Many Voices Working for the Community

Oak Ridge
Site Specific Advisory Board

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Approved June 9, 2010 Meeting Minutes


The Oak Ridge Site Specific Advisory Board (ORSSAB) held its monthly meeting on Wednesday, June 9, 2010, at the DOE Information Center
in Oak Ridge, beginning at 6 p.m.


Members Present

Darrell Akins

Darryl Bonner

Steve Dixon

Brianna Goodlin1

Bob Hatcher

Charles Jensen

Betty Jones

Ed Juarez, Secretary

David Martin

Gloria Mei

Josh Monroe1

Ron Murphree, Chair

Tim Myrick

Bob Olson

Maggie Owen

Sondra Sarten

Steve Stow

Kevin Westervelt, Vice-chair


Members Absent

John Coffman

Ted Lundy

Steve Mead

Lance Mezga


1Student Representative


Deputy Designated Federal Officer (DDFO), Liaisons, and Federal Coordinator Present

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

John Eschenberg, DDFO and DOE-ORO Assistant Manager for Environmental Management (EM)

Pat Halsey, DOE-ORO, ORSSAB Federal Coordinator

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

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


Others Present

Daniel Axelrod

Susan Gawarecki, Local Oversight Committee (LOC)

Spencer Gross, MCH, Corp.

Jay Mullis, DOE-ORO

Norman Mulvenon, LOC, League of Women Voters

Pete Osborne, IIA

Ellen Smith, Oak Ridge City Council

Bill Tewes


Twenty-eight members of the public were present.


Liaison Comments

John Eschenberg – Mr. Eschenberg said steady progress is being made on characterizing Tank W-1A at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). Work will begin soon on capping Solid Waste Storage Areas 1 and 5 in Bethel Valley. Decontamination and demolition work is expected to begin soon on some facilities at ORNL. A contract has been awarded to begin work for eventual demolition of the K-33 Building at East Tennessee Technology Park (ETTP).


Mr. Eschenberg said the expansion of the Environmental Management Waste Management Facility to a fifth cell has been completed. Work has begun on a sixth cell and is expected continue for six to eight months.


DOE is still in formal dispute with TDEC regarding a milestone for the removal of excess materials from the K-27 Building at ETTP. He said the dispute has been ongoing for about 60 days but the hope is to have a resolution soon.


Dave Adler – Mr. Adler said a revised memorandum of agreement (MOA) on site interpretation for historical purposes at ETTP was issued in April. He said the new MOA generated a number of comments and some requests for an extension of comments. He said as a result a “bridge” MOA was issued in May and comments are due for that document on June 11. Mr. Adler said the bridge MOA allows for the completion of a feasibility study to explore mitigation options for historical preservation at ETTP and possibly at other sites on the Oak Ridge Reservation. The bridge MOA allows DOE to remain in compliance with the National Historic Preservation Act until a final MOA is agreed to and put in place.


Mr. Adler said there had been a problem with undesirable fish re-entering the recently remediated K-1007 Ponds at ETTP. In December 2009 heavy rainfall and water flow compromised the fish barrier that kept bottom-feeding fish out of the ponds. Mr. Adler said plans were made to repair the barrier this summer. In May, however, heavy rains caused the Clinch River and Poplar Creek to rise allowing undesirable fish to re-enter the ponds before the barrier could be repaired.


Measures have been taken to remove the undesirable fish from the ponds. Mr. Adler said the damaged barrier will be repaired this summer as planned. He said the possibility of removing undesirable fish from the ponds was not unexpected. He said it’s common for fish eggs to be deposited in water from the legs of birds. He said contingency plans were in place for such a possibility and those plans were used in this instance.


Ms. Gawarecki asked how stewardship of the ponds will be handled in the future. Mr. Adler said management of the ponds will have a long-term stewardship component, because there is always the possibility of undesirable species being re-introduced. He said, however, as the preferred fish population and plant life around the ponds becomes established there is some resistance to undesirable fish being re-introduced. But he said occasionally there will be work to keep the ponds populated with fish that do not disturb the sediment that covers PCBs that have been deposited in the ponds over the years.


Mr. Bonner asked how much has been spent on the ponds project and what the expected long-term stewardship costs will be. Mr. Adler said he would have to research precise costs, but he said the construction cost was $4-5 million and stewardship activities would be in the $10,000-$20,000 range.


Mr. Adler reported on the status of outstanding recommendations from the board. He said DOE has responded to four of five outstanding recommendations. The four are Recommendation 184 to Establish a Procedure for Specially Called Public Meetings; Recommendation 185 on the Environmental Assessment for the Transfer of Land at ETTP; Recommendation 187 on a Phased Approach for Addressing Off-site Contamination in Melton Valley; and Recommendation 189 on the FY 2012 DOE-Oak Ridge EM Budget Request.

He said Recommendation 188 on the Long-term Stewardship Implementation Plan will have a response by July 15.


Connie Jones – no comments.


John Owsley – Regarding the problem with the ponds at ETTP that Mr. Adler referenced, Mr. Owsley said DOE had submitted a remedial action report indicating the milestone for the remediation remedy had been met, but that the next day DOE notified TDEC of the damage to fish barrier. It’s the state’s position that DOE failed to meet the milestone and TDEC and DOE are in informal dispute on the matter.


Public Comment

Mr. Mulvenon said he hoped the discussion of the request for proposals for a new cleanup contractor, the topic of this meetings’ discussion, would answer a number of questions, particularly what community participation actions would be.


Mr. Axelrod said his comments had stewardship implications since his recommendations are based on best use of the Oak Ridge Reservation. He recommends two 600 megawatt advanced boiling water reactors at the Clinch River Breeder Reactor site.


Regarding next month’s presentation on stewardship, Mr. Axelrod posed a number of questions to be answered: where are contaminated sites and how many are there; what is the quantity of waste in long-term storage; what is the cost for maintaining those sites for the next 50 and out to 250 years; and what is the risk for each site?


He proposes a $250,000 risk assessment study for waste sites.


Mr. Axelrod said he prefers using the term ‘waste in long-term storage’ rather than contaminated waste to describe waste in left in place. He feels like the use of that term is better for public perception.


A summary of Mr. Axelrod’s comments are in Attachment 1.


Ms. Gawarecki noted that the MOA for Site Interpretation of ETTP does not address accommodations that need to be made if the National Park Service incorporates Oak Ridge as a Manhattan Project National Historic Site. She suggested DOE invite the park service to become involved in consultations on the K-25 Building at ETTP and possibly other Oak Ridge sites.


She said DOE should commit to decontaminating artifacts that might be used for historical purposes. She said the full outline of the K-25 Building should be marked and lighted and not just the corners of the footprint. She said any consulting parties added since the 2005 MOA should be included in consultations. She said the new MOA does not ensure that.


Ms. Gawarecki said the LOC had asked for a 60-day review period of the MOA. She DOE should take public opinion into account before deciding on a preferred alternative for site interpretation. Ms. Gawarecki said she felt the consulting parties should be involved in decision-making that appears to be reserved only for the signatory parties to the MOA.


Ms. Gawarecki said about 800 drums of recycled depleted uranium is coming to Oak Ridge from the Savannah River Site to be used in the uranium-233 downblending project. She said that material will be stored at ETTP in the yards where depleted uranium hexafluoride cylinders were stored several years ago. She said the LOC believes it would be better to store the drums in another location rather than at ETTP where efforts are underway to reindustrialize the area. She felt storing the drums in Melton Valley would be more convenient for the uranium downblending project and would reduce the transportation distance from the storage site.



Mr. Mullis provided a briefing on the Draft Request for Proposal for the ETTP Contract at Oak Ridge. This request for proposal (RFP) is a solicitation for a new prime cleanup contractor for the Oak Ridge Reservation, primarily for work to be done at ETTP, but also includes facility surveillance and maintenance (S&M) and waste management operations at Y-12 National Security Complex and ORNL.


The main points of Mr. Mullis’ presentation are in Attachment 2. The draft RFP was issued for comment on May 7, 2010, and is available on the FedConnect website at The final RFP will also be posted at that web address. Mr. Mullis said the comment period has since closed but he said comments and questions can still be submitted.


The Source Evaluation Board is currently reviewing comments that have been received thus far. Mr. Mullis said comments will not be discussed because of procurement sensitivities. He also said he might not be able to answer specific questions on the RFP.


Mr. Mullis enumerated the primary objectives of the RFP (Attachment 2, page 3):

·   Deactivate, demolish, and dispose facilities at ETTP

·   S&M of EM facilities at Y-12, ETTP, and ORNL

·   Conduct environmental monitoring at all three sites

·   Conduct waste operations at all three sites.

The RFP is a cost plus award fee with performance base incentives. It will be a five-year term with a four-year option and will have an emphasis on subcontracting.


The RFP has contract line item numbers (CLINs) for cleanup and operations. The cleanup CLINs address demolition or environmental restoration activities. The operations CLINs are related to things like S&M. The fee structure has an award fee for operations CLINs and performance-based incentives for cleanup CLINs (Attachment 2, page 5). Fees are reduced by 1.1 percent for each day a project is finished late for up to 90 days. After 90 days there is no fee awarded.


Mr. Mullis said the work would begin with cleanup CLINs for K-25 at ETTP and at Poplar Creek. After those are underway work would begin on K-27 at ETTP (Attachment 2, page 6). From there the execution sequence would be based on criteria noted on page 7 of Attachment 2. Only two to three CLINs likely would be open at any time, with a maximum of four.


Pages 8-12 of Attachment 2 list all the projects to be addressed in the new contract.


Mr. Mullis reviewed the special contract requirements on page 13 of Attachment 1. One of the requirements is for 60 percent of the contract to be subcontracted.


Mr. Mullis then reviewed the remaining sections of the RFP, Sections J-M (Attachment 1, pages 15-18).


After Mr. Mullis’ presentation, Mr. Murphree asked Ellen Smith, a member of the Oak Ridge City Council, to review comments the city had provided DOE on the RFP. The main points of her comments are in Attachment 3. Ms. Smith mentioned key points in her comments.


She said the city felt the name of the contract should be changed to reflect work to be done outside of ETTP. Since the last contract was awarded the City of Oak Ridge is now responsible for a significant portion of utilities, infrastructure, and emergency services at ETTP. The city is asking for a technical correction to incorporate the city in discussions of utilities, infrastructure, and emergency services.


The city requests that the contractor maintain an office in Oak Ridge as the headquarters for the work to be done.


Ms. Smith said the city is asking that the contract should have some weighted value assigned to community commitment in the range of 10-15 percent of the contract score. (Attachment 3 pages


The city also requests that top executives of the contractor and its major subcontractors maintain residences in Oak Ridge. Ms. Smith said because Oak Ridge has experienced real environmental damage as well as some negative perceptions by the public that top leadership should live nearby to dispel some of the negative public perception. The city requests that the contractor invest 33 percent of the Contractor Community Commitment to regional educational outreach programs, regional purchasing programs, and community support (Attachment 3, pages 3-5).


Following Ms. Smith’s comments Mr. Murphree provided some comments that an ad hoc subcommittee of the board developed related to the RFP (Attachment 4). He said the subcommittee’s comments were not an attempt to wordsmith the RFP, but in some cases he said the RFP needed clarity or improvement in wording. Mr. Murphree some of the comments are duplicated to address the various sections of the RFP that have similar wording.


The specific comments from the ad hoc subcommittee are listed in Attachment 4. Of particular note is the RFP does not mention a significant scope of work known as the Integrated Facilities Disposition Program. The RFP has little mention of technetium-99 contamination in the K-27 Building at ETTP and no mention of such contamination in K-25.


The subcommittee’s interpretation of the RFP is that responsibility of S&M is given to the contractor. The subcommittee believes delegation of S&M from DOE to the contractor is unacceptable.


Three sections of the RFP note that the contractor is to provide technical support to ORSSAB. The subcommittee believes the description of the task should be for the contractor to provide a liaison to the board for briefings and other assistance.


Mr. Owsley said TDEC does not get involved in the selection of contractors, but pointed out that the state continues to expect compliance with agreements with DOE regardless of the contract scope. He also noted, as did Mr. Murphree, that DOE, TDEC, and EPA determine end states for the Oak Ridge Reservation, not the contractor.


A number of questions were asked after the presentations. Following are abridged questions and answers.


Mr. Owsley – In Section J of the RFP there is a list of A/B Compliance Documents. Does that section include the Federal Facility Agreement and the Site Treatment Plan? Mr. Mullis – List A/B requires compliance with all local and state laws. The contractor would be expected to comply with them. (Note: the Federal Facility Agreement and the Site Treatment Plan are included in the B list of Section J).


Mr. Myrick – Regarding the city’s request for community involvement, is there a requirement for a certain percentage or dollar value to go back to the community? Ms. Smith – I don’t believe there is a specific requirement for how much has to be spent.


Mr. Stow – Can you tell us what the total value of the contract will be for the first year and the first five years? Mr. Mullis – The total contract is estimated to be $1.8 to 2.3 billion, but I can’t comment on the estimate for the first couple of years.


Mr. Bonner – Will the permitting of an additional disposal site in Oak Ridge be part of the contract? Mr. Mullis – Operation of the Environmental Management Waste Management Facility is within the scope, as well as potential expansion of the industrial and sanitary landfills at Y-12.


Mr. Bonner – Are the tie lines between the major facilities at ETTP part of the scope of work? Mr. Mullis – That is addressed in the Balance of Facilities Section of the performance work statement.


Mr. Bonner – What was used as the basis or guidelines for the development of this contract? Mr. Eschenberg – DOE has learned a lot about contracts and how to write them over the last decade and more specifically over the last five years as it relates to the structure of the contract, how well we need to articulate what we want done, the different fee structures and arrangements, and how we want the proposal costed out. The basis for what we have represents a lot of learning and a large body of knowledge.


Mr. Tewes – How will this new contract address historical preservation related to buildings and structures and documents, and possibly a historian to work with nearby universities? Mr. Eschenberg – In this contract there are provisions for historic preservation and we’re taking action on that relative to K-25. There is an aggressive effort to capture oral histories and to reclaim documents. I’ve met with the East Tennessee Economic Council about some additional historic preservation activities that we’d like to do. As far as the Beta 3 Calutron at Y-12 and the Graphite Reactor, I can’t comment because EM is not responsible for those.


Ms. Gawarecki – Regarding performance-based incentives, there has to be a balance between incentives to get the work done and ensuring quality and safety are preserved. How will the contract be structured so there is always some incentive but the contractor won’t be penalized if there is a work stoppage over a safety issue or milestones can’t be met because funding runs out, or some other unforeseen circumstances? Mr. Mullis – We won’t know exactly what incentives will be in place until the contract is awarded and negotiations take place between the contractor and DOE. There is an award fee that will address safety and health, project management, etc. As far as funding shortfalls there is nothing in the contract that I know of that would address that. Mr. Eschenberg – What has worked well at other sites is a stable and predictable fee earning capacity for the contracting community. This contract will allow us to incentivize those things that are important to us in real time. As I see work being executed it allows me to incentivize what is important to me today. Having the award fee elements in the contract gives us a lot of latitude to incentivize different elements. It gives us flexibility to manage things if we do have funding changes or unforeseen circumstances. If we run into challenges we can’t stand down 800 people while a challenge is resolved. We want to divert those people to other work fronts and at the same time we want a contractor that is incentivized. The fee structure provides us a great opportunity to properly manage the work that is specified in this RFP.


Ms. Gawarecki – Under the contract requirements, how do you ensure those requirements are met? Mr. Eschenberg – Having the award fee component affords us a wide range of features to incentivize. If we elect to incentivize subcontract awards we could do that through award fees. So should a contractor not achieve the ratio we have specified in the contract we could take away an award fee action, as an example.

Mr. Jensen­ – On the award system, does it ever go below zero? If it never goes below zero the question is not whether the contractor wins or loses, but how much he wins. Mr. Eschenberg – I prefer to use the incentives in a positive sense. I suppose the incentives could be used punitively, but I don’t know that we have an arrangement that we can go negative on fees where the contractor would pay the government for not achieving a milestone.


Committee Reports

Board Finance & Process – Mr. Dixon reported that the committee met on May 27 and accomplished all of the items on its agenda.


Mr. Dixon said planning continues for the annual retreat, which will be held in Townsend, Tenn., on Saturday, August 21, at the Dancing Bear Lodge. There will be an informal program on Friday evening, August 20. Mr. Dixon asked for a head count of the number of board members who plan to stay overnight at the lodge on August 20. Seven board members indicated they planned to stay overnight. Mr. Olson noted that more might plan to stay if they knew what the topic of discussion will be on Friday. Mr. Dixon said the planning committee will meet on Thursday, June 10, and decide what the topic will be and notify the board and ask for a more accurate head count.


Mr. Dixon said Lori Isenberg has been retained to facilitate the Saturday retreat. Ms. Isenberg facilitated the EM SSAB Spring Chairs’ Meeting in Oak Ridge.


For those not wishing to drive to the meeting site on Saturday morning, Dave Adler will transport members to the retreat by van.


The Board Finance & Process Committee will have its monthly meeting on Thursday, June 24 at
5 p.m. at the DOE Information Center.


EM – Mr. Olson said the committee met on May 19 and heard a report on projects funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Mr. Olson said one project to be done that was not expected is an upgrade to White Oak Dam on Highway 95. The committee also heard a report from Mr. Adler on the K-1007 Ponds that he discussed during his liaison report.


The committee will meet June 16 and will hear a report on the Tank W-1A removal project and an update on the status of the groundwater study at ETTP.


Public Outreach – Ms. Owen reported that the committee met on May 25 via teleconference and reviewed and approved the Advocate newsletter editorial plan. Ms. Owen said the committee agreed to participate in the Secret City festival on Saturday, June 19, and will staff a booth from 10 a.m. to
6 p.m.


She said the committee is working on revising the Public Environmental Survey, formerly known as the Stakeholder’s Survey that will be sent to about 800 area residents. The results of the survey will be used during the annual retreat in August.


Mr. Westervelt will write the quarterly guest editorial to distribute to local newspapers and for use in the Advocate newsletter.


The committee will meet via teleconference on June 22.


Stewardship – Mr. Bonner reported that the committee heard a report from Dick Ketelle, Bechtel Jacobs, Co., on the 2010 Remediation Effectiveness Report. Committee members will submit comments on the report at the June 15 meeting.


Mr. Bonner said the committee will hear a status report on the development of the DOE-Oak Ridge global information system at its June meeting and will also hear a report on the delisting process of portions of the Oak Ridge Reservation from the National Priorities List.


The committee also provided comments on the draft DOE-Oak Public Involvement Plan.


Executive – Mr. Murphree said the committee met on May 27 and worked on comments to the RFP as provided at this meeting. The committee also discussed the bridge MOA for site interpretation of ETTP.


The committee adjusted the schedule for upcoming presentations to the board.


Announcements and Other Board Business

ORSSAB will have its next meeting on July 14, at 6 p.m. at the DOE Information Center, 475 Oak Ridge Turnpike, Oak Ridge, Tenn. The presentation will be “Long-term Stewardship for Contaminated Areas on the Oak Ridge Reservation.”


The minutes of the May 12, 2010, meeting were approved.


Mr. Myrick was recognized for his service to the board as he completes his final term as a member.


The SSAB Chairs’ Recommendation on Baseline Funding Support was approved (Attachment 5).


The recommendation on the “Bridge” MOA for Site Interpretation of East Tennessee Technology Park was approved (Attachment 6).


Federal Coordinator Report

Ms. Halsey had no comments.


Additions to the Agenda




Mr. Juarez moved to approve the minutes of the May 12, 2010, meeting. Mr. Dixon seconded and the motion passed unanimously.



Mr. Myrick moved to approve the SSAB Chairs’ Recommendation on Baseline Funding Support. Ms. B. Jones seconded and the motion passed unanimously.



Mr. Dixon moved to approve the Recommendation on the “Bridge” MOA for Site Interpretation of East Tennessee Technology Park. Mr. Myrick seconded and the motion passed unanimously.


The meeting adjourned at 8:20 p.m.


Action Items


1.    Mr. Adler will determine the cost to remediate the ponds at ETTP and the projected annual long-term stewardship costs.



1.    Mr. Velez will determine the source of carbon disulfide as noted in his May 12 presentation. Mr. Velez provided the following information on May 17, 2010. The source of the carbon disulfide was VISKASE Corp., in Loudon County. It was a release of 1.7 million pounds to air in 2006.

2.    Mr. Adler will determine the annual cost to operate the pump and treat process for hexavalent chromium in Mitchell Branch. Sid Garland, Bechtel Jacobs, Co., provided the following information on May 18, 2010.Approximately $200,000 per month is spent to operate the Central Neutralization Facility 10 hours per day, seven days per week in support of the chromium contaminated groundwater, Toxic Substances Control Act Incinerator water due to closure activities and rainwater, and miscellaneous waters from the site. The chromium contaminated groundwater is approximately 70 percent of the flow. Therefore, the cost to treat the chromium contaminated groundwater is approximately $140,000 per month. When the incinerator is decommissioned, and the new chromium treatment facility is operational, this cost should decrease.

3.    Mr. Adler will determine source of chlorine releases in 2008 at East Tennessee Technology Park. Fidel Perez, Bechtel Jacobs, Co., provided the following information on June 8, 2010. Incineration activities at the Toxic Substances Control Act Incinerator of chlorinated hydrocarbons such as PCBs generate chlorine which is converted into hydrochloric acid during the thermal treatment of the wastes. The hydrochloric acid is scrubbed and neutralized in the off-gas cleaning system prior to exiting the stack. The incinerator system had 99 percent removal efficiency for chlorine/hydrochloric acid. The amount of chlorine generated varied year to year depending on the types of wastes incinerated.


Attachments (6) to these minutes are available on request from ORSSAB support office.