PROGRAM FACT SHEETS
UMTRCA Title I Disposal and Processing Sites (Regulatory Drivers)
For Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act of 1978 (UMTRCA) Title I disposal sites managed by LM, DOE becomes a licensee to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Inspection, reporting, and record-keeping requirements are defined in Title 10 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 40.27, "General License for Custody and Long-Term Care of Residual Radioactive Material Disposal Sites." The general license for long-term custody does not expire. Usually, the land title is assigned to a federal government agency and the land is administratively withdrawn from unrestricted public use. Sites located on tribal land revert to tribal control, and DOE obtains a site access agreement with the tribe that allows DOE to fulfill its custodial responsibilities.
UMTRCA Title I designated 22 inactive uranium ore-processing sites for remediation. Remediation resulted in the creation of 19 disposal cells that contain encapsulated uranium mill tailings and associated contaminated material. Approximately 40 million cubic yards of low-level radioactive material are contained in engineered UMTRCA Title I disposal cells.
Residual radioactive material was moved from some Title I processing sites for containment at offsite disposal locations. NRC does not require a license for remediated processing sites that do not have disposal cells. However, NRC is the regulator if contaminated groundwater remains. Groundwater compliance action plans, with compliance strategies that range from natural flushing to active remediation, have been or are being developed by DOE for processing sites that have contaminated groundwater. These plans require NRC, state, and Native American tribe concurrence, when applicable. To date, groundwater remedies have been approved and implemented at several former uranium-ore processing sites.
Standards for UMTRCA remedial action, cell performance, and groundwater quality are established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 40 CFR 192, "Health and Environmental Protection Standards for Uranium and Thorium Mill Tailings." Each disposal site comes under the general license for long-term custody and care by DOE once NRC concurs that remedial action has been completed and accepts the site-specific long-term surveillance plan. If groundwater at a particular site was contaminated by previous site activities, NRC will accept only the surface improvements under the general license; the site will not be fully licensed until groundwater quality meets applicable regulations. The NRC license mandates annual disposal cell inspections. Additional requirements for post-closure care are defined in site-specific long-term surveillance plans.
All Title I sites are under general licenses, with the exception of the Grand Junction, Colorado, Disposal Site. A portion of the cell at the Grand Junction disposal site will remain open to receive contaminated materials and continues to be managed by LM. (See fact sheet.)
LM currently manages the following Title I disposal and processing sites:
Ambrosia Lake, New Mexico, Disposal Site
Burrell, Pennsylvania, Disposal Site
Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, Disposal Site
Durango, Colorado, Disposal Site
Durango, Colorado, Processing Site
Falls City, Texas, Disposal Site
Grand Junction, Colorado, Disposal Site
Grand Junction, Colorado, Processing Site
Green River, Utah, Disposal Site
Gunnison, Colorado, Disposal Site
Gunnison, Colorado, Processing Site
Lakeview, Oregon, Disposal Site
Lakeview, Oregon, Processing Site
Lowman, Idaho, Disposal Site
Maybell, Colorado, Disposal Site
Mexican Hat, Utah, Disposal Site
Monument Valley, Arizona, Processing Site
Naturita, Colorado, Disposal Site
Naturita, Colorado, Processing Site
Rifle, Colorado, Disposal Site
Rifle, Colorado, New Processing Site
Rifle, Colorado, Old Processing Site
Riverton, Wyoming, Processing Site
Salt Lake City, Utah, Disposal Site
Salt Lake City, Utah, Processing Site
Shiprock, New Mexico, Disposal Site
Slick Rock, Colorado, Disposal Site
Slick Rock, Colorado, Processing Sites
Spook, Wyoming, Disposal Site
Tuba City, Arizona, Disposal Site
UMTRCA Title II Disposal Sites (Regulatory Drivers)
Uranium processing sites addressed by Title II of Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act (UMTRCA) were active when the act was passed in 1978. These sites were commercially owned and regulated under a U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) agreement state license. For license termination, the owner conducts an NRC-approved reclamation of radioactive waste remaining from uranium-ore processing operations. The site owner also ensures full funding for inspections and, if necessary, ongoing monitoring or maintenance. LM develops the site-specific long-term surveillance plan and accepts title to the site for long-term custody and care, following a two-year transition period. DOE administers Title II sites under the provisions of a general NRC license granted under Title 10 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 40.28, "General License for Custody and Long-Term Care of Uranium or Thorium Byproduct Materials Disposal Sites."
LM currently manages six UMTRCA Title II sites. The number will increase as ongoing site reclamations are completed. Ultimately, LM may manage as many as 30 UMTRCA Title II sites. (See fact sheet.)
LM currently manages the following Title II disposal sites:
Bluewater, New Mexico, Disposal Site
Edgemont, South Dakota, Disposal Site
L-Bar, New Mexico, Disposal Site
Maybell West, Colorado, Disposal Site
Sherwood, Washington, Disposal Site
Shirley Basin South, Wyoming, Disposal Site
FUSRAP Sites (Regulatory Drivers)
DOE established the Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program (FUSRAP) in 1974 to remediate sites where radioactive contamination remained from Manhattan Project and early U.S. Atomic Energy Commission operations. DOE assessed more than 600 candidate facilities and determined that 46 sites required remediation. In 1997, the U.S. Congress directed the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to remediate the remaining FUSRAP sites—by this time DOE had completed cleanup of 25 of 46 sites. Remediation of FUSRAP sites follows Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) protocols. In 1999, DOE negotiated a Memorandum of Understanding with USACE to transfer responsibility for FUSRAP sites to DOE for long-term care two years after remedial action has been completed. Remediated sites become LM's responsibility once the CERCLA Completion Report is approved and conveyed to LM. (See fact sheet.)
LM currently manages 31 FUSRAP sites and one MED/AEC Legacy Site (Burris Park) that is managed under FUSRAP.
Acid/Pueblo Canyon, New Mexico, Site
Adrian, Michigan, Site
Albany, Oregon, Site
Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, Site
Bayo Canyon, New Mexico, Site
Berkeley, California, Site
Beverly, Massachusetts, Site
Buffalo, New York, Site
Burris Park, California, Site
Chicago North, Illinois, Site
Chicago South, Illinois, Site
Chupadera Mesa, New Mexico, Site
Columbus East, Ohio, Site
Fairfield, Ohio, Site
Granite City, Illinois, Site
Hamilton, Ohio, Site
Indian Orchard, Massachusetts, Site
Jersey City, New Jersey, Site
Madison, Illinois, Site
New Brunswick, New Jersey, Site
New York, New York, Site
Niagara Falls Vicinity Properties, New York, Site
Oak Ridge, Tennessee, Warehouses Site
Oxford, Ohio, Site
Painesville, Ohio, Site
Seymour, Connecticut, Site
Springdale, Pennsylvania, Site
Toledo, Ohio, Site
Tonawanda, New York, Site
Tonawanda North, New York, Sites, Unit 1 and Unit 2 (counts as two sites)
Wayne, New Jersey, Site
The following sites are owned by DOE and are undergoing remediation by USACE:
Additional FUSRAP Information
For sites in the DOE Defense Decontamination and Decommissioning (D&D) Program, LM ensures compliance with DOE Order 5400.1, “General Environmental Protection Program,” which was superseded by DOE O 436.1, “Departmental Sustainability” (May 2, 2011); and DOE O 5400.5, “Radiation Protection of the Public and the Environment.” DOE O 5400.1 stipulates that DOE will comply with applicable federal, state, and local environmental protection laws and regulations, Executive Orders, and internal DOE policies. DOE O 458.1 Admin Change 3, also titled “Radiation Protection of the Public and the Environment,” cancels DOE Order 5400.5 as of January 15, 2013.
LM currently manages five D&D Program sites: Piqua, Ohio; Hallam, Nebraska; Site A/Plot M located near Chicago, Illinois; the Grand Junction, Colorado, Site; and the decommissioned Boiling Nuclear Superheater (BONUS) research reactor in Rincón, Puerto Rico.
Underground nuclear testing activities were conducted at sites in five states for various purposes, including stimulating natural gas production and cataloging seismic detonation signatures. Nevada Offsites refers to the sites where underground nuclear tests and experiments were performed outside of the Nevada Test Site. (See fact sheet.)
The Nevada Offsites include the Salmon Site in Mississippi, the Chariot and Amchitka sites in Alaska, the Rulison and Rio Blanco sites in Colorado, the Gasbuggy and Gnome-Coach sites in New Mexico, and the Shoal site and Central Nevada Test Area in Nevada.
LM assumed responsibility for all activities associated with subsurface completion and long-term surveillance and maintenance at these sites on October 1, 2006. Long-term monitoring activities consist primarily of ensuring that use restrictions remain in force and maintaining site integrity to protect public health and the environment.
The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality and the Mississippi Department of Health, under the Voluntary Evaluation Program, are the regulatory consultants for the Salmon site. The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, under the Alaska Contaminated Sites Voluntary Cleanup Program, is the regulatory consultant for the Amchitka site. The regulatory oversight process in Colorado involves collaboration with two branches of state government: the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. The two New Mexico sites are overseen by the New Mexico Environment Department under the New Mexico Voluntary Remediation Program. The two Nevada sites are under the regulatory authority of a Federal Facility Agreement Consent Order administered by the Nevada Department of Environmental Protection.
LM currently manages eight sites where remediation was conducted in accordance with Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and/or Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) regulations. These sites were radiologically and/or chemically contaminated by federal milling, processing, research, and/or weapons manufacturing operations.
CERCLA was enacted by Congress on December 11, 1980, to enforce cleanup and reporting requirements on contaminated property. RCRA was enacted by Congress on October 21, 1976, to govern the disposal of solid and hazardous waste.
LM manages the following CERCLA/RCRA sites:
- Fernald Preserve, Ohio, Site
- Laboratory for Energy-Related Health Research, California, Site
- Maxey Flats, Kentucky, Site
- Monticello, Utah, Disposal and Processing Sites
- Mound, Ohio, Site
- Pinellas [County], Florida, Site
- Rocky Flats, Colorado, Site
- Weldon Spring, Missouri, Site
The Mound, Ohio, Site has transferred to LM. All real property assets, with the exception of Parcel 9, have transferred to private ownership. Parcel 9 includes the Operable Unit 1 area, an area four acres in size overlying a VOC-contaminated groundwater plume.
Additional CERCLA Information
Nuclear Waste Policy Act (NWPA) Section 151 Site
Certain sites where low-level radioactive contamination was remediated by the site owner under the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Site Decommissioning Management Program can be transferred to the federal government under Section 151 of NWPA. NRC will terminate the site license only after concurring with the implemented remedial action, determining that the owner has obtained DOE approval to accept responsibility for the site, and ensuring future funding for long-term surveillance and maintenance.
Only one NWPA Section 151 site, the Parkersburg, West Virginia, Disposal Site, has been transferred to DOE and is managed by LM.
MED/AEC Legacy Sites
LM is responsible for records management and stakeholder support of the following remediated sites:
Ashtabula, Ohio, Site
Burris Park, California, Site (managed under FUSRAP)
Center for Energy and Environmental Research (CEER), Puerto Rico, Sites
Columbus, Ohio, Sites
El Verde, Puerto Rico, Site
General Atomics Hot Cell Facility, California, Site
Inhalation Toxicology Laboratory (ITL)
Missouri University Research Reactor, Missouri, Site
Oxnard, California, Site
Vallecitos Nuclear Center, California, Site
Ashtabula, Ohio, Site – The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) approved a decommissioning plan for the Ashtabula site in 1997. Pursuant to Section 274 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, a state may reach an agreement with NRC (the state then becomes an Agreement State), allowing that state to regulate the use of NRC-licensed radioactive materials within its borders. Decommissioning oversight for the Ashtabula site was transferred to the State of Ohio when it became an NRC Agreement State in 1999.
The Ohio Department of Health regulated the site owner’s radioactive materials license and had approval authority to release the site once remediation criteria specified in the decommissioning plan had been met. The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency regulated the site owner’s Ohio hazardous waste permit and had oversight for the material, including groundwater, regulated under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). The radiological cleanup necessary to release the site for unrestricted use proceeded according to the requirements of Title 10 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 40, “Domestic Licensing of Source Material.”
Burris Park, California, Site – DOE has legislative authority under the Atomic Energy Act (AEA) of 1954, as amended, to perform radiological surveys, monitoring, and maintenance at sites used to support the nuclear activities of DOE’s predecessor agencies. DOE also has legislative authority under AEA to remediate sites identified as requiring some form of response action.
The U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), predecessor agency to DOE, established the Formerly Utilized Sites Remediation Program (FUSRAP) in March 1974 to evaluate radioactive contamination at sites where work helped develop the nation’s nuclear weapons and atomic energy programs.
DOE determined that Burris Park was ineligible for cleanup under FUSRAP in 1987 because adequate remediation activities had been performed by the University of California. DOE Office of Legacy Management (LM) confirmed this decision in 2014 in the Elimination Report and Determination of LTS&M Authority for the Burris Park Field Station, Kings County, California (June 2014). However, since the site was an Sr-90 research project initiated in 1956 supporting the AEC, LM accepted maintenance only responsibility for the remaining Sr-90 material contained in the 50-square-foot area at the former Burris Park Field Station on November 26, 2014.
Center for Energy and Environmental Research (CEER), Puerto Rico, Sites – DOE completed environmental restoration at the CEER facilities in accordance with Puerto Rico Environmental Quality Board and RCRA regulations. Transfer of the property to the University of Puerto Rico followed the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act Section 120(h), “Property Transferred by Federal Agencies.”
Columbus, Ohio, Sites – Battelle conducted cleanup of the King Avenue and West Jefferson sites, under the regulatory requirements of an NRC license, after the facilities ceased operation. Cleanup proceeded according to an NRC-approved decommissioning plan.
Pursuant to Section 274 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, a state may reach an agreement with NRC (the state then becomes an Agreement State) allowing that state to regulate the use of NRC-licensed radioactive materials within its borders. Decommissioning oversight for the King Avenue site was transferred to the State of Ohio when it became an NRC Agreement State in 1999.
Both facilities have been released for unrestricted use.
El Verde, Puerto Rico, Site – In February 1993, NRC renewed License 52 19434-02 and amended it to allow “storage” of cesium-137 in an injected tree in Study Area 4 of the El Verde Field Station.
DOE transferred the El Verde facility to the U.S. Department of Agriculture/U.S. Forest Service (USFS) in September 1996. USFS administers the Caribbean National Forest for the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The University of Puerto Rico Institute for Tropical Ecosystem Studies operates the El Verde facility through a special use agreement with USFS.
DOE transferred the El Verde site pursuant to National Environmental Policy Act implementing procedures in Title 10 CFR 1021. Appendix A to Subpart D of Part 1021 allows site transfer under a categorical exclusion, which applies to activities that individually or cumulatively will not have a significant effect on the environment.
General Atomics Hot Cell Facility Site – The General Atomics Hot Cell Facility was regulated under General Atomics Special Nuclear Materials License SNS-696 with NRC, and a byproduct material license with the State of California Department of Health, Radiologic Health Branch. Release criteria for soil, building materials, concrete, and asphalt were based on criteria in these licenses. Final release guideline values were calculated specifically for the site and represented incremental concentrations above background values. NRC’s Manual for Conducting Radiological Surveys in Support of License Termination (NUREG/CR-5849) provided guidelines for calculating isotopic concentrations in soil that corresponded to maximum permissible gamma exposure rates and dose rates.
Inhalation Toxicology Laboratory (ITL) – Investigation and remediation of hazardous materials at ITL were conducted according to RCRA provisions as administered by NMED. Radiological contaminants investigation and remediation followed requirements of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended (Title 42 United States Code, Section 2011, et seq.); DOE Orders 5400.5, “Radiation Protection of the Public and Environment,” and 435.1, “Radioactive Waste Management;” and U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Guide 1.86, Termination of Operating Licenses for Nuclear Reactors. Groundwater monitoring and reporting are conducted according to Discharge Permit No. 519, renewed on December 26, 2008, in accordance with NMED Water Quality Act regulations. Sample results are compared with applicable New Mexico Water Quality Control Commission standards.
Missouri University Research Reactor Site – Activities involving radioactive materials used in the Transuranic Management by Pyropartitioning Separation Project were managed under a reactor license issued by NRC for the Missouri University Research Reactor (MURR). MURR’s NRC materials license imposed additional requirements regarding special nuclear materials security and emergency response. The Federal Facility Compliance Act of 1992 (Public Law 102-386) required DOE to prepare a proposed site treatment plan describing DOE’s course of action for storing and treating mixed waste in compliance with state and federal regulations. The proposed site treatment plan also had to meet state and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approval. All mixed waste generated during the project was managed according to requirements of the Atomic Energy Act and RCRA. DOE’s proposed site treatment plan was approved by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, which also has oversight for RCRA wastes in the state of Missouri.
Oxnard, California, Site – Regulations governing asbestos removal at the Oxnard site included the Toxic Substances Control Act codified at 40 CFR 763; Title 8 California Code of Regulations (CCR), Sections 341.15, “Certification of Asbestos Consultants and Site Surveillance Technicians;” 8 CCR 341.16, “Approval of Asbestos Training and Course Providers for Training Requirements Related to Asbestos-Related-Work and the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act;” and 8 CCR 1529, “Asbestos.” Results of a September 1995 environmental site assessment indicated that polychlorinated biphenyl concentrations in site soils were below California Environmental Protection Agency risk-based action levels, and removal was not required. However, DOE removed the soils in 1996 as a best management practice.
Vallecitos Nuclear Center (VNC), California, Site – The 1,600-acre nuclear research facility and the site of a former electricity-generating nuclear power plant, is located in Sunol, California, about 40 miles east of San Francisco. The first commercially owned nuclear plant to supply power to the general public was operated at the site from 1957 until 1963. From 1965 through 1975, VNC was used to conduct research work for the Atomic Energy Commission’s (AEC) Nuclear Energy Program and the civilian nuclear power industry. General Electric (GE) Hitachi Nuclear Energy, an affiliate of the GE Company, owns the facility. DOE and GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy decontaminated and removed nuclear waste materials from a hot cell and a glove box used for government-sponsored research. The hot cell facility is a shielded, confined area used for remote work on radioactive materials. The decontaminated hot cell can be reused for research and other commercial nuclear work.
State Water Quality Standards
Geothermal Test Facility, California, Site – The Colorado River Basin Regional Water Quality Control Board, a California State agency, was the lead agency in the cleanup effort at the Geothermal Test Facility Site. The Water Quality Control Board issued a Waste Discharge Requirement Order in 1989 that required removal and disposal of all geothermal waste at an approved disposal site. DOE also coordinated with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) as part of the site closure. DOE used the site under a right-of-way agreement with BLM, in which BLM had to approve and accept the restoration activities at the site before DOE could terminate the agreement.