INEEL Annual Site Environmental Report -
Chapter 2 - Environmental Compliance Summary
Operations at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL) are subject to numerous federal and state environmental statutes, executive orders, and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) orders. As a requirement of many of these regulations, the status of compliance with the regulations and releases of nonpermitted hazardous materials to the environment must be documented. Overall, the INEEL met all its regulatory commitments in 2002 and programs are in place to address areas for continued improvement.
The following are highlights of accomplishments and actions in 2002:
Under a Federal Facility Agreement/Consent Order (FFA/CO), the INEEL was divided into ten Waste Area Groups containing 25 operable units, which are areas with similar contamination grouped within a single Record of Decision. INEEL completed 22 investigations by the end of 2002. Thirteen of 14 FFA/CO enforceable milestones were met in 2002. The total number of remediated operable units at the end of 2002 was 11. INEEL continues to make progress on remedial actions at ten other operable units.
The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) conducted a Resource Conservation and Recovery Act inspection at the INEEL on October 7, 2002. Four noncompliances were observed during the inspection. Idaho DEQ issued a warning letter after determining the noncompliances could be corrected without a consent order.
The new Idaho Nuclear Technology and Engineering Center percolation ponds went into operation in August 2002, replacing the old ponds as required by the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act Operable Unit 3-13 Record of Decision. Idaho DEQ issued a revised Wastewater Land Application Permit for the new ponds.
DOE-ID submitted the 2002 INEEL National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants-Radionuclides report to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), DOE Headquarters, and state of Idaho officials in June 2003, in compliance with the Clean Air Act.
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Operations at the INEEL are subject to numerous federal and state environmental statutes, executive orders, and DOE orders. These are listed in Appendix A. This section presents a brief summary of the INEEL's compliance status with those regulations. Table 2-1 shows how the discussion is organized.
This Order requires that DOE sites conduct an environmental monitoring program. Program requirements, authorities, and responsibilities for assuring compliance with applicable federal, state, and internal DOE policies are established by the Order. The Order also establishes requirements for notification and followup of environmental occurrences and for routine reporting, including the annual site environmental report.
Section 3.1 describes the INEEL monitoring programs conducted to comply with DOE Order 5400.1.
The site environmental report for calendar year 2002 satisfies the Order's annual site environmental report requirement.
This Order establishes standards and requirements for operations of DOE sites with respect to protection of members of the public and the environment against undue risk from radiation. The standards and guides provided by DOE Order 5400.5 are presented in Appendix A. Concentrations of radionuclides measured by the INEEL environmental programs in 2002 were well below concentration guides established by this Order (see Chapters 4, 5, and 6). Potential doses to members of the public in the vicinity of the INEEL were also estimated to be well below the dose limits established by this Order (see Chapter 7).
The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) provides specific procedures to assess and remediate areas where the release of hazardous substances has occurred. Nuclear research and other operations at the INEEL left behind contaminants that pose a potential risk to human health and the environment. The INEEL was placed on the National Priorities List under CERCLA on November 29, 1989. The Management and Operating (M&O) contractor’s Environmental Restoration Program in accordance with the Federal Facility Agreement and Consent Order (FFA/CO) is conducting environmental restoration activities at the INEEL. The DOE Idaho Operations Office (DOE-ID), the state of Idaho, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 10 signed the FFA/CO in December 1991. Activities performed by the Environmental Restoration Program are discussed in Chapter 3. Program achievements made in 2002 are summarized below.
Field investigations are used to evaluate potential release sites when existing data are insufficient to indicate that a site needs no further action or where limited field data collection is necessary. After each investigation is completed, a determination is made whether a no further action listing is possible or if it is appropriate to proceed with an interim remedial action or further investigation using a remedial investigation/feasibility study (RI/FS). Results from the RI/FS form the basis for assessment of risks and alternative cleanup actions. After reviewing public comments, DOE-ID, EPA, and the State reach a final decision, which is documented in a Record of Decision (ROD). Cleanup activities then can be designed, implemented, and completed.
The INEEL is divided into ten Waste Area Groups (WAGs) containing 25 areas for conducting environmental investigations. By the end of 2002, 22 investigations were complete. The remaining investigations to be completed include:
Buried waste at the Radioactive Waste Management Complex (RWMC);
Soil and groundwater contamination at the Idaho Nuclear Technology and Engineering Center (INTEC) Tank Farm;
Snake River Plain Aquifer contamination from the INEEL; and
Soil contaminated outside facility areas.
Thirteen of 14 FFA/CO enforceable milestones were met in 2002. The 14th milestone is associated with WAG 3 (INTEC) and is discussed further in Chapter 3, Section 3.3. Eleven areas were cleaned up by the end of 2002. Cleanup actions are in progress at ten other areas.
Natural Resource Trusteeship and Natural Resources Damage Assessment - Executive Order 12580, Section 2(d), appoints the Secretary of Energy as the primary Federal Natural Resource Trustee for natural resources located on, over, and under land administered by DOE. Natural resource trustees act on behalf of the public when natural resources may be injured, destroyed, lost, or threatened as a result of the release of hazardous substances. In the case of the INEEL, other natural resource trustees with jurisdiction over trust resources are the state of Idaho and the U.S. Department of Interior (Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service).
Past releases of hazardous substances resulted in the INEEL's placement on the National Priorities List. These same releases created the potential for injury to natural resources. DOE is liable under CERCLA for damages to natural resources resulting from releases of hazardous substances to the environment.
Although the ecological risk assessment is a separate effort from the Natural Resources Damage Assessment, it is anticipated that the ecological assessment performed for CERCLA remedial actions can be used to help resolve natural resource issues. Executive Order 12580 allows for this substitution. Ecological risk assessments at the INEEL have been conducted using the established guidance manual for conducting screening level ecological risk assessments (Van Horn et al. 1995).
311 Report -EPCRA Section 311 reports were submitted quarterly for those chemicals that met the reporting threshold. These reports were sent to local emergency planning committees, the State Emergency Response Commission, and to local fire departments for each quarter in calendar year 2002. These quarterly reports satisfied the 90-day notice requirement for new chemicals brought onsite.
312 Report -Local and State planning and response agencies received the Emergency and Hazardous Chemical Inventory (Tier II) Report for 2002 by March 1, 2003. This report identified the types, quantities, and locations of hazardous and extremely hazardous chemicals stored at INEEL facilities that exceeded
10,000 pounds (for Occupational Safety and Health Act hazardous chemicals);
500 pounds (for Extremely Hazardous Substances as defined in Title 40 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 355 [40 CFR 355]); or
the Threshold Planning Quantity, whichever is less.
313 Report -The Toxic Chemical Release Inventory Report was transmitted to the EPA and the state of Idaho by July 1, 2003. The report identifies quantities of 313-listed toxic chemicals available on the INEEL that exceeded a manufacturing, processed or otherwise used threshold, as defined in regulations. Once the threshold exceeded an EPA Form R report must be completed for each specific chemical. These reports describe how the chemical is released to the environment. Releases under EPCRA reporting include transfers to offsite waste storage and treatment facilities, air emissions, recycling, and other activities. Five reports were prepared at the INEEL during 2002 for toluene, ethyl benzene, lead, nitric acid, and polycyclic aromatic compounds. The 313 reports vary year-to-year depending upon the chemical processes at the Site.
The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires federal agencies to consider and analyze potential environmental impacts of proposed actions and explore appropriate alternatives to mitigate those impacts, including a "no action" alternative. Agencies are required to inform the public of the proposed actions, impacts, and alternatives and consider public feedback in selecting an alternative. DOE implements NEPA according to procedures in 10 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 1021 and assigns authorities and responsibilities according to DOE Order 451.1B, "National Environmental Policy Act Compliance Program." Processes specific to DOE-ID are set forth in its NEPA Planning and Compliance Program Manual (DOE-ID 2002). The DOE-ID NEPA Compliance Officer and NEPA Planning Board implement the process.
The DOE-ID issued the Annual NEPA Planning Summary in January 2003. This summary is a requirement of DOE Order 451.1B, and it is prepared to inform the public and other DOE elements of:
The status of ongoing NEPA compliance activities;
Environmental assessments (EAs) expected to be prepared in the next 12 months;
Environmental impact statements (EISs) expected to be prepared in the next 24 months; and
The planned cost and schedule for completion of each NEPA review identified.
The Annual NEPA Planning Summary can be accessed on the INEEL web page at http://www.inel.gov/publicdocuments/ . Ongoing NEPA reviews of INEEL projects are described below.
Idaho High-Level Waste and Facilities Disposition Environmental Impact Statement - This EIS evaluates potential environmental impacts of various alternatives for treating and managing high-level radioactive waste and related radioactive wastes and facilities at the INTEC. DOE received and considered agency and public comments on the draft EIS. In response to those comments and updated information, DOE incorporated changes into the final EIS. The final EIS was issued in the fall of 2002.
In the final EIS, the state of Idaho (a cooperating agency) and DOE identified separate preferred alternatives for waste treatment but identified the same preferred alternative for facilities disposition. The State identified vitrification as its preferred waste treatment alternative, while DOE's preferred alternative is to select from among the options and technologies or one represented by those analyzed in the EIS. The selection would be based on performance factors such as demonstration-scale test data, technical maturity, cost and schedule, ability to meet compliance dates, and public input. A phased decision-making process will be used to implement the proposed action and its preferred alternative. The technology selection phase will focus on four technologies analyzed in the EIS for implementation: calcination, steam reforming, cesium ion extraction, and evaporation to dryness.
The process will involve more than one ROD. The first ROD is anticipated to be issued in 2004, and it will describe the phased decision-making process and schedule, decide on actions such as closure of high-level waste tanks, and describe the public involvement and evaluation processes that will be used in selecting and implementing a treatment technology.
Wildland Fire Management Plan Environmental Assessment -In January 2001, the DOE-ID manager signed a determination to prepare an EA to evaluate pre-fire planning, fire response, and post-fire restoration alternatives. Actions to be analyzed include firebreak construction and maintenance, dust suppression, habitat rehabilitation, and impacts on cultural resources. The draft EA was made available for public review and comment in the fall of 2002. DOE has considered public comments on the draft EA and is in the process of completing the final EA.
The Endangered Species Act provides a means whereby the ecosystems upon which endangered species and threatened species depend may be conserved, provides a program for the conservation of such endangered species and threatened species, and takes such steps as may be appropriate to achieve the purposes of the international treaties and conventions on threatened and endangered species. It requires that all federal departments and agencies shall seek to conserve endangered species and threatened species and shall use their authorities in furtherance of the purposes of this act.
Ecological research, field surveys, and NEPA evaluations regarding ecological resources on the INEEL are conducted by the Environmental Surveillance, Education and Research Program (see Chapter 8). Particular emphasis is given to threatened and endangered species and species of special concern identified by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Idaho Fish and Game Department.
Two federally protected species may occasionally spend time on the INEEL: the threatened Bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) and the Gray wolf (Canis lupus). Gray wolves found in the geographical region that includes the INEEL are identified as an experimental/nonessential population and treated as a threatened species. Bald eagles occasionally winter on part of the INEEL, and there have been unsubstantiated sightings of Gray wolves. Research and monitoring continued on several species of special biological, economic, and social concern, including Townsend's big-eared bat (Corynorhinus townsendii), sage grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus), elk (Cervus elaphus), and pronghorn antelope (Antilocapra americana).
Executive Order 11988 - Floodplain Management requires each federal agency to issue or amend existing regulations and procedures to ensure that the potential effects of any action it may take in a floodplain are evaluated and that its planning programs and budget requests reflect consideration of flood hazards and floodplain management. It is the intent of this Executive Order that federal agencies implement floodplain requirements through existing procedures such as those established to implement NEPA. The Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR 1022) contains DOE policy and floodplain environmental review and assessment requirements through the applicable NEPA procedures (10 CFR 1022). In those instances where impacts of actions in floodplains are not significant enough to require the preparation of an EIS under NEPA, alternative floodplain evaluation requirements are established through the INEEL environmental checklist process.
For the Big Lost River, DOE-ID has directed that all proposed actions be reviewed to identify their location relative to the elevation of the 100-year flood indicated in Flood Routing Analysis for a Failure of Mackay Dam for purposes of the NEPA compliance (Koslow and VanHaaften 1986). This analysis involved a 100-year flood in conjuction with the Mackay Dam failure. This direction is considered to be interim and remains in effect until DOE-ID issues a final determination of the 100- and 500-year Big Lost River flood elevations. The project to delineate the Big Lost River 100-year through 10,000-year floodplains using geomorphological models to characterize and estimate the frequency and magnitude of Big Lost River floods on the INEEL continued through 2002. One 30-m (100-ft) and three 3-m (10-ft) trenches were dug to a depth of 1.5 m (5 ft) alongside the Big Lost River in order to expose the geologic record of flooding at the INEEL from the river. The appearance of the trench walls indicates the data obtained at this site will compliment data from other sites adjacent to the river and contribute to reduction in INEEL flood hazard uncertainties. Geologic characterization of the trenches was completed in the fall of 2002, but the trenches are to remain open for about a year to facilitate peer review and flood hazard characterization data and interpretations.
For facilities at Test Area North (TAN), the 100-year floodplain has been delineated in a USGS report (USGS 1997).
Other regulatory requirements for floodplain management include 40 CFR 264, Subpart B, and 40 CFR 761, Subpart D (40 CFR 264 2002, 40 CFR 761 2002). The 40 CFR 264, Subpart B, statute requires hazardous waste storage, treatment, and disposal facilities located in the 100-year floodplain to be designed, constructed, operated, and maintained to prevent washout of any hazardous waste by a 100-year flood. The 40 CFR 761, Subpart D, statute requires that any facilities used for storage of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and PCB items designated for disposal shall not be located at a site that is below the 100-year flood water elevation.
The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Part B permit for the RWMC required submittal of updated floodplain information to the DEQ. A hydrologic study was conducted to identify the 100-year overland floodplain boundary for the hazardous waste management units at the RWMC, and it concluded they are not within the 100-year floodplain. A report of the study results was submitted to Idaho DEQ in April 2002.
Executive Order 11990 - Protection of Wetlands requires each federal agency to issue or amend existing regulations and procedures to ensure wetlands are protected in decision-making. It is the intent of this Executive Order that federal agencies implement wetland requirements through existing procedures such as those established to implement NEPA. Title 10, Part 1022 of the CFR contains DOE policy and wetland environmental review and assessment requirements through the applicable NEPA procedures. In those instances where impacts of actions in wetlands are not significant enough to require the preparation of an EIS under NEPA, alternative wetland evaluation requirements are established through the INEEL environmental checklist process. Activities in wetlands considered waters of the United States or adjacent to waters of the United States may also be subject to the jurisdiction of Section 404 and 402 of the Clean Water Act.
An area of the INEEL identified as a potential jurisdictional wetlands is the Big Lost River Sinks. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Wetlands Inventory map is used to identify potential jurisdictional wetlands and nonregulated sites with ecological, environmental, and future development significance. In 2002, no actions took place or had an impact on jurisdictional wetlands on the Site, and, to date, no future actions are planned that would impact wetlands. However, private parties do conduct cattle grazing in the Big Lost River Sinks area under Bureau of Land Management permits.
The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) established regulatory standards for the generation, transportation, storage, treatment, and disposal of hazardous waste. The Idaho DEQ is authorized by EPA to regulate hazardous waste and the hazardous component of mixed waste at the INEEL. Mixed waste contains both radioactive and hazardous materials. The Atomic Energy Act, as administered through DOE orders, regulates radioactive wastes and the radioactive part of mixed wastes.
Idaho DEQ has issued one RCRA Part A permit for the INEEL and seven Part B permits. Five additional Part B permits are pending. DOE, Bechtel BWXT Idaho, LLC, British Nuclear Fuels Limited, Inc., and Idaho DEQ meet quarterly to discuss RCRA-related issues. Summaries of the meetings can be accessed at http://www.inel.gov/publicdocuments/.
Notice of Violation -A multimedia inspection by Idaho DEQ and EPA in July 2001 resulted in the issuance of a notice of violation (NOV) alleging 27 violations of the Idaho Hazardous Waste Management Act. Fines of $156,050 were assessed against the INEEL and Argonne National Laboratory-West (ANL-W). DOE-ID, BBWI, and ANL-W and Idaho DEQ negotiated a consent order to resolve the alleged violations with a final fine amount of $31,050 in 2002.
Idaho DEQ conducted a RCRA inspection at the INEEL on October 7, 2002. Four noncompliances were observed during the inspection. Idaho DEQ issued a warning letter after determining the noncompliances could be corrected without a consent order and were not significant enough to warrant a NOV.
RCRA Closure Plans -The state of Idaho approved closure plans for the following facilities in 2002:
Test Reactor Area 620 - Catch Tank System;
Test Reactor Area 73 - Acid and Caustic Storage Tank System;
Waste Experimental Reduction Facility, Waste Stabilization Units; and
Idaho Nuclear Technology and Engineering Center, 182 and 183 Tank Systems.
RCRA Reports -As required by the state of Idaho, the INEEL submitted the Idaho Hazardous Waste Generator Annual Report for 2002. The report contains information on waste generation, treatment, recycling, and disposal activities at INEEL facilities.
DOE-ID submitted the INEEL 2002 Affirmative Procurement Report to the EPA, as required by Section 6002 of RCRA and Executive Order 13101. This report provides information on the INEEL's procurement of products with recycled content.
The INEEL RCRA permit for the Hazardous Waste Storage Facility at the Central Facilities Area (CFA) and some areas at ANL-W requires submittal of an annual certification to Idaho DEQ that the INEEL has a waste minimization program in place to reduce the volume and toxicity of hazardous waste. The certification was submitted by July 1, 2002.
The Federal Facility Compliance Act requires the preparation of site treatment plans for the treatment of mixed wastes stored or generated at DOE facilities. Mixed waste contains both hazardous and radioactive components. The INEEL Proposed Site Treatment Plan was submitted to the state of Idaho and EPA on March 31, 1995. Copies of the plan were also sent to various reading rooms throughout Idaho, the INEEL Citizens Advisory Board, and the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes. This plan outlined DOE-ID's proposed treatment strategy for INEEL mixed waste streams, called the "backlog," and provided a preliminary analysis of potential offsite mixed low-level waste treatment capabilities.
The INEEL Proposed Site Treatment Plan formed the basis for negotiations between the state of Idaho and DOE-ID on the consent order for mixed waste treatment at the INEEL. The Federal Facilities Compliance Act Concent Order and Site Treatment Plan were finalized and signed by the state of Idaho on November 1, 1995.
Two changes to the administrative sections of the plan were negotiated to resolve issues between the State and DOE-ID: (1) DOE reserved its right to challenge the approval authority of the State over offsite wastes, and (2) both parties agreed to immediately modify the plan's schedules to be consistent with the Settlement Agreement and court order issued in October 1995 in the Spent Nuclear Fuel and INEEL Environmental Impact Statement litigation.
There were no changes to the Site Treatment Plan planning dates or milestones in 2002.
The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), which is administered by EPA, requires regulation of production, use, or disposal of chemicals. TSCA supplements sections of the Clean Air Act, the CWA, and the Occupational Safety and Health Act. Because the INEEL does not produce chemicals, compliance with TSCA at the INEEL is primarily directed toward use and management of certain chemicals, particularly PCBs.
DOE Order 435.1, "Radioactive Waste Management," was issued to ensure that all DOE radioactive waste is managed in a manner that protects the environment and worker and public safety and health. This Order, effective July 1, 1999, replaces DOE Order 5820.2A, "Radioactive Waste Management," and includes the requirements that DOE facilities and operations must meet in managing radioactive waste. The Order is being implemented at the INEEL, as discussed in Sections 3.4 and 6.5.
DOE-ID has applied for state of Idaho Wastewater Land Application Permits (WLAPs) for all existing land application facilities. Renewal permits have been submitted for the CFA Sewage Treatment Plant, existing INTEC Percolation Ponds, INTEC Sewage Treatment Plant, and TAN/Technical Support Facility Sewage Treatment Plant. Until the renewal permits are finalized, Idaho DEQ has authorized continued use of these facilities under the terms and conditions of the original permits. The new INTEC percolation ponds for disposal of service wastewater went into operation in August 2002, replacing the old ponds as required by the CERCLA ROD for INTEC cleanup.
The Idaho DEQ is reviewing permit applications for the Test Reactor Area Cold Waste Ponds, the Naval Reactors Facility Industrial Waste Ditch, and the ANL-W industrial and sanitary waste ponds.
On October 16, 1995, DOE, the U.S. Navy, and the state of Idaho entered into an agreement that will guide management of spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste at the INEEL for the next 40 years. The Agreement makes Idaho the only state with a federal court-ordered agreement limiting shipments of DOE and Naval spent nuclear fuel into the State and setting milestones for shipments of spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste out of the State. The Settlement Agreement milestones scheduled for 2002 were met as follows:
Ship at least 3100 cubic meters of transuranic waste out of Idaho. This milestone was due on December 31, 2002, and was met on October 21, 2002.
Permit and construct the Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project Facility. The milestone was due on December 31, 2002, and was met on December 27, 2002.
As part of the Settlement Agreement, the state of Idaho received $30 million from DOE for economic development in eastern Idaho. Idaho awarded grants to the Regional Development Alliance and State universities and colleges to reduce regional economic dependence on the INEEL. These awards have created more than 2600 jobs.
The Clean Air Act is the law that forms the basis for the national air pollution control effort. Basic elements of the act include national ambient air quality standards for major air pollutants, hazardous air pollutant standards, state attainment plans, motor vehicle emissions standards, stationary source emissions standards and permits, acid rain control measures, stratospheric ozone protection, and enforcement provisions.
The EPA is the federal regulatory agency of authority, but states may administer and enforce provisions of the act by obtaining EPA approval of a state implementation plan. Idaho has been delegated such authority.
The Idaho air quality program is primarily administered through the permitting process. Potential sources of air pollutants are evaluated against regulatory criteria to determine if the source is specifically exempt from permitting requirements and if the source's emissions are significant or insignificant. If emissions are determined to be significant, several actions may occur:
Permitting determinations demonstrate that the project/process either is below emission thresholds or listed as exempted source categories in state of Idaho regulations allowing self-exemption;
Submittal of an application for a Permit to Construct (PTC). If emissions are deemed major under Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) regulations, then a PSD analysis, as described in the regulations, must be completed. If not deemed significant per PSD regulations, an application for a PTC without the additional modeling and analyses is needed. All PTCs are applied for using the state of Idaho air regulations and guidelines.
Permitted sources of air pollutants at the INEEL are listed in Table 2-2.
Title V Operating Permit -Title V of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments required the EPA to develop a federally enforceable operating permit program for air pollution sources to be administered by state and/or local air pollution agencies. The EPA promulgated regulations in July 1992 that defined the requirements for state programs. Idaho has promulgated regulations and EPA has given interim approval of the Idaho Title V Operating Permit program.
The revised INEEL Title V Air Operating Permit Application was submitted to Idaho DEQ in March 2001. The application included ten volumes: one for each of the nine operating areas at the Site and a Sitewide volume that contains information and standards applicable to all areas. Idaho DEQ provided a draft permit for DOE-ID review and comment in mid-2002. A public review of the draft permit will occur in 2003, with issuance of the final permit expected in late 2003.
National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants -DOE-ID submitted the 2002 INEEL National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants-Radionuclides report to EPA, DOE Headquarters, and state of Idaho officials in June 2003. This statute requires the use of the CAP-88 computer code to calculate the hypothetical maximum individual effective dose equivalent to a member of the public resulting from INEEL airborne radionuclide emissions. The 2002 calculations for this code are discussed further in Chapter 7.
The CWA, passed in 1972, established goals to control pollutants discharged to U.S. surface waters. Among the main elements of the CWA are effluent limitations, set by the EPA, for specific industry categories and water quality standards set by states. The CWA also provided for the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program, requiring permits for discharges from a point source into surface waters.
The INEEL complies with four CWA permits through the implementation of procedures, policies, and best management practices. The four permits are:
Section 404 Permit for dredge and fill activities at Spreading Area B located southwest of the RWMC requires elimination of pollutant discharges and reclamation in the area;
Discharges from Idaho Falls facilities to the City of Idaho Falls publicly owned treatment works;
NPDES General Permit for Storm Water Discharges from Industrial Activities provides protective requirements for facilities located within the INEEL storm water corridor (63 FR 189); and
NPDES General Permit for Storm Water Discharges from Construction Activities provides protective requirements for construction activities located within the INEEL storm water corridor (63 FR 31).
Clean Water Act Section 404 Permits -In October 1994, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers granted a ten-year Section 404 permit that allows DOE-ID to dispose of material associated with the excavation of soil in Spreading Area B to the surrounding spreading area. This area is located southwest of the RWMC. Fill removal activities have since ceased in this area.
National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permits -The City of Idaho Falls is authorized by the NPDES permit program to set pretreatment standards for nondomestic discharges to publicly owned treatment works. This program is set out in the Municipal Code of the City of Idaho Falls regulations in Chapter 1, Section 8. Industrial Wastewater Acceptance Forms are obtained for facilities that discharge process wastewater through the City of Idaho Falls sewer system. Twelve Idaho Falls facilities have associated Industrial Wastewater Acceptance Forms for discharges to the city sewer system.
The Industrial Wastewater Acceptance Forms for these facilities contain special conditions and compliance schedules, prohibited discharge standards, reporting requirements, monitoring requirements, and effluent concentration limits for specific parameters. All discharges from INEEL Idaho Falls facilities in 2002 were within compliance levels established on the acceptance forms.
Storm Water Discharge Permits for Industrial Activity - Revised requirements for the NPDES general permit for the discharge of storm water from industrial activities became effective in 2000. The INEEL met the requirements to continue operations under this general permit. A modified NPDES Storm Water Multi-sector General Permit for industrial activities was also published in 2000. The original INEEL Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan for Industrial Activities was implemented in 1993. The most recent revision was completed in January 2001 (DOE-ID 2001). This plan provides for baseline and tailored controls and measures to prevent pollution of storm water from industrial activities at the INEEL. The storm water pollution prevention plan team conducts annual evaluations to determine compliance with the plan and the need for revision. The Environmental Monitoring Unit of the M&O contractor monitors storm water in accordance with the permit requirements. Chapter 5 provides results from this monitoring in 2002.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Air Resources Laboratory-Field Research Division provides identification and notification of storm events. Storm water pollution prevention training is provided to INEEL personnel in accordance with the permit requirements.
Storm Water Discharge Permits for Construction Activity - INEEL's General Permit for Storm Water Discharges from Construction Sites was issued in June 1993. The permit has been renewed twice since issuance. The INEEL Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan for Construction Activities was most recently revised in 1998 (DOE-ID 1998). The plan provides for measures and controls to prevent pollution of storm water from construction activities at the INEEL. Worksheets are completed for construction projects and are appended to the plan. Inspections of construction sites are performed in accordance with permit requirements.
Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure Plans -Only the TAN, INTEC, and RWMC are required to have Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure Plans. These INEEL facilities were evaluated in 2001 in accordance with 40 CFR 112. As a result of this evaluation, the current plans were found to lack present requirements. In 2002, the plans were updated to address the deficiencies.
The Safe Drinking Water Act was reauthorized on August 6, 1996. It establishes primary standards for water delivered by systems supplying drinking water to 15 or more connections or 25 individuals for at least 60 days per year. The INEEL drinking water supplies meet these criteria for public water systems and are classified as either nontransient noncommunity or transient noncommunity systems. The INEEL operates 12 active public water systems, two of which serve the Naval Reactors Facility and ANL-W. All INEEL facilities performed sampling of drinking water as required by the State and EPA. Also see Chapter 5 for details on drinking water monitoring results.
Preservation of historic properties on lands managed by DOE is mandated under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act and amendments. The act requires that for any federal project that may have an adverse effect on historic property, the agency in charge of the project must take actions to mitigate those adverse effects. This is usually done through a Memorandum of Agreement with the State Historic Preservation Officer.
A comprehensive draft historic context of the INEEL was prepared in 1997 (INEEL 1998). It contains a historic evaluation of all properties built on the INEEL under the DOE-ID's authority and provides the background with which to assess their historic significance. The INEEL plans to finalize the historic context in 2003. It is used to guide a more comprehensive approach to managing the preservation and documentation of buildings scheduled to be modified or dismantled.
In 1999, the National Park Service awarded DOE-ID a $320,000 grant from the President's Save America's Treasures Program for preservation of the Experimental Breeder Reactor No. 1 (EBR-I). EBR-I, the first nuclear reactor to generate usable electricity, is a National Historic Landmark. DOE-ID is working with the National Trust for Historic Preservation to raise matching funds, a requirement of the grant. DOE-ID successfully negotiated with the National Park Service to change the scope of the project to include repair and replacement of damaged brick on the exterior of EBR-I.
The INEEL is located on the aboriginal territory of the Shoshone and Bannock people. The Shoshone-Bannock Tribes are major stakeholders in INEEL activities. They are particularly concerned with how the remains of their ancestors and culture are treated by DOE-ID and its contractors. The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act provides for the protection of Native American remains and the repatriation of human remains and associated burial objects. Repatriation refers to the formal return of human remains and cultural objects to the Tribes with whom they are culturally affiliated. DOE-ID consulted with the Tribes to return a sacred item to a cave on the INEEL where it had been collected in 1989 during archaeological test excavations.
Several small spills occurred at the INEEL during 2002 that were not reportable to external agencies under environmental regulations. Only one release was determined to be reportable to external agencies. Release notifications were conducted in accordance with DOE, EPA, and state of Idaho requirements.
On June 26, 2002, at the Power Burst Facility the level in an underground storage tank containing diesel fuel for a heating boiler was noted to be decreasing as indicated by routine operational checks. It was estimated that approximately 54,131 L (14,300 gal) of diesel fuel leaked from the tank between November 2001 and June 2002. An additional 10,762 L (2843 gal) may have leaked from the tank during refilling in the winter heating season of 2000-2001. DOE and the M&O contractor have entered into a consent order with the Idaho DEQ to appropriately address the release and assure sufficient corrective actions are taken.
Table 2-2 summarizes permits applied for, and granted to, the INEEL through year-end 2002.
10 CFR 1021, 2001, “National Environmental Policy Act Implementing Procedures,” Code of Federal Regulations, Office of the Federal Register.
10 CFR 1022, 2001, "Compliance with Floodplain/Wetlands Environmental Review Requirements," Code of Federal Regulations, Office of the Federal Register.
40 CFR 112, 2002, “Pollution and Response; Non-Transportation - Related Onshore and Offshore Facilities; Final Rule,” Code of Federal Regulations, Office of the Federal Register.
40 CFR 264, 2002, "Standards for Owners and Operators of Hazardous Waste Treatment, Storage, and Disposal Facilities," Code of Federal Regulations, Office of the Federal Register.
40 CFR 355, 2003, “Emergency Planning and Notification,” Code of Federal Regulations, Office of the Federal Register.
40 CFR 761, 2002, "Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) Manufacturing, Processing, Distribution In Commerce, And Use Prohibitions," Code of Federal Regulations, Office of the Federal Register.
63 FR 31, 1998, "Reissuance of NPDES General Permits for Storm Water Discharges From Construction Activities," Federal Register, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, February 17, p. 7857.
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