a way that keeps the disposal pathways open or find new ones. I don’t see worrying about disposal pathways to the extent that it keeps you from doing the work. Mr. Mezga – But it’s going to be a problem for those things that won’t go into EMWMF. Mr. McCracken – Every major cleanup site had an on-site disposal facility, but you also have to keep these other pathways open.

Ms. Gawarecki- You said you expected CD-1 approval in the first quarter of next year. Is that the fiscal year or the calendar year? Mr. Howell – This fiscal year. Ms. Gawarecki – I’m interested in the interface among the various organizations. Who is going to make the decisions? How are citizens’ organizations like ORSSAB and the LOC going to be able to provide effective oversight on activities that take place, especially at Y-12? Mr. Howell – We have an integrated project team established. That team is made up of representatives from EM, Office of Science, NNSA, as well as representatives of the contractor side – UT-Battelle and, B&W. We have a steering committee made up of senior management – Steve McCracken, Ted Sherry, Johnny Moore, Gerald Boyd, Kevin Smith, and Robert Brown. I get my direction from the integrated project team. As we get a little farther along we’ll be engaging the ORSSAB and the LOC more, as well as the regulators on the sequencing of work for the first five years. Ms. Gawarecki – (to Mr. Owsley) Will TDEC allow legacy waste to be reclassified for disposal at EMWMF such as what happened at ETTP? Mr. Owsley – DOE has not proposed that. The state has a record of being willing to consider all proposals. We opted to allow waste that is not currently in the FFA to be put under CERCLA and disposed in EMWMF in order to allow DOE to work off a backlog of its legacy waste. Yet budget problems have resulted in currently generated low-level waste being stored in excess of a year thus creating a new backlog of legacy waste. All of those issues will come into consideration. So the short answer is, if DOE proposes it, we will consider it. However, I don’t know what our position would be at this time considering the history.


Ms. Gawarecki – The Government Relations Committee of the Oak Ridge Heritage and Preservation Association asked me to read the following statement: We should make the point that proper site planning would include all special resources including historic resources and would be considered in long-range plans and that a few historic buildings can actually complement modernization plans. Now is the time to decide what we preserve so that more years of ‘deferred maintenance’ do not cause demolition by neglect.


Deputy Designated Federal Officer and Liaison Comments

Steve McCracken – Mr. McCracken said processing of remote-handled TRU waste was scheduled to start May 19 or 20 at the TRU Waste Processing Facility.


Dave Adler – No comments


Connie Jones – No comments


John Owsley – Mr. Owsley said the current dispute among the FFA parties is at the senior executive level.


Public Comment- None


Announcements and Other Board Business

ORSSAB will have its next meeting on Wednesday, June 11, at 6 p.m. at the DOE Information Center. Tentative presentation is a risk training seminar.


Mr. McCracken introduced Claire Campbell, Oak Ridge High School, and Miranda Clower, Roane County High School, as the new student representatives to the board.


The minutes of the April 9, 2008 meeting were approved.


The amended Recommendation on Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study for East Tennessee Technology Park (Attachment 2) was approved. The following was added to the first paragraph in the Discussion section:

Due to the need to provide immediate feedback to DOE as part of their ongoing negotiations with TDEC and EPA on the draft document, the ARCADIS comments on the D3 version of the RIFS dated January 16, 2008 were provided to DOE-Oak Ridge EM.

A fourth point was added to the Recommendation section:

4. While final decisions on technology options and subsequent proposed plans for ETTP groundwater cleanup will require completion of the recommended technology demonstrations, ORSSAB believes that it is very important to complete the regulatory approval of the current RIFS document as a baseline for future decision documents.


Committee Reports

Board Finance & Process – Mr. Adams reported that $7,000 had been designated to go to the Oak Ridge Oral History Project. He also reported money had been spent from the flower fund to send flowers to board member Rhonda Bogard.


Mr. Branch reminded the group that the annual retreat will be Saturday, August 9 at Whitestone Inn in Roane County. He said Ms. Halsey is looking into to getting a bus to take people who may not want to drive to the retreat site. The planning committee strongly encourages EPA and TDEC liaisons to attend.


Ms. Brunton said she would be contacting board members to gather information for the annual retreat. She said she will compile all of the responses for the committee to determine the key issues to be discussed at the retreat. Ms. Brunton asked board members to complete the survey included in the meeting packets (Attachment 3) and get them to her so she can compile the results.


EM – Mr. Murphree said the topic at the April meeting was on the cleanup of Building 3019 at ORNL. That building is being cleaned up and will become part of the IFDP that was discussed at this meeting.


The topic for the next meeting on Wednesday, May 21 is on Toxic Substances Control Act Incinerator and the status of cleanup at ETTP. The committee may also discuss a recommendation on the Waste Information Management System that was discussed the January board meeting. The committee will also hear about ‘shock sensitive’ materials in Bear Creek Burial Grounds.


Public Outreach – Mr. Westervelt said the committee identified four more organizations for presentations about the board. He said a couple of presentations are already lined up with those organizations.


The committee will have a table at the Secret City Festival on Saturday, June 21 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Bissell Park in Oak Ridge. Mr. Westervelt said about eight people are needed to staff the table. Five are scheduled so far. Mr. Westervelt asked for additional volunteers.


Stewardship – Mr. Bonner said Ms. Sarten will be attending the Environmental Justice Conference in Washington, D.C. May 21-23.


The committee will meet on Wednesday, May 20 and will discuss the land use control implementation plan for Bethel Valley and any stewardship implications in the ORNL Interpretive Plan


Stewardship Education Subcommittee – Mr. Sarten said Stewardship Education Resource Kits were delivered to the biology and chemistry departments of Lenoir City High School. Positive feedback was received on the kits. She said the teachers suggested having the authors of the kit visit the classes next year to provide additional explanation to the students. She said the kit is undergoing some revisions in preparation for another teachers’ workshop in February 2009.


Ms. Sarten said the May subcommittee meeting has been cancelled. The subcommittee will meet again on June 19.


Executive – Mr. Mezga reminded the board that several members will be going on the Western Waste Site Tour June 2-6. He said the trip is a good opportunity for those traveling to get a better understanding of the waste disposition sites for some of the Oak Ridge waste.


Oral History – Mr. Stow said that a budget is being developed for the Oak Ridge Oral History Program. He said the Oak Ridge Public Library is progressing well in setting up the program. Ms. Halsey said she will be meeting with Mr. Adler and Mr. McCracken to discuss funding for the program from DOE.


EM SSAB Chairs’ meeting – Mr. Lundy said he, Mr. Bonner, Mr. Dixon, and Mr. Gross attended the EM SSAB Chairs’ meeting in Richland, Wash., on April 22-24. He referred members to read Mr. Bonner’s trip report in their meeting packets. Mr. Lundy said one of the highlights of the meeting was touring the B Reactor, which was modeled on the Graphite Reactor at ORNL. He said the Hanford cleanup project in Washington has an annual budget of $2 billion and employs 11,000.


Federal Coordinator Report

Ms. Halsey reported on the status of several outstanding recommendations:

Recommendation 154: Reaffirmation of DOE Secretarial Policy to Provide Stewardship at Ongoing Mission Sites with Residual Contamination: Vince Adams has been assigned as contact at DOE Headquarters for long-term stewardship. A letter has been requested that will identify his roles and responsibilities.


Recommendation 158: Recommendation on the EMWMF Explanation of Significant Difference for Leachate Management Information Sheet – DOE will respond with a white paper.


Recommendation 160: Recommendation on Independent Verification of Locations of Waste Sites in Melton Valley – The response is prepared and ready for release requiring only Mr. McCracken’s signature. Ms. Halsey said that recommendation will be declined saying existing surveys are adequate.


Recommendation 164: Recommendation on Engineering and Technology Development on the Oak Ridge Reservation – The response has been written and is in the concurrence chain.


Recommendation 165: Recommendation on Conducting Future Verifications of Cleanup – The response has been assigned, but is not yet written.


Recommendation 166: Recommendation on Preparing Future Explanations of Significant Differences – The response has been assigned, but is not yet written.


Recommendation 167: Recommendation on Historic Preservation of K-25 Building at ETTP – The recommendation has been assigned, but an answer has not been determined.


Recommendation 168: Recommendation on the FY 2010 DOE-Oak Ridge Environmental Management Program Budget Request – The recommendation has been sent to DOE Headquarters. A response is being prepared that addresses the details in the recommendation.


Recommendation 169: Recommendation Supporting an Oral History Program for the Oak Ridge Reservation – A response will be submitted soon.


Appointment and reappointment packages have gone to DOE headquarters for approval. The intent is to get the appointments approved in time for the July meeting.


The new two-year charter for the DOE EM SSAB has been approved. No changes to the ORSSAB bylaws are required as a result of the charter renewal.


Additions to the Agenda





Mr. Mead moved to approve the agenda. Ms. Mei seconded and the motion passed unanimously.


Mr. Dixon was not present for the following votes.



Mr. Lundy moved to approve the minutes of the April 9, 2008 meeting. Mr. Bass seconded and the motion passed unanimously.



Mr. Myrick moved to approve the amended Recommendation on the Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study for East Tennessee Technology Park (Attachment 2). Mr. Mead seconded and the motion passed unanimously.


The meeting adjourned at 8:25 p.m.


Action Items


  1. Ms. Halsey will report to the board the outcome of the meeting with EPA related to Recommendation 158 on the Explanation of Significant Difference for Leachate Management at the Environmental Management Waste Management Facility. Status. A white paper is being written in response to this recommendation.
  2. Ms. Halsey will check on the status of Recommendation 154 with Melissa Nielson at DOE Headquarters. Status. Vince Adams is now the contact at DOE Headquarters for long-term stewardship. A request has been made for a letter outlining his roles and responsibilities.
  3. Mr. Adler will find exact milestone dates for remedial investigation/feasibility study, proposed plan, and record of decision for White Oak Lake remediation.
  4. Mr. Adler and Mr. Darby will determine the amount of curies measured in Bear Creek Valley.
  5. Mr. McCracken will determine if the list of the buildings identified for IFDP is available.
  6. Mr. McCracken will determine if the CD-1 of IFDP is available to the public.


Attachments (3) to these minutes are available on request from ORSSAB support office.