EMDF Proposed Plan - Public Information Session

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September 13, 2018 4:30PM to 6:00PM EDT


DOE Information Center
1 Science.gov Way
Oak Ridge, Tennessee



You have the chance to comment on the Proposed Plan for providing additional onsite disposal capacity for waste generated from the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA) cleanup at the Oak Ridge Reservation. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), along with participation from the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, is hosting the first public information session about this topic on September 13, 2018 from 4:30 – 6:00 p.m. at the DOE Information Center. The purpose of this meeting is to share information about the Proposed Plan and hear your views about the plans for this onsite disposal facility. DOE has carefully studied the site, and it believes the following actions are the best approach to complete cleanup in Oak Ridge.

  • A 2.2 million cubic yard engineered facility (the Environmental Management Disposal Facility) will be constructed at a site centrally located in Bear Creek Valley on federally-owned land. Key facility elements include a clean‑fill dike to laterally contain the waste, a multilayer base liner system with a double leachate collection/detection system and underlying geologic buffer zone to isolate the waste from groundwater, and a multilayer cover installed over a stable base-contouring layer to reduce infiltration and isolate the waste from people and the environment. Other infrastructure will also be constructed to support the facility, such as a landfill wastewater treatment system (stormwater that comes in contact with contaminants and leachate generated during the operation of the landfill) that will be used, as needed, to achieve regulatory discharge limits.
  • Several waste types will be excluded from disposal at the proposed Environmental Management Disposal Facility because they do not meet the anticipated acceptance criteria, including 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 (just over two thirds) is anticipated to be debris.  Wastes are anticipated 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 (also referred to as Site 7 (c)), presented as the preferred remedy in the Proposed Plan, is consistent with CERCLA and the National Contingency Plan.  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 the following statu­tory requirements of CERCLA §121(b): (1) be protective of human health and the environment; (2) comply with Applicable or Relevant and Appropriate Requirements (or justify a waiver); (3) be cost-effective; (4) utilize permanent solutions and alternative treatment technologies or resource recovery technologies to the maximum extent practicable; and (5) satisfy the preference for treatment as a principal element, or ex­plain why the preference for treatment will not be met.      


Public Comment Period:

The public comment period for this document is from September 10 - October 26. You can provide comments at our public information sessions on Sept. 13 or Oct. 2, or at the public hearing on Oct. 18. There will be comment cards at all of the meetings. You can also pass along your comments via email at John.Japp@orem.doe.gov. Additionally, you can mail comment to Mr. John Michael Japp at P.O. Box 2001, Oak Ridge, TN 37831.


Getting a copy of the EMDF Proposed Plan: 

Copies of the EMDF Proposed Plan are available at the DOE Information Center. It is also available online at https://doeic.science.energy.gov/uploads/A.0100.030.2596.pdf.