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Construction Begins on the Expansion of the EMWMF

July 22, 2009 - 12:00pm


OAK RIDGE, Tenn. – Construction of a $35 million, 465,000 cubic yard expansion of the Environmental Management Waste Management Facility (EMWMF) is now underway, using funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The EMWMF is a permitted low-level radioactive, hazardous, and mixed waste disposal facility that serves as the on-site landfill for cleanup waste from DOE’s Oak Ridge Reservation.  The expansion, known as Cell 5, will increase the total capacity of the facility to about 1.7 million cubic yards, equivalent to 113,000 standard dump truck loads.  The scope of the expansion includes construction, quality assurance, quality control, design support during construction, and project oversight.

“Completion of the EMWMF expansion will provide essential disposal capacity for waste generated by new initiatives included in the Recovery Act, along with space for waste from our ongoing environmental management projects,” said Gerald Boyd, Manager of DOE’s Oak Ridge Office.

A number of subcontractors will work on the project providing a variety of services to support expansion of the cell.  These include:

  • Avisco, a woman-owned small business based in Oak Ridge, construction labor and equipment for earthwork;
  • Benchmark, a small business based in Knoxville, civil survey support for construction;
  • BESCO, a small business based in Knoxville, electrical instrumentation and controls;
  • Aquaterra, a small business based in Chattanooga, construction quality assurance;
  • AECOM, with offices in Oak Ridge, design engineering support; and, 
  • Professional Engineers Inc., a small business based in Knoxville, quality control services.

Additional subcontracts for geosynthetic materials and installation, leachate pipe materials and installation, and fencing are yet to be awarded.  Contractors are expected to employ between 40 and 60 workers for most of the expansion project.  The expansion project will be completed by the end of June 2010, with Cell 5 usable by the end of August 2010 upon approval by federal and state regulators.

“We are working closely with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to help ensure compliance with environmental regulations as we accelerate the work as much as possible,” said Paul Divjak, General Manager for Bechtel Jacobs Co. LLC, DOE’s cleanup contractor for the Oak Ridge Reservation.

The EMWMF opened in 2002 on a 120-acre site on the Oak Ridge Reservation and contains 4 cells, totaling the size of almost 20 football fields.  Typical waste placed in the facility originates from dismantled buildings and includes scrap equipment, building debris, and contaminated soil.  To date, approximately 757,000 tons of waste in 57,600 truckloads have been disposed in the facility, which avoids the cost of shipping waste to off-site facilities for permanent disposal.