A federal board has recommended five cleanup priorities for the Oak Ridge Reservation: offsite groundwater monitoring, future waste disposal capacity, the disposal of excess facilities, mercury in East Fork Poplar Creek, and remaining debris at the East Tennessee Technology Park.
The recommendations were made by the Oak Ridge Site Specific Advisory Board. That’s a federally appointed citizens’ panel that provides independent advice and recommendations to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management.
The recommendations are for the fiscal year 2019 environmental management budget, which begins October 1, 2018.
“ORSSAB has identified five priorities for Oak Ridge Reservation cleanup, and recommends that the FY 2019 Oak Ridge EM program budget request reflect adequate funding to keep these projects going,” the board said. “Also, when additional funds from suitable plus-ups and savings become available, it recommends that these funds be targeted for these projects.”
Here is more information from the SSAB recommendation:
Each year, the U.S. Department of Energy Environmental Management (EM) Program develops its budget request for the fiscal year two years beyond the current fiscal year, incorporating budget requests from DOE field offices to develop the EM Program budget request to the president.
DOE EM Headquarters typically issues guidelines to the field offices advising them how much funding they should reasonably expect when developing their budget requests for the fiscal year two years beyond the current fiscal year. The field offices then brief the public, the regulatory agencies, and the respective site-specific advisory boards and seek input from each regarding budget requests.
On April 12, 2017, the Oak Ridge EM program held its annual Community Budget Workshop to discuss the FY 2019 budget formulation process and provide the EM portfolio project directors with an opportunity to talk about their priorities for their projects. The workshop provided content and discussions that the Oak Ridge Site Specific Advisory Board (ORSSAB) was to use to draft its recommendations.
In creating its recommendations for the Fiscal Year 2019 Oak Ridge EM budget, ORSSAB focused on general near-term and long-term cleanup priorities identified at the Community Budget Workshop. These priorities are associated with general program “visions,” the first of which was completed in 2016.
- Vision 2016—An effort to complete the demolition and removal of all five gaseous diffusion buildings at the East Tennessee Technology Park (ETTP) by the end of 2016.
- Vision 2020—An initiative to extend Vision 2016 to include cleanup of all facilities at ETTP and prepare to release the land for reindustrialization by the end of 2020.
- Vision 2024—The transition from cleanup activities at ETTP to address the mercury contaminated facilities at the Y-12 National Security Complex. Project-specific objectives spelled out in the Community Budget Workshop provided additional details for discussions that took place at the April 26, 2017, EM/Stewardship Committee meeting and in a subsequent teleconference.
ORSSAB has identified five priorities for Oak Ridge Reservation cleanup, and we recommend that the Fiscal Year 2019 Oak Ridge EM program budget request reflect adequate funding to keep these projects going. Also, when additional funds from suitable plus-ups and savings become available, we recommend that these funds be targeted for these projects. The five priorities are listed below:
- Offsite Groundwater Monitoring. Items under this priority may include but are not limited to:
- Assessment of offsite groundwater quality and public health impacts
- Evaluation of potential offsite plume migration pathways
- Continued monitoring of offsite groundwater
- Future Waste Disposal Capacity. Items under this priority may include but are not limited to:
- Plan for sufficient capacity at a proposed new onsite disposal facility
- Maintain a trust fund for long-term stewardship of future onsite disposal facilities
- Excess Facilities Disposition. Items under this priority may include but are not limited to:
- Continue planning and implementing of upfront activities
- Removal/decontamination of equipment not grossly contaminated
- Developing an access plan to establish safe means for access and egress from facilities under consideration
- Mercury in East Fork Poplar Creek. Items under this priority may include but are not limited to:
- Continue technology development to support the Mercury Cleanup Strategy
- Continue mitigation of mercury methylation in East Fork Poplar Creek
- Residual Debris at ETTP. Items under this priority may include but are not limited to:
- Plan and implement cleanup of remaining debris, trash, and unwanted items left over from EM cleanup at ETTP for uncomplicated transfers to potential tenants
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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