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Oak Ridge
Site Specific Advisory Board

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Approved September 10, 2008 Meeting Minutes


The Oak Ridge Site Specific Advisory Board (ORSSAB) held its monthly meeting on Wednesday, September 10, 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

Bill Bass

Darryl Bonner

Claire Campbell1

Miranda Clower1

John Coffman - Secretary

Steve Dixon - Chair

Betty Jones

Edward Juarez

Ted Lundy - Vice-chair

David Martin

Steve Mead

Gloria Mei

Lance Mezga

Ron Murphree

Tim Myrick

Robert Olson

Maggie Owen

Sondra Sarten

Steve Stow

Kevin Westervelt


Members Absent

Charles Jensen


1Student Representative

2Second consecutive absence


Deputy Designated Federal Officer, Liaisons, and Federal Coordinator Present

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

Pat Halsey, DOE Federal Coordinator

Connie Jones, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 4

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


Others Present

Mark Belvin, DOE

Susan Gawarecki, Local Oversight Committee (LOC)

Spencer Gross, Spectrum

Norman Mulvenon, LOC

Pete Osborne, Spectrum

Ralph Skinner, DOE

Bill Tewes

Katatra Vasquez, DOE

Bill Wilcox


Fourteen members of the public were present.


Deputy Designated Federal Officer and Liaison Comments

Dave Adler – Mr. Adler said the dispute among DOE, EPA, and TDEC has been resolved. Copies of the resolution were distributed (Attachment 1). Mr. Adler said the resolution allows for the setting of new cleanup milestones for the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR) that will incorporate additional work expected to be gained through the approval of the Integrated Facility Disposition Project (IFDP) by DOE Headquarters. Details of the agreement are to be worked out among the three parties by December 2008. A public comment period will be held since this is a major change in the Federal Facility Agreement. The agreement is to be finalized by March. Mr. Adler said the agreement does not include four disputed milestones for the Alpha 4 Building and the Bear Creek Burial Grounds at the Y-12 National Security Complex because that work exceeds existing budget for cleanup. The issue will be addressed later. The agreement will push the completion date for cleanup on the ORR beyond 2016.


Mr. Adler said it was likely that the federal government’s FY 2009 budget will not be approved by October 1 and DOE will operate during a portion of FY 2009 on a continuing resolution, or using the figures allotted for FY 2008 or the proposed budget for FY 2009, whichever is lower. The continuing resolution could impact the intent to accelerate the work at the Environmental Management Waste Management Facility. Some new project starts could be affected as well if the continuing resolution continues for several months.


John Owsley – Mr. Owsley concurred with Mr. Adler’s comments on the dispute resolution. He said TDEC will be looking to DOE to complete cleanup actions involving excavations.


Mr. Dixon asked about Canadian waste coming to Diversified Scientific Sciences, Inc., (DSSI), a subsidiary of PermaFix. Mr. Owsley said the waste coming to DSSI is not PCB contaminated waste, but is radioactive waste oil. He said DSSI is not an incinerator, but a boiler that is licensed to handle radioactive waste oil. He said DSSI will soon receive authorization to treat certain levels of PCB waste. Once that authorization is received DSSI will be able to begin treating DOE PCB contaminated waste oil or other PCB waste oil that falls within the boiler’s waste acceptance criteria.


Mr. Martin asked where the DSSI facility is located and the approximate quantities of Canadian waste oil coming in for treatment. Mr. Owsley said it is a small facility located on Highway 58 in Roane County across from Energy Solutions. He did not know the capacity to treat waste, but said he could get the information.


Connie Jones – no comments.



The Federal Historic Preservation Program

Ms. Vasquez, the DOE Cultural Resources Management Coordinator, provided the presentation. The main points of her presentation are in Attachment 2.


She first reviewed some common terms she would be using during the presentation (Attachment 2, page 2).


The National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) was enacted to establish a program for preservation of historic properties throughout the nation. A federal agency must do two things:

·   Take into account the effects of its actions on historic properties

·   Provide the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation a reasonable opportunity to comment.

Ms. Vasquez showed a flow chart of the NHPA Section 106 process for identifying and preserving historic properties (Attachment 2, page 5). Public participation is part of the entire Section 106 process and is a key ingredient to the success of the process.


Ms. Vasquez explained the difference between a memorandum of agreement (MOA) and a programmatic agreement. An MOA is put in place when there will be adverse effects to a facility. A programmatic agreement is used when there are ongoing operations on the site where historic properties could be affected. A programmatic agreement is between the federal agency, the state historic preservation office, and the Advisory Council for Historic Preservation. If there is disagreement among the parties under the Section 106 process, the ultimate decision lies with the federal agency.


Ms. Vasquez said her responsibilities are to provide support for historic preservation undertakings on the ORR and serve as an interface with the DOE Federal Preservation Officer, the State Historic Preservation Office, and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (Attachment 2, page 6).


She explained the relationship among the various stakeholders in historic preservation on the ORR. ORSSAB is a consulting party to the Memorandum of Agreement Regarding Site Interpretation at East Tennessee Technology Park.


For the ORR, Ms. Vasquez said Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and Y-12 National Security Complex have programmatic agreements and historic preservation plans. Several memoranda of agreements are in place for East Tennessee Technology Park. A Cultural Resources Management Plan is in place, but is due for updating.


Following Ms. Vasquez’ presentation a number of questions were asked. Following are abridged questions and answers.


Mr. Mezga – On the flow chart that shows the Section 106 process, the first box is ‘establish undertaking.’ What is that definition? When is the proper time for the IFDP to be considered ‘established’ to initiate this process? Ms. Vasquez – When the federal agency has a project they think may affect a historic property, that office would come to our office and say there may be properties that might be affected. My advice would be to start the 106 process. In the case of IFDP, after critical decision 1 is approved we will begin consultation on properties that might be affected.

Mr. Mezga – What are the consequences of not adhering to the programmatic agreements or MOAs? Ms. Vasquez – There are no fines associated with the NHPA, however public participation is a major part of the process, so DOE would open itself to lawsuits or the state historic preservation office or the advisory council could terminate the programmatic agreement or MOA, which would cause the agency to have to get approval to do anything related to affected or potentially affected properties.


Mr. Stow – Is there a process in place where we can set priorities for all of the different buildings and affected pieces of information of historic significance. I suspect there will be more demand for historic preservation than there is money. Ms.Vasquez – That is a question we would ask management (Gerald Boyd). Historic preservation and money don’t always go hand-in-hand. We do have programmatic agreements and MOAs in place and all of that is done through consultation. For instance, if IFDP is approved that’s when DOE and the consulting parties would set parameters for historic preservation. Mr. Stow – Basically you’re saying there are no priorities set. Ms.Vasquez – There are, however, there are things in place that DOE-ORO possibly has not brought out to the stakeholders or consulting parties. There is in the106 process where consulting parties may ask questions or express concerns. If there are more specific questions, for instance something related to environmental management (EM), that would be addressed to Steve McCracken (DOE-ORO assistant manager for Environmental Management). If it’s related more to ORR that would go to Mr. Boyd.


Mr. Murphree- The MOA of work to be done on the K-25 north tower – is that a result of the Section 106 process? Ms.Vasquez – Yes.


Mr. Myrick – I looked at the IFDP scope and the hundreds of facilities to be added and then I tried to get the terms of what a historic property is. It didn’t help me to understand which properties were going to be considered historic. It basically says a property is historic if it can be put on the National Register of Historic Places, but it doesn’t say what it takes to get on the national register. Mr. Skinner – We started the consultation process in October 2007. A letter was sent to Joe Garrison of the state historical commission notifying his office of the work proposed in IFDP. We identified three facilities that are already on the national register. At ORNL that’s the Graphite Reactor (Building 3001) and at Y-12 it’s Beta 3 (Building 9204-3) and Building 9731, the original calutron proofing building. However, there is nothing set in stone about that. We want to go through the consultation process and make sure the consulting parties agree. It must be remembered that IFDP is the remaining cleanup scope for ORNL and Y-12 and DOE must satisfy its responsibilities for cleanup, so a balance must be achieved as to what we preserve and what we clean up. Under IFDP, Environmental Management (EM) would accomplish building cleanup, but ORNL and Y-12 would be responsible for any interpretive work beyond cleanup. Mr. Myrick – I didn’t think there would be that many buildings that would meet the definition, but there are many buildings under IFDP that have historic artifacts that need to be preserved. I sense this process doesn’t address artifacts. Is there a separate process for capturing that history? Ms.Vasquez – That would be done under the programmatic agreement. Mr. Myrick- Does the programmatic agreement address IFDP facilities? Are they already included or is that to be done in the next round of consultations? Mr. Belvin – The programmatic agreement for ORNL was site-wide, so yes they are already included.


Mr. Westervelt – Do the Historic Preservation Plans for ORNL and Y-12 get updated or revised? Ms.Vasquez – There is a stipulation in the programmatic agreement that they will be updated as needed.


Mr. Olson – I think I heard that if I want to paint a building or otherwise try to preserve it I have to go through this process, but if I choose to let it deteriorate I don’t have to go through the process. Is that true? Ms.Vasquez – No. Under NHPA the federal agency must maintain historic property.


Mr. Bonner – What documentation does the program collect that states the condition of a property? And as a follow-up to that, President Bush signed an executive order that federal agencies had to report the conditions of their properties to the administration. Ms.Vasquez – DOE does that and we provide that report to the federal preservation officer who sends it to the secretary of energy. That report is provided annually. Mr. Bonner – In what form is that report? Ms.Vasquez – It’s a form that comes down from DOE headquarters. It asks questions about the status of historical properties. That is forwarded to the sites for completion. Mr. Bonner – Is it a form per facility, per property? Ms. Vasquez – It’s a form per facility, but we send it back to headquarters as one document for DOE-ORO. I would send it to Pam Gorman at the National Nuclear Security Administration Y-12 and to Mark Belvin at ORNL and they would complete it. We would send it all back to the federal preservation officer at headquarters. Mr. Bonner – Is that a document you would add to your list of significant programmatic documents? Ms.Vasquez – We have not in the past. Perhaps that is something we should include in our historic documents. I don’t know that it’s publicly available after it goes to headquarters. That’s something I could find out for you.


Mr. Mulvenon – On the left had side of the slide (Attachment 2, page 5) it says ‘public involvement.’ Where in this process do I get involved in consultation meetings when there hasn’t been one in a long time? How can we be involved if there are no meetings? Ms.Vasquez – We have had meetings of the consulting parties on Building K-25, but we haven’t had one in a while. Mr. McCracken is aware of that and plans are being made to have a meeting soon. Mr. Mulvenon – What about IFDP? If the critical decision 1 document is approved what happens then? How do we know what properties are involved and where does the public get involved in that decision? Ms.Vasquez – That is part of the consultation process. It’s left up to the federal agency, per the NHPA. It’s up to the agency to identify the consulting parties. Here at DOE-ORO generally the consulting parties are [noted on page 7 of Attachment 2]. I would think the public would address questions or concerns through the local consulting parties. For instance, the LOC and ORSSAB were copied on the IFDP letter that went the to the state historic preservation officer.


Bill Wilcox – On your slide of stakeholders in the consultation process (Attachment 2, page 7) that appears to be the stakeholders for the MOA for Building K-25. Will that be the same group for subsequent Section 106 processes or is that a model for consulting parties. Ms. Vasquez – Those are the stakeholders for the K-25 MOA, and it would serve as the model for subsequent groups.


Public Comment

Mr. Mulvenon said it was good news that the DOE, EPA, and TDEC had resolved their dispute. He encouraged board members to read the dispute resolution agreement carefully. He hoped approval of IFDP does not impact other cleanup work on the ORR. He said the LOC was monitoring the activities of DSSI.


Ms. Gawarecki, executive director of the LOC, explained the role of the LOC to the newer members of the board. She said LOC represents the concerns of local government, including the City of Oak Ridge and the seven counties downstream of the ORR. She explained that the LOC monitors other activities on the ORR beyond the DOE EM program.


After the presentation on the NHPA, Ms. Gawarecki expressed concern for how the historic preservation plans for ORNL and Y-12 were handled. She said there was no real opportunity for the consulting parties to provide comments on the plans before they were finalized. She said when properties and artifacts are being discussed for preservation they are not getting the attention from the public and the involved parties. She requested that involved parties be included in discussions on how historic preservation plans are implemented and whether there should be any modifications to them. She also said the cultural resources management plan should be updated.


After the NHPA presentation, Mr. Wilcox explained that the Department of the Interior grants the various historic designations for properties. He said the lowest is the National Register of Historic Places. There are more than 100 sites eligible for such designation at both ORNL and Y-12. However, those sites can be demolished if agreed to in a programmatic agreement. He said it’s up to the public to go to DOE and comment on properties it thinks should be preserved.


Mr. Tewes encouraged DOE to support the history of the Manhattan Project, which he said was different from historical preservation. He said he would like to see university historians work to gather history of the Manhattan project, much of which remains classified even though similar information is available elsewhere.


Announcements ad Other Board Business

ORSSAB will have its next meeting on Wednesday, October 8 at 6 p.m. at the DOE Information Center, 475 Oak Ridge Turnpike, Oak Ridge, Tenn. The main presentation topic will be “Project Baseline Summaries and the Budget Formulation Process.”


Mr. Dixon noted a change in the meeting format. Comments from the Deputy Designated Federal Officer, Federal Coordinator, and DOE, EPA, and TDEC liaisons have been moved prior to the meeting presentation. There is now one public comment period after the liaison comments and prior to the presentation.


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


The Recommendation on the Integrated Facility Disposition Project was sent back to the Environmental Management Committee for revision.


The bylaws amendment changing the start of the fiscal year from September to October was approved (Attachment 3).


Mr. Mezga was recognized for his service as chair for the past two years.


Committee Reports

Board Finance & Process – Mr. Mezga reported that the committee did a preliminary review of the annual planning retreat held in August. Results of the survey completed by board members were good. All categories received a ‘good’ or ‘very good’ response. The committee will meet with facilitator Becky Brunton to get her perceptions of the retreat. A full summary of the retreat by the committee will be provided to board members.

The committee reviewed expenses and determined all categories were within budget.


Mr. Mezga said the committee reviewed guidelines for issue managers. The committee recommended those guidelines be reviewed by members of the standing committees and any comments be returned to the committee. The final guidelines will be provided to all board members.


EM – Mr. Murphree reported that the committee received a briefing on the Transuranic Waste Processing Center at its August meeting. It also completed most of its work plan. Mr. Murphree and Mr. Myrick were re-elected chair and vice chair of the committee respectively.


At its September 17 meeting the committee will get a briefing on the Natural Resource Damage Assessment and continue work on its work plan.


Public Outreach – Mr. Bass said the committee reviewed the list of ideas that came from the annual planning retreat to increase public awareness of the board and the work it does. The committee prioritized the list of suggestions. At the top of the list is to increase the awareness through the print media. Mr. Bass said plans are being made to meet with Frank Munger, the ORO beat reporter for the Knoxville News Sentinel, and with Darrell Richardson, the editor of the Oak Ridger. Mr. Bass said an idea is to provide news releases to the local print media on recommendations the board makes to DOE.


Stewardship – Ms. Sarten said the draft set of issue manager guidelines was distributed at the August meeting to help issue managers understand the responsibilities of acting as an issue manager.


The committee began work on the FY 2009 work plan and will continue working on it at the September 16 meeting.


Committee member Lorene Sigal has drafted some suggestions on how to involve the City of Oak Ridge in stewardship on the Oak Ridge Reservation. The suggestions will be discussed at the September meeting.


Mr. Dixon asked the committee to discuss the NHPA presentation at this meeting and determine if any comments or recommendations are warranted.


Executive – Mr. Dixon said the new chairs of the standing committee were seated as members of the Executive Committee at its August meeting. The committee finalized the agenda for this evening’s meeting and discussed presentations for future meetings.


Mr. Dixon, Mr. Lundy, and Mr. Bonner will be attending the EM SSAB Chairs’ meeting in Washington, DC September 16-17.


The committee reviewed the draft issue manager guidelines and a thank you letter to former member David Branch for his work on the annual planning retreat.


Mr. Bonner asked if the new meeting format of one public comment period prior to the presentation will be retained. Mr. Dixon encouraged input from board members on the format change and said the committee will discuss it at its next meeting.

Oral History – Mr. Stow reported that the Center for Oak Ridge Oral History steering committee meets monthly and is planning for budget and equipment needs to begin recording additional oral histories. A budget for the program has not yet been approved. Mr. Stow said until a budget is approved little can be done.


Federal Coordinator Report

Ms. Halsey reported on the status of outstanding recommendations:

·    Recommendation 164: Recommendation on Engineering and Technology Development on the ORR. – The EM response letter is ready for submittal. The letter is currently at DOE Headquarters for final concurrence.

·    Recommendation 169: Recommendation Supporting an Oral History Program for the ORR – The response letter is prepared and is currently out for concurrence with the Office of Science and the National Nuclear Security Administration to ensure their commitment on this effort.

·    Recommendation 171: Recommendation on the Waste Information Management System – A response is being crafted and is expected soon.

·    Recommendation 172: Recommendation to DOE-Oak Ridge Environmental Management Program on Lessons Learned from Efforts to Preserve the North Tower of the K-25 Building for Historic Purposes – The response is being worked at DOE-ORO and at DOE Headquarters

Doug Frost, the Designated Federal Officer for the EM SSAB, is retiring. His replacement is Cate Brennan. She will be attending the EM SSAB Chairs’ meeting in Washington.

Ms. Halsey reminded board members that all board-related travel arrangements must be made through the DOE-ORO travel coordinator (Tina Pooler).

Additions to the Agenda





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


Mr. Westervelt was not present for the following motions.



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



After some discussion on wording in the recommendation Mr. Olson moved to send the Recommendation the Integrated Facility Disposition Project back to the EM Committee for revision. Mr. Mezga seconded and the motion passed unanimously.



After the second reading, Mr. Mezga moved to approve the bylaws amendment to change the start of the fiscal year from September to October. Mr. Myrick seconded and the motion passed unanimously.


The meeting adjourned at 8:35 p.m.


Action Items


  1. Mr. McCracken will check on the status of land record notices and deed restrictions in Melton Valley being filed with the Roane County Register of Deeds.  Carryover from June 11, 2008
  2. Mr. McCracken will provide details of the additional budget expected to be allocated to DOE-ORO for FY 2009.  Carry over from July 9, 2008
  3. Mr. Owsley will determine the capacity to treat waste at the DSSI facility in Roane County.
  4. Ms. Vasquez will find out if the report on the status of structures at federal facilities, particularly those on the ORR, is publicly available.
  5. The Stewardship Committee will review the NHPA presentation and determine if any comments or recommendations are warranted.
  6. The Executive Committee will review the effectiveness of the format change to the board meeting agenda.



  1. Ms. Halsey will check on the status of Recommendation 154 with Melissa Nielson at DOE Headquarters. Complete. Mark Gilbertson at DOE Headquarters sent a letter to former chair Mr. Mezga saying Vince Adams had been appointed liaison for long-term stewardship to the Office of Legacy Management. The letter outlined Mr. Adams role and responsibilities (Attachment 4).


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