You can comment on the proposed new federal landfill in Bear Creek Valley during a public information session in Oak Ridge today (Thursday, September 13).
The landfill would be called the Environmental Management Disposal Facility, and it would be 2.2 million cubic yards on land owned by the federal government. It would be used by the U.S. Department of Energy to dispose of waste from the Oak Ridge Reservation.
The public information session is scheduled from 4:30-6 p.m. Thursday at the DOE Information Center in east Oak Ridge at 1 Science.gov Way. The meeting is hosted by DOE, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.
The purpose of the meeting is to share information about the proposed plan and hear public comments, according to a public notice sent to Oak Ridge Today on Wednesday afternoon.
Elements of the Environmental Management Disposal Facility would include a dike to contain waste; a liner and collection/detection system and a buffer zone to isolate the waste from groundwater; and a multilayer cover to reduce infiltration and isolate the waste from people and the environment, the public notice said. Other infrastructure would include a landfill wastewater treatment system.
The notice said several waste types will be excluded from disposal because they will not meet acceptance criteria. Those waste types include free-flowing mercury, transuranic waste, liquid waste, and hazardous waste that does not meet land disposal restrictions. The facility will accept soil, sediment, and demolition debris. The majority of the waste (about two-thirds of it) will be likely be debris, the public notice said.
Wastes are expected to contain radionuclides and common industrial chemicals. The projected hazardous contaminant inventory includes metals such as mercury, barium, beryllium, chromium, lead, manganese, and uranium.
“Fundamentally, DOE believes that onsite disposal at the Central Bear Creek Valley site, presented as the preferred remedy in the proposed plan, is consistent with CERCLA (Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act) and the National Contingency Plan,” the public notice said. “Based on information currently available, DOE, as the lead agency, believes that onsite disposal at Central Bear Creek Valley meets the threshold criteria and provides the best balance of tradeoffs among the other alternatives with respect to the balancing and modifying CERCLA criteria.”
DOE expects the preferred alternative to satisfy these CERCLA requirements:
- protect human health and the environment;
- comply with applicable, relevant, and appropriate requirements (or justify a waiver);
- be cost-effective;
- use permanent solutions and alternative treatment technologies or resource recovery technologies as much as possible; and
- satisfy the preference for treatment as a principal element, or explain why the preference for treatment will not be met.
You can submit written comments about the proposed plan during a public comment period from September 10-October 25. Those comments may be submitted to John Michael Japp, OREM FFA Project Manager, DOE Oak Ridge Operations, P.O. Box 2001, Oak Ridge, TN 37831.
Today’s meeting is the first public information session. A second is scheduled for October 2.
There is a public hearing scheduled for October 18.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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