Baton Rouge, Bridgeport NJ, Chemical Waste Management, corruption, dangers of nuclear, DEQ, dilute and deceive, dilute and disperse, DOE, Doug Kimmelman, dump truck, Energy Solutions, enriched uranium, environment, Environmental Systems Co, exemptions, general welfare, hazardous waste, Holtec, incineration, interstate commerce, JF Lehman, Kris Singh, Lake Charles Louisiana, licensed facility, Lockheed Martin, Martin Marietta, monitoring radiation, National Security, New Jersey, nuclear power, nuclear reactors, nuclear waste, nuclear weapons, Oak Ridge, plutonium, radiation testing, radioactive heating oil, Radioactive home heating oil, radioactive materials, radioactive waste, recycled oils, recycling, risk management, Rollins, Rollins environmental services, spreading radioactivity, State constitutional requirements, Texas, TVA, Union Carbide, unlicensed facility, US Congressional hearing, US constitution, US NRC, waste streams, WCS, Y-12
“In the spring of 1991, residents of Baton Rouge, LA, were shocked to read in their local newspaper that radioactive waste from the Department of Energy nuclear weapons complex at Oak Ridge, TN, had been burned at a local incinerator. This was not an isolated incident. Between 1981 and 1991, the Department of Energy site sent thousands of tons of hazardous waste to treatment, storage, and disposal facilities not just in Louisiana but across the country. It now appears that radioactive material was present in that waste.”
“An independent report of the Oak Ridge waste-management practices called “Type-B,” prepared by the DOE Oak Ridge office, revealed that waste analysis sheets prepared by Martin Marietta Energy Systems, the contractor operating the Y-12 plant on the Oak Ridge Reservation, had been altered. “White-out” had been used to delete evidence of enriched uranium in the waste material. Furthermore, a senior manager at Rollins Environmental Services, the recipient of this waste, was aware of the practice, yet Rollins continued to receive waste shipments from Oak Ridge.” (US Congressman George Miller, 1992)
This case involved the US DOE contractors, and subcontractors, which were public companies trading on the US stock exchange, and about which something could be known due to government requirements. Yet, this still happened. Now we have three private companies, about which little is known or can be known, involved, or trying to be involved, in the dismantlement of nuclear power stations: Holtec (Krishna Pal Singh), Energy Solutions (Doug Kimmelman), and J.F. Lehman & Co. (new owners of WCS). Furthermore, Holtec has, in other contexts, refused to comply with a US government subpoena about its nuclear waste cans and has been disbarred from the TVA for apparent bribery, and routinely uses “proprietary” as an excuse to hide information. Giving “exemptions” to Holtec appears to be a favorite NRC activity. A tax break given to Holtec by the State of New Jersey is currently under investigation. The Plymouth Massachusetts Area League of Women voters has written the NRC chair stating that “Both the Town of Plymouth and the Commonwealth have legitimate concerns about the financial accountability of the prospective licensee, its finances and its plans for safety, security, monitoring and emergency response during the period of decommissioning.” See more here: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2019/08/21/plymouth-league-of-women-voters-sends-letter-of-protest-to-nrc-re-plans-to-approve-transfer-of-pilgrim-nuclear-power-station-to-holtec-inc/
Excerpts from: “United States. Congress. House. Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs. (1992). Release of radioactively contaminated waste from Department of Energy complexes to civilian incinerators: oversight hearing before the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs, House of Representatives, One Hundred Second Congress, second session … hearing held in Washington, DC, February 20, 1992. Washington: U.S. G.P.O.“(Original found: https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/003477236/Home )
“OVERSIGHT HEARING ON RELEASE OF RADIOACTIVELY CONTAMINATED WASTE FROM DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY COMPLEXES TO CIVILIAN INCINERATORS
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 1992
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, COMMITTEE ON INTERIOR AND INSULAR AFFAIRS,
The committee met, pursuant to call, at 9:45 a.m., in room 2247, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. George Miller (chairman of the committee) presiding.
The CHAIRMAN. The Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs will come to order.
The purpose of today’s hearing is to conduct an oversight hearing on the release of radioactively contaminated waste from the De partment of Energy complexes to civilian incinerators.
In the spring of 1991, residents of Baton Rouge, LA, were shocked to read in their local newspaper that radioactive waste from the Department of Energy nuclear weapons complex at Oak Ridge, TN, had been burned at a local incinerator. This was not an isolated incident. Between 1981 and 1991, the Department of Energy site sent thousands of tons of hazardous waste to treatment, storage, and disposal facilities not just in Louisiana but across the country. It now appears that radioactive material was present in that waste.
The purpose of this hearing is to try and determine how that happened, where this waste is, what were the standards and the protections provided to the public and to the workers at those facilities and to try and see whether or not we have a policy with respect to the disposal of this waste that is consistent with Admiral Watkins’ statement in his confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources where he said: “It is my strongly held personal conviction that DOE’s mission can be considered as being successfully completed only if it is carried out safely and without insult to public health and the environment.” I think that is the standard by which this hearing and these activities must be conducted.
[The statement of the chairman follows:]
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. GEORGE MILLER
In the Spring of 1991, residents of Baton Rouge, LA were shocked to read in their local newspaper that radioactive waste from the Department of Energy nuclear weapons complex at Oak Ridge, Tennessee had been burned at a local incinerator.
This was not an isolated incident. Between 1981 and 1991, Department of Energy sites sent thousands of tons of hazardous waste to Treatment, Storage and Disposal (TSD) facilities — not just in Louisiana, but across the country. It now appears that radioactive material was present in much of this waste.
The DOE has confirmed that radioactively-contaminated shipments were sent from Oak Ridge to at least seven TSD facilities, and maybe an additional four. Rollins Environmental Services, Chemical Waste Management (CWM) and Environmental Systems Company (Ensco) all operate TSDs that received contaminated waste from Oak Ridge. On his visit yesterday to Oak Ridge, President Bush welcomed new applications for Cold War technology. He neglected to mention, however, the shocking Cold War environmental legacy that this country will be paying for several hundred years.
This, however, is only one piece of the picture. One hundred and fifty TSD sites nationwide received waste from a total of 36 different DOE complexes. These TSDs include incinerators and landfills, as well as recycling and recovery facilities. Many of the DOE sites generating the waste were involved in the nuclear weapons’ program and use highly dangerous materials, including plutonium.
Each DOE site is operated by a private company under contract to the Department. The DOE itself has acknowledged that government regulators imposed no uniform standards for off-site release of waste. Instead, each contractor developed its own criteria. In effect, DOE had a “do-your-own-thing” policy for the contractors.
Local DOE Field Offices were required to approve these contractor-determined release criteria, but not all sites received formal approval. Some Field Offices were not even aware that plans existed, let alone whether they were adequate and safe.
It gets worse. An independent report of the Oak Ridge waste-management practices called “Type-B,” prepared by the DOE Oak Ridge office, revealed that waste analysis sheets prepared by Martin Marietta Energy Systems, the contractor operating the Y-12 plant on the Oak Ridge Reservation, had been altered. “White-out” had been used to delete evidence of enriched uranium in the waste material. Furthermore, a senior manager at Rollins Environmental Services, the recipient of this waste, was aware of the practice, yet Rollins continued to receive waste shipments from Oak Ridge.
Some of the witnesses testifying today may claim that since only small amounts of radioactive material were present, notification was unimportant. The Type-B Report dismisses this assertion concluding, “The Investigation Board did not give this argument merit as it is common practice to report known hazardous materials when analytical determinations are made.”
The nature and extent of radioactive content is a fundamental question that cannot be dismissed. NRC regulations may have been broken, since an NRC license is required to handle any amount of enriched uranium and these disposal facilities did not have an approved NRC license. The incinerators and landfills receiving the waste were, quite simply, not licensed to handle it.
Furthermore, the assumption that only small amounts of radioactivity were present is unjustified. Nuclear fission produces many radioactive elements, yet DOE-supplied information indicates that no testing for these elements occurred. Records are incomplete and virtually no dose assessments or pathway analyses were performed. We will probably never know exactly what was in these hazardous waste shipments.
The February 21, 1990 “Final Report of the Director’s Internal Panel on the De contamination and Waste Treatment Facility” prepared by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory located near my own Congressional District in California gave important guidance to be followed in disposing of such contaminated materials. The report states: “We view incineration as a violation of the cardinal principle of radioactive waste treatment; namely, containing radioactivity rather than spreading it.” Unfortunately, many DOE facilities didn’t take this advice.
This is a story which, in all probability, would not have come to public attention had it not been for the efforts of a single journalist, Peter Shinkle, who began a series of articles on May 6, 1991 for the Baton Rouge State Times, which prompted this investigation.
The purpose of today’s hearing is to establish what these waste shipments contained, where they went and whether public health and safety has been jeopardized. To date, what we know is disturbing. But what we do not yet know may be even more troubling. In February, 1989, Admiral Watkins, in his confirmation before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources state, “It is my strongly-held personal conviction that DOE’s mission can be considered as being successful completed only if it is carried out safely and without insult to public health or environment.” It remains to be seen whether Admiral Watkins” Department has, in fact, lived up to his ideal.
The CHAIRMAN. At this point, I would like to recognize members of the committee that may have a statement they want to make.
Mr. Jontz, do you have any statement?
Mr. JONTZ. No, thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. We are also accompanied today by our colleague, Mr. Hayes.
Mr. Hayes, do you have a statement that you would like to make for the record?
Mr. HAYES. Yes, very briefly.
The CHAIRMAN. Welcome to the committee.
Mr. HAYES. Thank you. First of all, let me thank you personally for allowing me to appear here on a subcommittee and committee of which I am not a member but of which I have a great interest in the subject matter today.
My statement briefly would be that I recognize fully that the interstate commerce laws of the Constitution mean that States cannot put undue barriers on shipments of anything, including hazardous waste. However, the general welfare clause of the Constitution means that the Federal Government has an obligation to the citizens of each and every State to know: One, that there is testing which is state of the art; two, that they have no conse quences which would place their health or that of their children in jeopardy.
On a second level, the State of Louisiana, in my instance, as well as California and Indiana represented here and those assembled in Congress owe an obligation to assist their States in preparing their own requirements and furtherance of general welfare in meeting State constitutional requirements to its citizens.
So my purpose in being here today is to find out what does the Federal Government do precisely; it is very confusing to me — and apparently there are different standards in different regions — what does the Department of Energy do in particular, what methods are set up for testing, and how, and then to take that information, with the assistance of those who are appearing on behalf of their indi vidual corporations, and speak to my newly elected attorney general of the State of Louisiana and make certain that our State has standards that are as high and as good and as constitutional as any other State in the Union. I think we owe no less to the citizens of our State than that assurance of the safety and health and well- being of their families.
Once again, thank you very much.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you.
Our first panel this morning will be: Mr. Clyde Hopkins, who is the President of Martin Marietta Energy Systems, Inc.; Mr. Franklin K. Willis, who is Group Vice President, Legal and Environmen tal Services, for Rollins Environmental Services; Dr. George VanderVelde, who is the Vice President of Science and Technology, Chemical Waste Management, Inc.; and C. Randolph Warner, who is the Chief Executive Officer for Environmental Systems Co.
Gentlemen, welcome to the committee.
It is my understanding that you have been informed that it is the policy of this committee in conducting oversight investigations
to swear all witnesses who appear before the committee and copies of the rules have been transmitted to you. You have been advised of your right to be accompanied by an attorney. Should you decide to be accompanied by an attorney, the role of that attorney is to advise you of your constitutional rights.
As I said, a copy of the committee rules has been transmitted to you, and a copy is on the table before you.
Do you have any objections to being sworn?
Mr. HOPKINS. No.
Mr. WILLIS. No.
Mr. VANDERVELDE. No.
Mr. WARNER. No.
The CHAIRMAN. If you would please rise and raise your right hand.
[Four witnesses sworn.]
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you.
Mr. Hopkins, we will begin with you. Welcome, and your entire statement and the attachments that you had to it will be made a part of the record of this committee, and you proceed in the manner in which you are most comfortable.
TESTIMONY OF CLYDE HOPKINS, PRESIDENT, MARTIN MARIETTA ENERGY SYSTEMS, INC., ACCOMPANIED BY CHARLIE FRYE, DIRECTOR, WASTE MANAGEMENT OPERATIONS; FRANKLIN K. WILLIS, GROUP VICE PRESIDENT, LEGAL AND ENVIRONMEN TAL SERVICES, ROLLINS ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES; GEORGE VANDERVELDE, VICE PRESIDENT OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOL OGY, CHEMICAL WASTE MANAGEMENT, INC.; AND C. RAN DOLPH WARNER, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, ENVIRONMEN TAL SYSTEMS CO.
Mr. HOPKINS. Thank you, sir.
Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I appreciate the opportunity to present this statement on behalf of Martin Marietta Energy Systems, Inc., concerning the issue of off-site shipments of hazardous waste from DOE facilities.
With your permission, I would like to provide for the record a complete statement along with the specific answers to six questions the committee asked. In order to be brief in my remarks, I will cover only the highlights of this particular matter.
Martin Marietta Energy Systems became a management and op erating contractor for DOE in 1984. We currently operate five fa cilities in three States, all of which handle radioactive materials. During the period 1980 through 1991, these five facilities shipped approximately 21 million pounds of hazardous waste off site for treatment and/or disposal.
We had three primary concerns in this activity: first, to comply with the laws and court decisions mandating treatment of DOE hazardous waste; second, to assure that the small levels of radioac tivity contained in our hazardous waste shipments were controlled to an internal standard which we believed would not expose work ers or the public to any significant radiation; and, third, to conform to national security requirements.
Mr. VANDERVELDE. I would agree, and I think that point has come up already that standards need to be set in this area, and my assumption would be that they need to be national standards. We don’t care what those standards are; they need to be set in a technically sound manner, and then we can respond to that.
Mr. HAYES. Right. That is consistent with your statement where you are talking about the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s proposed policy to deregulate some waste that exhibited very low levels, and what you are saying is that, in your opinion and that of your company, these should be continued to be disposed at facilities that are licensed to do so and not the additional — I think in here — 130 municipal waste landfills because of public concern require ments, the same reasons that you do the kind of testing that you do.
Mr. VANDERVELDE. Correct.
Mr. HAYES. Has the Carlyss site subsequent to the publicity sur rounding this event been retested as an entire site either by you, by DEQ, or by someone?
Mr. VANDERVELDE. Well, the Louisiana DEQ, on a periodic basis their energy group comes in, surveys the site — I think that has happened twice within the last two years — to do a complete survey of the facility.
Mr. HAYES. I would make the suggestion that, because of the current publicity surrounding this and concern of those people whom I represent in the congressional district, that I would be most happy to assist any way I could with the Louisiana DEQ to do whatever testing on the site would be necessary to assure the public of what appears to be from this information, and therefore the same media that has publicized the event might well be able to publicize the results of those tests, and I assume that you would be totally in support of doing that.
Mr. VANDERVELDE. Yes, we certainly would be in support of that, and we would be in support of both the Louisiana DEQ, yourself, whomever else coming to our facility.
Mr. HAYES. And then I would therefore thank you very much, and I have taken more time than I probably deserve since I don’t sit on the committee, but George just loves it when I come over here; I don’t feel bad about it.
The CHAIRMAN. You are the fastest talking Southerner I ever met, but go ahead.
Mr. ANDREWS. Mr. Chairman, let me begin by thanking you on behalf of my constituents for your vigilance and that of the other members of the committee and your staff on this issue.
My district is the home of the Bridgeport, NJ, Rollins facility, and I was both pleased and dismayed that your staff and you called to our attention what apparently several agencies of the executive branch have been unwilling or unable to do, which is to point out that this is an issue. I thank you for your vigilance and personally for this opportunity to be here this morning and ask a few ques tions.
Mr. Willis, is the Bridgeport facility receiving waste from DOE today?”
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you.
You mentioned the LSU study. We have been unable to get a copy of that. We are told that that is confidential. Do you know whether that is going to be made available or not? or has it been made available to you?
Mr. WILLIS. I was told that it was not completed yet, and I was also told that it would be made available when it was completed.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you.
Let me go back to the question of the standards. First of all, the 1982 — were you running the facility then, or was Union Carbide?
Mr. HOPKINS. Union Carbide was running it.
The CHAIRMAN. So you just adopted the standards from that letter that was given to Union Carbide.
Mr. HOPKINS. Surely.
The CHAIRMAN. Why isn’t Union Carbide running the facility any longer?
Mr. HOPKINS. They chose after 40 years to no longer renew their contract with the Department of Energy, and the Department of Energy then bid the contract operations for Oak Ridge and Paducah.
The CHAIRMAN. Did you do any independent evaluation of that standard, or did you simply transfer that standard from their operations to yours?
Mr. HOPKINS. We simply took the standard that had been put in place under Union Carbide.
The CHAIRMAN. What troubles me a bit as I listened to the questions and the answers this morning is, it appears that we have a process of sort of a self-certification. As you mentioned, and as other witnesses have mentioned, and as the committee is aware, the DOE has struggled for some time to deal with the question of below regulatory concern. It is a policy that was not acceptable to the Congress the last time it was attempted, and what we have now is essentially that Martin Marietta has established their own BRC policy with respect to the sites that they operate. I mean that is kind of where we are.
What concerns me, not just with Martin Marietta but with re spect to the other generators, is: What confidence do we have that that standard, if it is in fact correct, is being adhered to? Again, if you look at the Type-B report, they actually give, I think, Martin Marietta a little bit higher marks than others, suggesting that they have the ability to determine the actual quantities or concentrations of radionuclides that were shipped by Energy Systems to Rollins, LA, from all sources combined.
Now you have this white-out, which would indicate the presence, but we have no way of verifying whether or not your company procedures — and it is rather sketchy how this procedure was brought about in terms of the white-out — we have no way of independently verifying whether those concentrations and quantities exceed or don’t exceed those standards. You see the problem here?
Mr. HOPKINS. I see what you are getting at. The only comment I would make is, we get audits of all kinds from the Department of Energy, and obviously they could take a look at it any time they wanted to.
The CHAIRMAN. Well, they could, but there is nothing to look at because the waste has been disposed of. It is now ash, and it is on its way to New Jersey or Louisiana or Texas or wherever else, and, again, as the Type-B report pointed out, there really is no ability to go back to the ash and construct what you sent or what Sandia sent or Lawrence sent or anybody else; that doesn’t exist.
I guess the final concern would be that what you have, in fact, constructed here is a standard of convenience. You have a standard whereby you can convert mixed waste, which is expensive, difficult, you must store it, and you must find a licensed facility; and you, in fact, unilaterally can convert that to below regulatory concern, ship it off site, in this case ship it to people who don’t have li censes, and, only because they might monitor their loads, pick it up, and it is disposed of, and a problem is solved for Martin Marietta with respect to that site.
What might have to be stored, monitored, or shipped to a more expensive disposal facility is now moved off site on the theory that it falls underneath this standard. There is no ability in the current system to check whether or not that is accurate, because Rollins assumes when they see the white-out that, one, it is below the standard, and, two, that they don’t have an ability to ask because of national security reasons. That doesn’t sound like very good public policy.
I am not affixing blame for that policy, I’m just constructing what we have here, and I think what concerns our constituents, as one who has five or six permit requests for incinerators, is, how do we secure the waste stream so that people and communities will know what is or is not being put into an incinerator or into a land fill? This was a problem with below regulatory concerns. They suggested that waste management could just monitor every dump truck that was coming from a hospital and make up their mind whether it was below or not. There is no security in that system. So we don’t know.
I mean obviously — and it is in your interest to present this, and in the Department of Energy’s interest to present this, this is a de minimis amount, this is no more than background, this is no more than going out and getting a handful of dirt, but we don’t know that. You may think you know that, or you may know that; I don’t know that you know that, and you can’t prove it to me apparently now, because we can’t go back and reconstruct the actual waste stream. You guys spend a lot of time trucking ash around this country. It gives new meaning to getting your ashes hauled. It is unbelievable.
Why does stuff go from Louisiana where you have — oh, never mind; that is a separate question.
So that is what we are confronted with here.
Now Mr. Duffy is going to testify, and I guess he is going to tell us how this is going to change, but we just simply have self-certification by waste generators, and the problem gets worse. You have constructed one standard for your Y-12 site, but all these genera tors have constructed different standards. Some are 100 times more than yours, 10 times more than yours. Some are less than yours; ” ey apparently thought it was too much. Some have no documented criteria, no volume contamination criteria employed, no document criteria. It goes on and on and on for all of these generators.
So we don’t know what we have out here, and, I must say, I find that you people are kind of caught in a whipsaw at this point. We may not be able to come to grips with what the standard is, and, at the same time, we don’t want you to do any harm, so to speak, and of course we can’t have the new standard for 90 days because we have got a moratorium, so that won’t work.
But this is a very serious problem in terms of public confidence. You know, this is an industry that has struggled with public confidence for 25 years, and this is a part of the industry waste stream, be it defense or domestic, that concerns people most because it is long-term waste. Essentially what you have told us, I think, in good faith is, those assurances simply aren’t there. You are presenting assurances to us because the Department of Energy — I mean we can’t even agree — if you would put that chart up there, Danny — we have one set of places we think that your waste goes, and the De partment of Energy has another set. They have more sites for your waste than you do. I don’t know who is watching this operation.”
it shouldn’t just go to sites all over America, it ought to be on site. National security should therefore prevail. If it doesn’t prevail, then we have a different set of circumstances in which it prevails for container markings but doesn’t prevail for risk. That is intellectually inconsistent.
The CHAIRMAN. Let me ask you — I believe it is in one of the panel’s testimonies — the question with respect to contaminated oils or the suggestion that some of this oil is reclaimed, recycled, and converted to home heating oil. Are any of you aware of that?
Mr. HOPKINS. That was part of the letter that came from DOE to us in 1982 where that statement was made. The concern was expressed that if people did take the waste oil and dilute it and send it out to homes, that is when the concern was expressed about the radioactive content.
The CHAIRMAN. Do we know whether or not that is happening? I mean it is one thing for Mr. Rollins or Chemical Waste Management and others that are in the business of dealing with hazardous materials and another thing for a homeowner to be buying home heating oil that is radioactive to some level or another.
Mr. HOPKINS. As far as we know, nothing that we shipped has been shipped to anywhere except to people like
The CHAIRMAN. But you do ship to brokers.
Mr. HOPKINS. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. You do ship to recyclers.
Mr. HOPKINS. But we also know what the brokers do with our material.
The CHAIRMAN. But do they know what the material contains?
Mr. HOPKINS. They do in terms of the manifest that we ship them, yes. They know the metal — the various metal content of the material that we ship them that came out of our contaminated ra diation control zones.
The CHAIRMAN. I just worry that the white-out, as it moves through the waste stream here, becomes less and less significant to the next person down the line. Do they necessarily know that the origin of all of that oil is a DOE facility? Or is that oil mixed with other oils from other facilities and when you get a tank car load you move it off to somebody else who converts it or reclaims it in another fashion? Are you telling me who everybody that handles that oil until it is disposed or used is aware that that is coming from a DOE facility?
Mr. HOPKINS. This material is treated as hazardous waste under RCRA.
The CHAIRMAN. I understand.
Mr. HOPKINS. So we ship it to the processors to dispose of.
The CHAIRMAN. Right, and then the processor can refine it or dis till it or separate it or burn it, and there is a byproduct.
Mr. HOPKINS. There’s ash, hopefully.
The CHAIRMAN. Ash or home heating oil, apparently.
Mr. HOPKINS. OK. I’ve just been made aware that only brokers that handle our materials were materials that were going to ENSCO and Chem Waste.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Willis, let me ask you, the position of your company with respect to the deletion of the white-outs on the waste analysis sheets — this was an acceptable practice. How did
you arrive at this? How did your legal department arrive at the conclusion that it was acceptable for you to accept this waste?
Mr. WILLIS. The legal department never reached that conclusion. The only time that it came up based on the internal investigation that I did for our company was that the salesman involved with Martin Marietta was aware that the deletions were being made, and he was advised that was done it pursuant to national security. He himself independently and through direction of our Technical Department at Louisiana determined to what was his satisfaction that the material was nonradioactive, pursuant to the assurances and certifications he got from Martin Marietta. He did not specifically report back to management the deletions, because he didn’t think they were relevant.
The CHAIRMAN. That deletion, in and of itself, does not say it is nonradioactive.
Mr. WILLIS. That is right, it does not.
The CHAIRMAN. So that is a conclusion that he drew, maybe from assurances or not, but he drew the conclusion that he decided that meant nonradioactive.
Mr. WILLIS. He drew the conclusion that it was non — he didn’t draw the conclusion that it was nonradioactive. It was certified to him by Martin Marietta that it was nonradioactive, and when he specifically inquired about uranium levels and whether they were at levels that would be regulated he was advised that they were well, well below one-tenth the level for regulation.
The CHAIRMAN. And that just factually isn’t correct.
Mr. WILLIS. His information — the information he was supplied was wrong.
The CHAIRMAN. Would you then screen that load?
Mr. WILLIS. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. I’m running your processes together, but would you screen that for radioactivity?
Mr. WILLIS. Yes, and at those levels we would not have picked it up, and the radioactivity screening that we were doing in 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, which involved a spot check of trucks that came into the plant never revealed any radioactivity problem. We are ad vised in this regard that these levels are at such trace levels that it would not have been picked up because the differences are not far from background level.
The CHAIRMAN. Now with respect to other generators that send this material, you had a discussion with Mr. Richardson. You would rely there on their representations as to how they segregat ed the waste. You assume that they are sending you clean waste with respect to radioactivity.
Mr. WILLIS. That, their representations, their certifications, the indemnification and warranty clauses in the contract, plus our own spot checks.
The CHAIRMAN. Those loads are monitored?
Mr. WILLIS. Yes, they are.
The CHAIRMAN. On a spot basis.
Mr. WILLIS. We monitor every single load coming into the plant now specifically for radioactivity as well as for a variety of other parameters.
The CHAIRMAN. But did you then?
Mr. WILLIS. At that time, we did it on a spot check basis. At one time, we did it for 1 out of every 10 trucks coming into the plant. We never — we never had a problem with radioactivity, and, as a consequence of that, a decision was made to cut the spot checks down to 1 in every 20. As from May, we have agreed to much stricter regulations across the board for all waste coming into the plant.
The CHAIRMAN. And, Chemical Waste Management, you rely on what? You receive loads with deletions from other generators?
Mr. VANDERVELDE. Deletion — deletion would be what we call a manifest discrepancy which has to be reconciled at the time of receipt.
The CHAIRMAN. So the kind of deletion that Martin Marietta placed on some of its loads is not one that would lead you to believe there was no radioactivity.
Mr. VANDERVELDE. If it were detectable on the manifest that it were deleted, there would be a discrepancy which would have to be rectified.
The CHAIRMAN. At that time, were you monitoring every load?
Mr. VANDERVELDE. Every waste stream that comes into the facility is monitored.
The CHAIRMAN. Not spot checked?
Mr. VANDERVELDE. If there is a truckload of the same waste stream, then 1 out of every 10 drums of that material is sampled, but it has to be for each individual waste stream.
The CHAIRMAN. Let me just ask again: Rollins did conduct radioactivity tests at this time?
Mr. WILLIS. The radioactivity
The CHAIRMAN. It has been suggested to me otherwise, that this
Mr. WILLIS. Prior to the development of the incident, we conduct ed radioactivity checks on material coming into the plant on a spot check basis, which was the 1 in every 10 which subsequently became 1 in every 20, and that basically was the system that we had until this problem developed. We then sat down with DEQ and have agreed to much more complete and comprehensive checks for all wastes coming into the plant.
The CHAIRMAN. When you became aware that enriched uranium was present, you mentioned in your testimony that you consulted your attorneys. Did you also talk to EPA or any of the other regulatory agencies with respect to the waste stream?
Mr. WILLIS. In addition to our lawyers, we talked with the De partment of Environmental Quality, Radioactivity Division. We also, through our lawyers here in town, made informal contact with the General Counsel’s office of the Nuclear Regulatory Com mission. It actually was some number of days after we had the material before we confirmed in our own mind that we were, in fact, dealing with special nuclear waste.
The CHAIRMAN. What did the General Counsel of NRC tell you?
Mr. WILLIS. We were advised that the material at these levels was below an area of enforcement interest to them but they would require that a license be taken out for future handling of such material.
“The CHAIRMAN. Explain to me again, because again this, I think, goes to some of the concerns — you received contaminated waste and yet you didn’t detect it. The assumption there should be what? that it was of such a low level? or you were spot-checking at the time? or what should our conclusion be from that?
Mr. VANDERVELDE. No. We check every waste stream both prior to shipment, prior to contracting, and at the time that the material is received at the facility. Every waste stream is sampled. As it is received at the facility, if there is a truckload of drums which comes from exactly the same process and out of the same waste stream, we then use a composite system for testing that particular material. So it’s a comprehensive screening procedure that we use.
The CHAIRMAN. But you obviously were in receipt of contaminated wastes and you did not detect it.
Mr. VANDERVELDE. There was no level of detection. The indications that we have from Martin Marietta and from DOE is that if it were contaminated it would be of such a low level that it most likely would not be detected.
The CHAIRMAN. I understand that. That would be their defense or assumption at that point. You also received, apparently, con taminated waste from other generators. Is that not so?
Mr. VANDERVELDE. Correct.
The CHAIRMAN. And that was not detected.
Mr. VANDERVELDE. No, it was not detected.
The CHAIRMAN. And they make the same representation to you, that the reason you didn’t detect it is because it is so low that it’s of no concern.
Mr. VANDERVELDE. Correct.
The CHAIRMAN. But we don’t know that, because you don’t know why you didn’t detect it.
Mr. VANDERVELDE. We know that we have tested, and we know that we have not found radioactivity.
The CHAIRMAN. You know that you have tested each and every barrel, is what you are telling us?
Mr. VANDERVELDE. We know that we have tested each and every waste stream.
The CHAIRMAN. What are you telling me?
Mr. VANDERVELDE. What I’m telling you is what I told you before: A truck may come in with 80 drums. Those 80 drums come from the same process and are the same waste stream. We will not test everyone of those 80 drums. We will test 10 percent of those. So we will test eight drums. Those are sampled on a statistical basis. Those are taken in, and those are tested.
The CHAIRMAN. That goes back to the reliance on the generator that they have properly characterized that waste stream.
Mr. VANDERVELDE. Right.
The CHAIRMAN. So if that is not the case, and we don’t know again whether it is or is not the case, you test your eight drums, but it may not be characteristic of the waste stream. It may or may not. I’m not suggesting that it is or it isn’t. It just goes back to this question. We kind of have these self-certifications taking place, and yet at the end of this process it seems to me that you people have to rely one way or another, and you conduct a series of tests based upon those assurances, and yet they may or may not be factual….”
February 20, 1992 1
Leo Duffy, Assistant Secretary for Environmental Restoration and Waste
Management, Department of Energy 241
Clyde Hopkins, president, Martin Marietta Energy Systems, Inc 4
Dr. George VanderVelde, vice president of science and technology, Chem
ical Waste Management, Inc., (CWM) 62
C. Randolph Warner, chief executive officer, Environmental Systems Co.
Franklin K. Willis, group vice president, legal and environmental serv
ices, Rollins Environmental Services 31
Letters, statements submitted for the record by:
Hon. Robert Andrews: June 17, 1992 letter to Hon. George Miller from
Franklin K. Willis, Rollins Environmental Services re contacts with
local officials 209
Leo Duffy, Assistant Secretary for Environmental Restoration and Waste
Management, Department of Energy 246
Clyde Hopkins, president, Martin Marietta Energy Systems, Inc 7
Hon. George Miller:
Prepared statement 1
Map of the United States showing facilities known or suspected to
have received radioactive contaminated waste from weapons com
plex facilities managed by Martin Marietta 214
May 26, 1992 letter to Hon. George Miller from George VanderVelde,
CWM re waste shipments rejected by CWM with attachments 220
Comments of the office of the Illinois attorney general, Roland W.
Burns, attorney general and the Illinois Department of Nuclear
Safety, Thomas W. Ortciger, director 233
Statement of Hon. Richard Baker, a Representative from the State of
Treatment storage and disposal facilities known or suspected of receiving
waste containing radioactive materials 267
Excerpts from Type B report 268
List of 150 commercial hazardous waste treatment, storage and disposal
Hazardous waste release criteria (DOE-supplied information) 276
Hazardous waste release criteria. (Prepared by the Library of Congress) 279
July 25, 1990 letter from Chairman Miller re below regulatory concern (BRC)
policy from John C. Tuck, Under Secretary, Department of Energy dated 281
Letter to Mike McDaniel of the Louisiana Office of Air Quality and Nuclear
Energy from Jill E. Lytle, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Waste Manage
ment, Environmental Restoration and Waste Management 283
COMMITTEE ON INTERIOR AND INSULAR AFFAIRS
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES GEORGE MILLER, California, Chairman
DON YOUNG, Alaska, Ranking Republican
ROBERT J. LAGOMARSINO, California RON MARLENEE, Montana JAMES V. HANSEN, Utah BARBARA F. VUCANOVICH, Nevada BEN BLAZ, Guam JOHN J. RHODES III, Arizona ELTON GALLEGLY, California ROBERT F. SMITH, Oregon CRAIG THOMAS, Wyoming JOHN J. DUNCAN, JR., Tennessee RICHARD T. SCHULZE, Pennsylvania JOEL HEFLEY, Colorado CHARLES H. TAYLOR, North Carolina JOHN T. DOOLITTLE, California WAYNE ALLARD, Colorado RICHARD H. BAKER, Louisiana
PHILIP R. SHARP, Indiana EDWARD J. MARKEY, Massachusetts AUSTIN J. MURPHY, Pennsylvania NICK JOE RAHALL II, West Virginia BRUCE F. VENTO, Minnesota PAT WILLIAMS, Montana BEVERLY B. BYRON, Maryland RON DE LUGO, Virgin Islands SAM GEJDENSON, Connecticut
K H. KOSTMAYER, Pennsylvania iCHARD H. LEHMAN, California
RICHARDSON, New Mexico GEORGE (BUDDY) DARDEN, Georgia JAIME B. FUSTER, Puerto Rico MEL LEVINE, California WAYNE OWENS, Utah JOHN LEWIS, Georgia BEN NIGHTHORSE CAMPBELL, Colorado PETER A. DEFAZIO, Oregon ENI F.H. FALEOMAVAEGA, American
TIM JOHNSON, South Dakota CHARLES E. SCHUMER, New York JIM JONTZ, Indiana PETER HOAGLAND, Nebraska HARRY JOHNSTON, Florida LARRY LAROCCO, Idaho NEIL ABERCROMBIE, Hawaii CALVIN M. DOOLEY, California
DANIEL P. BEARD, Staff Director
RICHARD MELTZER, General Counsel
CELIA BODDINGTON, Professional Staff Member
ELIZABETH MCMILLAN, Staff Assistant/Clerk
CHRISTOPHER B. KEARNEY, Republican Consultant on Energy and the Environment DANIEL VAL KISH, Republican Staff Director
Original found here: https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/003477236/Home
An excellent summary article on the topic: https://www.ejnet.org/rachel/rhwn282.htm