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Oak Ridge
Site Specific Advisory Board

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Approved January 14, 2009 Meeting Minutes


The Oak Ridge Site Specific Advisory Board (ORSSAB) held its monthly meeting on Wednesday, January 14, 2009, 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

Darrell Akins

Bill Bass

Darryl Bonner

Claire Campbell1

Miranda Clower1

Steve Dixon - Chair

Charles Jensen

Betty Jones

Edward Juarez

Ted Lundy - Vice-chair

David Martin

Gloria Mei

Lance Mezga

Ron Murphree

Tim Myrick

Robert Olson

Maggie Owen

Steve Stow

Kevin Westervelt


Members Absent

John Coffman - Secretary

Steve Mead

Sondra Sarten


1Student Representative


Deputy Designated Federal Officer, Liaisons, and Federal Coordinator Present

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

Pat Halsey, DOE-ORO Federal Coordinator

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

Steve McCracken, DOE-ORO Assistant Manager for Environmental Management (EM) and Deputy Designated Federal Officer

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


Others Present

Spencer Gross, Spectrum

Pete Osborne, Spectrum


Fourteen members of the public were present.


Deputy Designated Federal Officer and Liaison Comments

Steve McCracken – Demolition of the K-25 Building at East Tennessee Technology Park (ETTP) began on December 16 and to date about two-thirds of the work has been completed on the west wing. The next phase of work will be demolition of that part of the building that contains the converters and compressors. Heavy equipment will be used to remove the compressors and converters prior to demolishing that part of the building. Mr. McCracken said the start of the work was a major milestone in completing the demolition of K-25 and proving that the building could be taken down without removing the equipment inside first.


Dave Adler – DOE is working with the regulators to renegotiate milestones in the Federal Facility Agreement (FFA) in anticipation of beginning the Integrated Facility Disposition Project (IFDP). Mr. Adler said the next three years of milestones in Appendix E, which are enforceable milestones, have been agreed upon. The balance of the work to be done between 2012 and 2035 is in Appendix J of the FFA. A public comment period beginning in late January will be held on those milestones. The board will work with DOE to hold a public meeting on the additional milestones in February. Mr. Adler will notify the board when a date for the public meeting has been set. Mr. Adler said the renegotiated milestones must be agreed upon by DOE and the regulators by mid-March.


Connie Jones – no comments


John Owsley – Mr. Owsley had no comments, but Mr. Dixon asked him to talk about the TDEC Annual Report. Mr. Owsley said the oversight agreement with DOE requires the publication of three documents: a plan of environmental monitoring activity; a report on that activity; and the annual status report that provides results of TDEC’s monitoring and assessment of DOE monitoring and radiation control activities. The report is available at the DOE Information Center and at the public libraries in Anderson, Knox, and Roane Counties.


In light of the coal ash release that happened recently near Kingston, Mr. Bonner asked what the state was doing to monitor the situation that might have implications for the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR). Mr. Owsley said the state is monitoring air, water, soil, and sediment. Mr. Owsley said contaminants in the Tennessee and Clinch Rivers and Watts Bar Lake are institutionally controlled through restrictions on sediment disturbances, so any effort by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) to dredge the coal ash will have to address the potential of encountering any DOE-related sediments. Such efforts are monitored through the Watts Bar Interagency Working Group, which consists of TDEC, TVA, the U.S. Corps of Engineers, and DOE. Any sediment disturbance in Watts Bar or Melton Hill Lake has to be reviewed by the working group before any dredging permits are issued. Mr. Owsley said TVA is planning to dredge areas that are not impacted by DOE. He said DOE is preparing to take samples to see if there might be any impact to
DOE-related sediments.


Mr. McCracken noted that he had talked with a TVA representative and they agreed that the Interagency Working Group should continue to monitor the areas of Watts Bar Lake and Melton Hill Lake. He said there didn’t appear to be any sediment disturbances in those areas, but if TVA went beyond what it was planning to do it would consult with the working group.


Public Comment – no comments



Potential Opportunities for Accelerating Footprint Reduction on the Oak Ridge Reservation

Mr. McCracken began by reminding the board that the critical decision (CD) 1 phase of the IFDP had been approved and that the next phase of the project was completion of the CD 2, which describes budget and priorities.


Mr. McCracken reviewed the current status of IFDP (Attachment 1, page 2). The schedule calls for completion of CD 2 by the end of 2009 and for work to start in 2010/2011. The project would continue for 26-29 years costing $9-$15 billion.


He showed photos and an artist’s rendering of what Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Y-12 National Security Complex, and ETTP look like now and when IFDP is complete (Attachment 1, page 3). With completion of IFDP much additional space would be available at the three facilities for development and reuse. Mr. McCracken reviewed the benefits of IFDP (Attachment 1, page 4).



He said about nine months ago DOE EM in Washington began developing a footprint reduction initiative to present to the new administration. Mr. McCracken said the footprint reduction plan fits well into the current economic stimulus package. He said Oak Ridge was well positioned with its IFDP plans and the footprint reduction plan to bring additional work to the area. He said IFDP would create jobs and free up land for the Energy Park Initiative, a plan to address the nation’s energy needs.


Mr. McCracken reviewed what footprint reduction would accomplish (Attachment 1, page 5). Work at ETTP would be finished by 2014, the ORNL Central Campus would be 80 percent complete by 2015, and high risk problems at Y-12 would be addressed. But even with those accomplishments, Mr. McCracken said there would still be work to do.


Benefits of footprint reduction included earlier risk reduction, a return on investment of 50 to 100 percent, and thousands of acres of land available for reuse (Attachment 1, page 9). Mr. McCracken noted that footprint reduction for the ORR fits well with the new administration’s initiatives of creating jobs, helping in the ‘greening’ of America, and improving the infrastructure of the energy community. Mr. McCracken said IFDP and the footprint reduction plan brings optimism to DOE-ORO to accelerate cleanup work on the reservation. He said as more information becomes available input from the board will be important in helping DOE-ORO make decisions related to cleanup and footprint reduction.


Questions were asked after Mr. McCracken’s presentation. Following are abridged questions
and answers.


Mr. Myrick – I assume this is a nationwide initiative. Where are we on the priority list? Mr. McCracken – I believe, because of the effort that was put into IFDP, that we are far better positioned than anyone else. We have spent three years planning how to finish the work in Oak Ridge. It was simply a matter of taking those plans and pulling them in three years.


Mr. Bonner – In addition to the benefits you noted, can you talk about the disposition of the materials that will be generated? Mr. McCracken – We know the thing we have to pay the most attention to is the [waste disposal cell in Bear Creek Valley]. We have to get it expanded and available so we will be unimpeded over the next three or four years. We’re going to have to talk to our contractor and find out how we’re going to get the engineering done faster because we’re going to need it sooner. Of all the things that could slow us down, that’s it - not having the disposal cell expanded and ready to take additional material. I don’t think we’ll have to go over what we’re currently allowed to put in there, but we will need that availability sooner. We have a plan in place to expand the cell and to get the engineering done and the expansion done by the end of this year or early next year, and what I’d like the contractor to do is figure out how to do that sooner. 


Announcements and Other Board Business

ORSSAB will have its next meeting on Wednesday, February 11 at 6 p.m. at the DOE Information Center, 475 Oak Ridge Turnpike, Oak Ridge, Tenn. The main presentation topic will be an overview of the 2007 Annual Site Environmental Report.


The minutes of the December 10, 2008 meeting were approved.


A response from DOE-Oak Ridge to ORSSAB Recommendation 171 was distributed
(Attachment 2).


The Cleanup Progress Report was distributed (Attachment 3).


The ORSSAB FY 2008 Annual Report was distributed (Attachment 4).


Committee Reports

Board Finance & Process – The committee did not meet in December. In November, staff prepared committee budget requests, which were distributed to the various committees. Mr. Juarez asked that all budget requests be returned by January 21 so they can be reviewed by the Board Finance & Process Committee and forwarded to the Executive Committee for approval.


EM – The committee met on December 17 and heard a presentation on the status of demolishing the K-25 Building at ETTP. The committee also heard a presentation on the remediation of the K-1007 Pond at ETTP.


Next will meeting be January 21, and the meeting topic will be an update on Building 3019
at ORNL.


Public Outreach – The committee met on December 18 and all members took an action to look at the stakeholders’ survey and submit ideas for improvement.


Mr. Westervelt said the committee continues to focus on local media outreach, particularly with the Oak Ridge Observer and Oak Ridger newspapers. The committee continues to make presentations to civic groups, with the near term focus on those in Blount and Knox County.


The next meeting will be on January 27.


Stewardship – Mr. Bonner reported that the committee met on December 16 and heard a presentation on new alternatives to preserve the historical significance of K-25 at ETTP. The committee decided that the writers of a minority opinion on K-25 preservation in Recommendation 167: Recommendation on Historic Preservation of the K-25 Building at ETTP should convene and discuss any action they might take in relation to the new preservation option.


The committee approved its 2010 budget request.


At the January 20 meeting the committee will be briefed on the filing of land record notices in Roane County.


Executive Committee- Mr. Dixon reported that the committee did not meet in December. He reminded the board of the upcoming SSAB Chairs’ meeting March 17-19 in Augusta, Ga. He asked that anyone interested in attending should make a request to the Executive Committee.


The next meeting will be January 29.


Federal Coordinator Report

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

·         Recommendation 167: Recommendation on Historic Preservation of the K-25 Building

o        A response is being prepared concerning the K-25 North Tower.

·         Recommendation 171:  Recommendation on the Waste Information Management System

o        Complete at ORO (Attachment 2). DOE EM headquarters will determine which recommended changes can be made to the system.

·         Recommendation 172: Recommendation to DOE-ORO EM on Lessons Learned from    Efforts to Preserve the North Tower of the K-25 Building for Historic Purposes

o        DOE EM headquarters input is necessary in the response letter.

·         Recommendation 175: Recommendation on the Integrated Facility Disposition Project.

o        Assigned to the IFDP team for response. Responsibilities for the surveillance and maintenance of the buildings remains with ORNL and Y-12 until transferred.


Ms. Halsey noted that the DOE-ORO Cleanup Progress Report had been published (Attachment 3). She said the report is required by the FFA and discusses cleanup accomplishments during the year. The report has been provided to the regulators.


Ms. Halsey discussed a letter from the Idaho Citizen’s Advisory Board (Attachment 5) to the EM transition team in Washington, DC. She said the board might consider writing a similar letter. She noted that Mr. Dixon had been contacted by the transition team for input in the transition process.


Mr. Murphree asked if there was anything the board or Mr. Dixon could do to get additional funding for ORO. Mr. McCracken said whatever Mr. Dixon said to the transition team as a representative of ORSSAB needs to be what the board believes to be true. He suggested any input to the transition team should include how ORO is positioned to take on additional work. Mr. Mezga said it would be in the best interest of the board to write a letter similar to the one the Idaho board sent to the transition team. Mr. McCracken noted that after January 21 there will be no transition team so such a letter would probably have to be written to the new secretary of energy Steven Chu. Staff will draft a letter for the Executive Committee to review.


Ms. Halsey said that Catherine Brennan, the new designated federal officer for all the SSABs nationwide, will be attending the February board meeting. She plans to meet with Executive Committee members during her visit. Accompanying her will be Fred Butterfield who has long-term experience with the SSABs. He is currently the Oak Ridge Senior Site Program Manager and is the primary contact for ORO.


Mr. Mezga asked if a different topic should be presented at the February meeting other than a report on the Annual Site Environmental Report. Ms. Halsey said that would be a question for the Executive Committee to discuss. Mr. Dixon asked that any suggestions be forwarded to the Executive Committee.


Additions to the Agenda

No additions.




Mr. Myrick moved to approve the agenda. Mr. Akins seconded and the motion
passed unanimously.



Mr. Lundy moved to approve the minutes of the December 10, 2008 meeting. Mr. Olson seconded and the motion passed unanimously.


The meeting adjourned at 7:15 p.m.


Action Items


  1. Mr. McCracken will provide an overview of the new BJC contract and the dollar amounts for the various projects. Carryover from October 8, 2008.
  2. Mr. McCracken will make a presentation to the board to review budget priorities and select those that will most likely fit in the target budget request for FY 2011. Carryover from October 8, 2008.
  3. Mr. McCracken will find out how much or what percentage of U-235 has been recovered from the K-25 Building. Carryover from December 10, 200.
  4. Mr. Adler will determine how much transuranic waste is in Trench 13. Carryover from December 10, 2008
  5. Mr. Adler will see if the Bechtel Jacobs study on Trench 13 remediation options is available for review. Carryover from December 10, 2008.
  6. Mr. Adler will notify the board when the public meeting on additional milestones in Appendix J of the FFA will be held.
  7. Staff will draft a letter for the Executive Committee to review that will explain ORO’s position to take on additional work and request sufficient funding to carry out the work.



  1. The EM Committee will determine if any comments or recommendation are warranted from the Trench 13 presentation. The EM Committee will discuss Trench 13 in conjunction with a review of the focused feasibility study and proposed plan for Bear Creek Burial Grounds during its May 2009 meeting.


Attachments (5) to these minutes are available on request from ORSSAB support office.