The Anderson County Commission held a workshop Monday to discuss the Department of Energy’s proposed construction and operation of a new hazardous waste disposal facility on the federal reservation in Oak Ridge.
The purpose of the meeting was to allow commissioners, officials and citizens to weigh in with their comments before today’s (Wednesday January 9th) deadline for public comment on the proposed Environmental Management Disposal Facility (EMDF).
During the meeting, state environmental officials outlined some of their concerns about the project, which the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation has not yet approved. Federal officials who attended the meeting said that the proposed landfill would hold debris and soil from the demolition of aging buildings at Y-12 and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, described as “low-level” radioactive waste. The most heavily contaminated materials will still be shipped to off-site disposal facilities.
State concerns include groundwater and rainfall and their affects on the environment as well as mercury residue that has long been a concern in and around the federal facilities in Oak Ridge. State officials also listed a lack of a risk assessment from the DOE among their concerns.
About 19 people attended the meeting, along with 12 County Commissioners, and some of the concerns raised by citizens included the recent spate of small earthquakes in the region and what they called the area’s “unstable” geology as well as continued criticism of the DOE not contributing to the Oak Ridge community like they do in other cities with federal energy facilities.
To view a fact sheet prepared by TDEC, and more information on the proposed hazardous waste disposal facility, visit this link, http://www.anderson-county.com/county-commission-agendas/, and choose today’s date (January 7th).
The DOE will accept written comments on the proposed plan for a new landfill at any time during the public comment period, which ends today (Wednesday, January 9th).
Citizens can send their comments by email to John.Japp@orem.doe.gov.
You can also mail comments to Mr. John Michael Japp at P.O. Box 2001, Oak Ridge, TN 37831.
Copies of the EMDF Proposed Plan are available at the DOE Information Center, and online at https://doeic.science.energy.gov/uploads/A.0100.030.2596.pdf.
Other documents can be found at https://www.tn.gov/environment/program-areas/rem-remediation/rem-oak-ridge-reservation-clean-up/emdf/emdfdocuments.html.