ORRHES Meeting Minutes
March 3, 2003
Kowetha Davidson reviewed highlights of the agenda for the meeting, dated February 20, 2003:
- Project update/administrative update presentation by Burt Cooper and Jerry Pereira.
- Presentation and discussion of the Oak Ridge Environmental Information System (OREIS).
- Presentation by Tim Joseph on the DOE site annual environmental report.
- Work group presentations.
- Presentation by Karl Markiewicz on the ASTDR screening process for chemicals.
- Public Health Assessment Work Group presentation.
- Final public comment period of the meeting at 6:15 PM.
- Work group recommendations.
No correspondence to report since the December 3, 2002 ORRHES meeting.
Dinner meal arrangements.
No other announcements.
A motion to approve the minutes of the December 3, 2002 ORRHES meeting was received and seconded. The minutes of the December 3, 2002 ORRHES meeting were approved by voice vote with none opposed.
The list of action items was reviewed by the Subcommittee. La Freta Dalton highlighted that a copy of the Savannah River Site Needs Assessment was provided to the ORRHES members with the mailing for today’s meeting; therefore, the action item for Theresa NeSmith from the Dec 3, 2002 ORRHES meeting to provide that document has been completed.
James Lewis commented that the action items list has many items listed as “ongoing” and asked to know the status of those items. La Freta Dalton responded that the status of ongoing or pending action items will be determined and reported to ORRHES members.
Project update presentation by Burt Cooper:
Burt Cooper (ATSDR) reported that everything is on schedule per the project plan. Media specific chemical screening work is on schedule, the Y-12 uranium releases Public Health Assessment (PHA) is on schedule, the work on the mercury chemical specific PHA has begun, the work on the PHA for releases to White Oak Creek has begun.
James Lewis commented, regarding the project plan, that the completion status on the project plan distributed to ORRHES members does not seem to reflect the known degree of completion. ATSDR please update the project plan for ORRHES. Burt Cooper responded that ATDSR will provide an update completion summary to ORRHES members, and added that he has just verbally reported only on the status of PHA activities of the project plan. For example, the status of the Needs Assessment will be routinely reported by Theresa NeSmith.
James Lewis asked for a target date for the next list of references to be presented and the schedule for the next contaminant for PHA evaluation. Burt Cooper responded that he could provide those dates and the next PHAs will be for releases into White Oak Creek and releases of mercury, which are scheduled for presentation to the PHAWG on the same date April 7, 2003.
Administrative update presentation by Jerry Pereira:
Jerry Pereira reported that Bill Murray has left the ATSDR field office in Oak Ridge and provided an updated plan for staffing of the ATSDR field office. Arrangements have been made for Bill Taylor to replace Bill Murray in the Oak Ridge field office. Bill Taylor is a toxicologist from the U.S. Food and drug Administration (FDA) who has worked for ATSDR in the past. Bill Taylor also is very community oriented and capable of writing health assessments. Hopefully Bill Taylor will begin work in the field office this month. Until Bill Taylor is present full time, the field office in Oak Ridge will be staffed by personnel from Atlanta including: Lorine Spencer, Marilyn Palmer (this week and next week). Perhaps the Federal Facilities Branch can provide a person during the third week of March. If Bill Taylor is not available the last week of March then Jerry Pereira will work with La Freta Dalton to arrange for staffing of the field office. The SEEP employee funding, plus additional funds from Dr. Falk, will be used to employ Melissa Fish on the project on a permanent, full-time basis at the field office along with Bill Taylor who will be full-time in the field office. Also on the project are Lorine Spencer at 60% to 70% of her time, La Freta Dalton at 60% to 70% of her time, and Jack Hanley full time working on the project. Thus, five ATSDR staff persons are working on the project full time or nearly full time. Office hours will be posted on the field office door each week this month. ATSDR will try to have the field office open as much as possible this month. This month, please call the field office before visiting to make sure it is open.
Charles Washington asked whether the field office will be filled with permanent staff at some time in the future. Jerry Pereira confirmed that two permanent persons will staff the field office full time, Bill Taylor and Melissa Fish.
Charles Washington cautioned Subcommittee members about making comments that include statements about exposures being of no concern to the community; it would be advisable to refrain from that because any radioactive particle can be of concern depending on the age of the exposed individual.
James Lewis expressed thanks to Lorine Spencer for her excellent work on community involvement tasks for the project thus far. Kowetha Davidson expressed appreciation for all of the time that Bill Murray has been in the ATSDR field office in Oak Ridge to date. Barbara Sonnenburg suggested that the Subcommittee thank Bill Murray in writing. Kowetha Davidson responded that she has already sent Bill Murray a card on behalf of the Subcommittee. There was also a reception in honor of Bill Murray.
Presentation and Discussion:
Oak Ridge Environmental Information System (OREIS)
Deidre Tharpe – Program Manager, Q Systems, Inc.
Teresa James Environmental Information Management (EIM) Program manager for Bechtel Jacobs (BJC) first stated that OREIS is a BJC project within the BJC EIM Program. Teresa James expressed appreciation for the opportunity to visit ORRHES and demonstrate the OREIS application, and introduced Deidre Tharpe of Q Systems, OREIS Project Manager.
Presentation by Deidre Tharpe (project manager):
OREIS is a centralized, standardized, quality assured and configuration controlled environmental data management system. The database contains about 12 million analytical and field results and 25 gigabytes of GIS (geographic information system) data encompassing the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR), Paducah site, and the Portsmouth site.
The OREIS application was first released in 1994 as a workstation application, and it was converted to a web based application in 1996. Sampling and field data are added to the OREIS weekly. OREIS was developed to fulfill Environmental information management obligations of DOE-ORO under the Federal Facilities Agreement (FFA). The parties to the FFA include U.S. EPA Region IV, U.S. DOE, and Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC). The mission of OREIS is efficient retrieval & long term storage of environmental and geospatial data. The primary users include DOE and its contractors/subcontractors performing environmental restoration and compliance activities, EPA, TDEC, other agencies.
In the early 1990s the OREIS was user ID and password protected. These protections were later removed at the request of DOE and then reinstated after September 11, 2001. The OREIS website receives about 30,000 hits per month.
Deidre Tharpe next performed a thorough actual demonstration of navigation through the OREIS website for the Subcommittee (computer screen projection).
OREIS Website displays shown:
- Contact information for: Teresa James, Deidre Tharpe, David Cardin (DOE)
- OREIS website home page active links for:
- username and password,
- users guides,
- data submission file structures ready to load with data,
- data dictionary,
- spatial query tool user guide,
- OREIS RTL data submission user guide,
- user’s environmental measurements data transmittal form,
- user’s geographic data transmittal form,
- data submission release form,
- OREIS user support page link to give help to users
- special OREIS data product request link
- frequently asked questions (FAQ) link
- OREIS data base training request link
- ORESI staff contacts link
- Index of the website pages
- “what’s new” page
- links to other related home pages
A feature of OREIS that was demonstrated is the ability to select and download data:
- select site (Oak Ridge, Paducah, Portsmouth) of interest
- select project of interest from a list,
- select sample media of interest,
- select analysis type for the media selected,
- select view as reports about the data or download the actual data records,
- select lab measurements or field measurements or biota,
Another feature of OREIS that was demonstrated is the data catalogue search function. A search keyword is entered, for example “mercury”, and a listing is returned that shows everything in the OREIS that pertains to mercury. The listing tells where each item listed is physically located.
Jeff Hill asked who has access to OREIS? Deidre Tharpe responded that an access account has to be set up and approved. Tim Joseph commented that he can authorize ORRHES members to have access on the DOE group account.
Elmer Akin asked whether sample location coordinates are included in the OREIS database. Deidre Tharpe responded that the sample location coordinates are included with the data in the OREIS.
Susan Kaplan asked why the access to the OREIS is controlled and also asked for a copy of Deidre Tharpe’s presentation handouts. Tim Joseph responded that access control was reinstated after September 11, 2001 because there is information in OREIS that is considered sensitive, for example GPS coordinates for site buildings at Y-12 are in OREIS, which could be used to zero in on those buildings during a terrorist attack. La Freta Dalton took the action to print and distribute presentation handouts to ORRHES.
Presentation by Kris Cutshaw (Geographic Information System (GIS) data
Kris Cutshaw demonstrated downloading of GIS map data fromm OREIS. The data for this capability are from two TVA fly-over studies, performed in 1993 and 1998. OREIS home page link is “View/Download GIS Data”. This link allows access to GIS data maps for Oak Ridge, Paducah, or Portsmouth.
The OREIS contains data that people have submitted from environmental projects conducted at the sites. The database down loads are retrieved from the data base dynamically rather than from old files linked to the site, so the data are always up to date.
Kris Cutshaw performed a demonstration for the Oak Ridge site:
- select ORR (Oak Ridge Reservation),
- select “vector” data or “raster” data (vector data are points, lines, and polygons and raster data are photographs/pictures),
- selecting vector data displays the ORR as a map of fly-over tiles or areas of the ORR,
- map data are stored in “Arcinfo format” in OREIS and down loaded in “Arcinfo export format”,
- select a single fly-over tile (area of the ORR),
- the selected tile can then be enlarged and the available layers of downloadable data are listed beside the tile map image,
- for example, layer types include building roof lines, “meta data” (which are descriptive data about other data),
- selecting raster data displays the tiles representing aerial photographs from the TVA fly-overs,
- select a single tile (area of the ORR),
- the selected tile can then be enlarged for viewing and the available layers of data are listed beside the tile photograph image,
- for example, a layer is available for “meta data” on the raster data file,
Barbara Sonnenburg asked whether there are any maps in OREIS that display downstream areas. Kris Cutshaw responded that there are some downstream data but it is not available on the web site application. For example, there are data for locations downstream in the Clinch River and those data can be obtained by requesting it from OREIS staff, because it is not available from the OREIS website application.
Charles Washington asked whether the public can access un-redacted data from the OREIS. Kris Cutshaw responded that the OREIS data are all un-redacted but a user must have an access account and password to use the system application.
Charles Washington asked whether the raster data are current. Kris Cutshaw responded that the most current available raster data are from the 1998 TVA fly-over.
George Gartseff asked whether the 1998 update is for the maps and pictures or for sample analytical data. Kris Cutshaw clarified that it is the map/picture data (GIS data) that are up to date through 1998 (TVA fly-over). The analytical data are dated whatever date they were completed.
of Spatial Query Tool by Jason Tarver
Jason Tarver presented a demonstration of the OREIS spatial query tool for the Subcommittee. The spatial query tool is accessible from an OREIS home page link. The tool is not project based, you don’t have to have knowledge of particular projects to use the tool.
Jason Tarver performed a demonstration for the Oak Ridge site:
- select the spatial query tool link on the OREIS home page,
- select the ORR site,
- the initial image shows the entire ORR and shows all sample points as colored dots,
- available data layers are listed in the margin (activate or de-activate each as desired),
- refresh map to update the data layers as selected,
- select feature from toolbar at top of page for “zoom in” and use cursor to draw a box to capture a sub-area of interest to enlarge, repeat as desired,
- toggle between the data layers list and a legend display for the image,
- set a data layer “active” to perform queries of the data in that layer, for example set surface water as active and use the “identify” button on the toolbar, other layers include buildings, operable units, etc.,
- click a sample location in the image to view data/information about that sampling location (station name, medium sampled, station type),
- can draw a zoom box around a sub-area of sampling locations to view their distribution spatially and select them for down loading of the sample analytical data. The down load file is tab-delimited so it will import directly into an MS-EXCEL spreadsheet,
- use query toolbar button to refine query to be more selective (by medium and sample station etc.), then down load the data,
- can draw a custom polygon zoom box to select data locations as an alternative to using a box to select,
- can print a map of the selection with legend from the site toolbar.
- Have a spatial query tool user’s guide feature to open and/or down load the user guide for the spatial query tool (pdf file format).
Jeff Hill asked about the maximum zoom out capability, in order to view downstream river locations. Jason Tarver responded that the presentation began with a display at the maximum zoom out capability, which did not extend as far southeast as Jeff Hill had expressed interest. Kris Cutshaw added that OREIS contains downstream data but that it is not accessible from the website application and it could be requested through OREIS staff.
Elmer Akin asked whether the sampling date was included with data presented in a query selection. Jason Tarver responded that during the down load selection process the user has the opportunity to pick the data fields to be down loaded for the selected samples, including sampling date.
Elmer Akin asked whether the OREIS data have been QA/QC checked in the database. Teresa James responded that the OREIS contains data qualifiers associated with the data records (lab qualifiers applied by the lab, result qualifiers assigned by the project that generated the data, high-level data validation qualifiers assigned to some data). The answer is that data QA/QC level varies, the data qualifiers are shown with the data that are select for download. These data qualifiers can be selected for inclusion in the data down load.
Kowetha Davidson asked how long data down loads take. Jason Tarver responded that OREIS has 12 million records so down load time ranges form seconds to 30 minutes or even longer. OREIS hard ware and software are being upgraded to expedite future down load speed. About 50,000 records would take less than 5 minutes to download depending on the speed of the internet connection of the user’s computer.
Bob Craig asked whether there is any interface between the TDEC database and the OREIS database. Teresa James confirmed that they are two separate databases. Tim Joseph suggested that TDEC would probably be willing to assist ORRHES members to down load data from the TDEC database.
Chudi Nwangwa announced that TDEC is available to assist anyone on the ORRHES to use the OREIS database to access data. Get in touch with Chudi for that assistance.
Jeff Hill asked that an e-mail be sent to ORRHES members reminding them that they can obtain an access account for the OREIS database from Timothy Joseph (DOE) and they can obtain assistance navigating in the OREIS database from Chudi Nwangwa (TDEC). Kowetha Davidson took the action to distribute that e-mail to ORRHES members.
No comments from members of the public.
Presentation by Dr.Timothy Joseph, Senior Scientist, U.S. Department of Energy, on the DOE 2001 Oak Ridge Reservation Annual Site Environmental Report Summary (ASER). The work is currently in progress on the 2002 annual report.
The ORRHES members were given the report summary document and a CD containing:
- the full ORR ASER which includes all the tabulated data summaries,
- the summary report generated by Tim Joseph and a group of high school students,
- the raw data tabulated that were used in report calculations.
All of the data on the CD are included in the OREIS database.
The detailed presentation addressed East Tennessee Technical Park (ETTP), Y-12 plant, ORNL, and the entire ORR in that order.
ETTP annual environmental data summary:
- There are 900 facilities on ETTP property,
- There are 550 of the 900 are scheduled for demolition,
- Surface water bodies within ETTP include:
- Poplar Creek
- Mitchell Branch
- Clinch River
- Large onsite ponds
- The regulatory agencies involved include TDEC and U.S. EPA,
- Permits involved:
- 2 National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits (TDEC)
- 2 Clean Air Act permits (TDEC)
- 3 Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) permits (TDEC) including 2 at the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Incinerator
- 1 PCB disposal approval for the TSCA Incinerator (EPA)
- 2 underground storage tank (UST) permits (TDEC)
Storm drains - ETTP has 136 storm drains (primary and secondary) and a primary waste water discharge point on Polar Creek and the Clinch River. All are monitored. The ETTP powerhouse area also has monitored storm drains.
ETTP waste water and storm water monitoring results showed 4 NPDES non-compliance events in 2001 (4200 waste water sample data points and 3600 storm water data points), two of these were for chlorine, one was for a bypass from machinery, and the last was a mis-sampling.
Waste water sample analytes (two discharge points) include gross alpha and beta radiation, uranium, transuranic radionuclides (TRU), Tc-99, volatile organic compounds (VOC), metals, toxicity, PCBs, pH, flow, additional parameters.
Storm water sample analytes (136 outfalls) include oil and grease, suspended solids, chlorine, pH, flow. Annual storm water characterization includes gross alpha and beta radiation, uranium, TRU radionuclides, Tc-99, VOCs, metals, PCBs.
Surface water monitoring locations at ETTP are on the Clinch River, Poplar Creek, Mitchell Branch, and onsite ponds. Sampling resulted in 2540 data points analyzed for gross alpha and beta radiation, uranium, TRU radionuclides, Tc-99, VOCs, metals, dissolved oxygen, pH, temperature, and flow. Also monitor biological parameters including fish bioaccumulation, toxicity studies, biodiversity, caged clams, benthic macroinvertebrates, and fish communities.
There are 920 data points from sampling at the TSCA incinerator. Analytes include uranium isotopes, TRU radionuclides, and Tc-99. There is air emission stack sampling performed at the K-33 building and analyzed for uranium isotopes. There is ambient air sampling performed at the ETTP (220 data points) resulting in analyses for uranium isotopes, TRU radionuclides, Tc-99, arsenic, beryllium, cadmium, lead, and chromium. Bob Craig asked whether the air analyses include PCBs. Tim Joseph responded that the analyses do include PCBs.
ETTP actual versus allowable air emissions comparison: 0.11 mrem versus 10 mrem (26 stacks from 11 sources including the incinerator). The 0.11 mrem dose is calculated for the hypothetical maximally exposed individual via air pathways. Barbara Sonnenburg asked whether there are other sources, besides the 11 from ETTP, from the ORR or from outside ORR but from within Oak Ridge. Tim Joseph responded that there are other such sources, but the data he has just presented only account for sources from ETTP.
ETTP TSCA Incinerator actual versus allowable air emissions comparison table in tons/year and percent of allowable. Only for mercury were emissions greater than 1% of the allowable level. Barbara Sonnenburg asked how many times per year in-stack tests are performed at the TSCA incinerator; how many sample tests are the percent of allowable emissions results based on? Tim Joseph responded that he will have to find out the sampling frequency but that there were 920 data points for the incinerator stacks.
Don Creasia asked whether the reported emissions are measurements of free chemicals or measured as they are bound to something such as particulates. Tim Joseph respond that he does not know and would have to check.
Susan Kaplan commented to Barbara Sonnenburg that at TSCA the sampling is continuous but the monitoring of the samples is not continuous. The samples are collected continuously but not always analyzed real time (some are collected over time and are analyzed later). Susan Kaplan commented that the sample parameters that are monitored real-time are not of much interest because those do not include analytes that the ORRHES is likely to be interested in like heavy metals. The technology for real-time monitoring of things like heavy metals at the TSCA is lagging behind. Tim Joseph added that the raw data for the air monitoring at the TSCA incinerator are included on the CD distributed to ORRHES.
Tony Malinauskas asked about the footnote (cites 1995 test) on the air emissions tables displayed for 2001. Tim Joseph clarified that the footnote in the table states that the test procedure used dates from 1995.
Bob Craig commented that the state of the art for stack sample analyses is at levels that are so low that you have to composite sample over time from stack air sampling in order to have enough sample material to perform the sensitive analyses. Analysis on an instantaneous basis is not feasible; the levels present in the stacks are too low.
Y-12 annual environmental data summary:
- There are 800 acres and over 500 buildings/structures,
- The monitoring budget is over $4 million (about the same for each of the three ORR plants),
- Permits involved:
- 1 National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) waste water permit regulates numerous water discharges from Y-12 (TDEC)
- 1 Industrial User’s Permit is issued by the City of Oak Ridge to regulate discharges to the sanitary sewer
- 36 Air permits regulate 117 air emission points (TDEC)
Water quality monitoring data for 2001 identified 9 non-compliance events for the Y-12 waste water permit from over 11,500 lab sample analyses and thousands of field observations. Two were for chlorine in water, a few were for oil and grease from parking lot runoff, and a few were for pH in runoff water.
Sanitary sewer discharge monitoring data for 2001 identified no non-compliance events for the Y-12 sewer permit from over 4000 sewer discharge sample data points.
Biological monitoring of East Fork Poplar Creek in 2001 shows improving biodiversity, the number of species, but ought to be higher. Charles Washington commented that the presentation display states that concentrations of mercury and PCB in fish of upper East Fork Poplar Creek are not decreasing and noted reading elsewhere that the mercury on the ORR is decreasing, suggesting that the mercury has been transferring into the fish over a long time. Tim Joseph responded that since the remediation of East Fork Poplar Creek the residual levels of mercury in fish has decreased and has now leveled off but it is still high. The residual mercury that is in fish now will take many more years to decrease from current levels.
Susan Kaplan commented that she has heard that the concentration of mercury in fish is actually increasing and increasing at a greater rate in fish further downstream in East Fork Poplar Creek. Tim Joseph acknowledged that this is quite possible, and likely the mercury is moving downstream. Charles Washington added that the concentration of mercury downstream should be more dilute. Barbara Sonnenburg asked whether radiological analytes were measured in fish. Tim Joseph responded that those data are in the monitoring report and are coming up in the presentation.
Air monitoring data for radiological air emissions show that all are well below EPA criteria. The calculated Y-12 air emissions dose is less than 1 mrem/year. The corresponding air emissions dose from the entire ORR is also calculated to be less than 1 mrem/year. Charles Washington asked where the air monitors are located. Tim responded that the air monitor locations are shown in the 2001 annual monitoring report.
Air monitoring data for non-radiological air emissions show that these emissions are primarily associated with the steam plant. None of these emissions are greater than 12% of allowable levels. Mercury in ambient air was monitored in 2001 and results are comparable to background levels, which are well below the EPA threshold.
Groundwater monitoring data for Y-12 show the presence of a plume that has migrated east across Scarboro Road into Union Valley. All groundwater use there is restricted, there are no potable water wells present (industrial land use area). Primary groundwater contaminants include volatile compounds, nitrates, trace metals, and radionuclides. Remediation is ongoing using a well to remove groundwater for treatment. Groundwater contaminant concentrations near source areas are decreasing since disposal ceased. Closure of disposal sites and capping of disposal sites in the 1980s accounts for the decreases in concentrations in groundwater.
Barbara Sonnenburg asked whether DOE adds/combines the effects from the different facilities, including local TVA steam plants. Tim Joseph responded that he is about to present total impacts from the ORR but that the impacts from the TVA steam plant at Bull Run is not included.
ORNL annual environmental data summary:
- Site contains over 400 buildings,
- Includes the High Flux Isotope Reactor,
- Includes a steam plant,
- Includes 3 waste water treatment facilities
- Permits involved:
- 1 site-wide NPDES permit for 164 monitoring points (TDEC)
- 12 Air permits (TDEC)
- 3 RCRA permits (TDEC) including 1 storage tank permit and 2 container storage permits
- 3 UST permits
Water quality monitoring data for 2001 identified 4 NPDES non-compliance events for ORNL from over 6500 lab sample analyses and field measurements. All four events were from suspended solids from runoff during storm events. Radiological monitoring at the 3 waste water treatment facilities, at 3 stream locations, and at 27 outfall locations showed that all analyses were below EPA action levels. Aquatic toxicity testing results were all in compliance with TDEC standards. Discussion between Charles Washington and Tim Joseph about the manner by which air permits are issued: by source of emission versus the entire facility.
ORNL actual versus allowable air emissions comparison table with percent of allowable. Carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides were emitted at the highest percent of the allowable level (10% of their allowable levels).
(combined facilities) annual environmental data summary:
There is a separate annual monitoring program for the entire ORR as a single emission source. Tony Malinauskas asked how the ORR is “defined” because for example livestock are not distributed on the ORR but this monitoring program reports doses attributable to food crops, milk, deer etc. Tim Joseph responded that the monitoring program accounts for what the ORR is emitting and accounts for food pathway exposures by calculation assuming hay is collected from the reservation and used and assuming that hunters catch fowl and consume it etc. This approach provides a worst case assessment of exposure.
The maximum calculated dose to a hypothetically exposed individual from all air and all liquid effluent pathways to humans is about 5 mrem for the year. The air pathways alone contribute about 0.8 mrem of that 5 mrem for the year. The allowable EPA limit from all air pathways is 10 mrem for the year.
Barbara Sonnenburg asked why the deer couldn’t be hunted in 2001. Tim Joseph responded that there was no deer hunting allowed because of security concerns since September 11, 2001; did not want hunters on the ORR property. The reason was not because of contamination in the deer.
The maximum calculated dose to a hypothetically exposed individual using surface water as drinking water and for other uses is about 0.2 mrem for the year. Bob Craig highlighted this dose estimate as very illuminating of the impacts on surface waters from the entire ORR.
The maximum calculated dose to a hypothetica hypothetically exposed individual consuming vegetables, beef, and milk from around the ORR is less than 1 mrem for the year. The worst case dose estimate is less than 1 mrem from ingestion pathways.
The maximum calculated dose to a hypothetically exposed individual consuming fish from the Clinch River is 0.04 mrem for the year. This estimate is based on measured contaminant concentrations in fish from the Clinch River. The PCB concentrations in catfish are high and as a result there has been a long-standing TDEC consumption advisory for the Clinch River. Charles Washington commented that the 0.04 mrem dose from eating fish has to account for the size of the fish eaten and the organ/tissue in the fish in which the radionuclides would accumulate. Tim Joseph concurred and responding that different radionuclides will accumulate in different target tissues. Barbara Sonnenburg asked for an estimate of the number of fish eaten by a person that translates into this dose estimate. Tim Joseph responded that the fish consumption rates used in the calculation are very generous. Kowetha Davidson asked whether the calculations use EPA exposure factors handbook values. Tim Joseph confirmed that the EPA values are used for these calculations.
The maximum calculated dose to a hypothetically exposed individual consuming geese and turkey from around the ORR is less than 1 mrem for the year. This estimate is based on measured
In summary, the worst case exposure to all pathways from the ORR is about 5 mrem for the year, far less than average annual background radiation exposure. This would include consumption of all impacted foods and water.
Graphs for the impact of the entire ORR were shown depicting:
- airborne dose trend from ORR from 1996 through 2001 (leveled off at 1 mrem/year or less),
- all pathway maximally exposed individual dose trend from ORR from 1996 through 2001 (leveled off at about 5 mrem/year)
The summary report for the ASER was prepared by a class of Karns High School students for use by the public. Each year a class in applied communications or a class in creative writing is involved to produce the summary of the ASER. The format/style of the written ASER summary is in the form of an interview of a fictitious character named professor Rad who explains radiation and answers questions about radiation and exposure to radiation. Examples are included that compare levels of radiation exposure (e.g., a diagram of a stack of books depicting the variety of levels of radiation exposure in life). In addition, a chart/form is included for a any person to use to calculate their own estimated annual radiation dose.
LC Manley asked about the dose estimate for Scarboro community on the colored-coded dose map in the handout. Comparison of various locations shows that in the Scarboro community the value is up to 0.8 mrem and is about 10 times higher than in surrounding locations on the map. What would the explanation be for that comparative difference? Tim Joseph responded that a variation with location is evident and it reflects less air emissions of radionuclides landing on some areas (e.g., south of ORNL) than landed on the Scarboro area. The levels are very low in both areas. Charles Washington added that if the Scarboro community received comparatively higher doses in 2001 then in the past (1940s, 1950s, 1960s etc.) the Scarboro community may have received quite a lot more dose when overall emissions from facilities were higher. Barbara Sonnenburg and Charles Washington asked how that question could be answered and how the old emissions are documented. Bob Craig commented that the dose reconstruction contains those estimates. That question is part of what the ATSDR PHA process is to address.
Elmer Akin asked about the Upper East Fork Poplar Creek mercury level that has reportedly leveled off and asked whether there is a fish advisory for that creek. Tim Joseph responded that the fish advisory is for the Clinch River not East Fork Poplar Creek, which is not populated by many fish of edible size.