Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management

DOE awards environmental sampling contract to explore preferred disposal faclity site

February 5, 2018

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Soil sampling in Oak Ridge
Workers sample soil on the Oak Ridge Reservation.

Oak Ridge, Tenn. – The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management (OREM) has awarded Strata-G LLC a contract to perform environmental sampling in support of efforts to construct additional onsite disposal capacity on the DOE’s Oak Ridge Reservation.

Under the contract, valued at approximately $1 million, the veteran-owned small business is responsible for drilling 16 wells to access groundwater, characterize surface water, and gather soil samples for geotechnical investigations at the Bear Creek Valley site, located on federal land west of the Y-12 National Security Complex.

Information gathered from these activities will be used to determine if the site is suited for future waste disposal operations and support detailed design for the new disposal facility, known as the Environmental Management Disposal Facility. Fieldwork is scheduled for completion in April, and a final report on the effort will be released later this year.

OREM has extensive environmental data from years of research, sampling, and surveys in the Bear Creek Valley. Knowledge about the larger area led the agency to identify the Bear Creek Valley site as a potential location for the Environmental Management Disposal Facility; however, this sampling effort will provide the first site-specific samples focused exclusively on this particular area.

Collecting soil and water samples will provide OREM with the data needed to make progress on a crucial infrastructure project that is vital to the future of the Oak Ridge environmental cleanup program. The current facility, which has operated safely for nearly 15 years, is approaching full capacity. The new facility is needed to support safe, cost-effective, and timely cleanup at the Y-12 National Security Complex and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.   

The Environmental Protection Agency, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, and OREM are scheduled to release a formal proposal for the new facility later this year, and the community will receive multiple opportunities to comment on the plan.