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EPA, DOE and TDEC Reach Resolution on Oak Ridge Reservation Clean-up

Release Date: 10/22/2010
Contact Information: James Pinkney, (404) 562-9183,

(ATLANTA - October 22, 2010) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR) and Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) reached a resolution on two disputes related to ORR not fully completing its cleanup activities on two projects at the East Tennessee Technology Park (ETTP). DOE’s ORR facility was placed on the Superfund National Priorities List in 1989. The two DOE ORR cleanup projects are the Excess Materials Removal Project and the ETTP Ponds Project.

On Oct.18, EPA assessed stipulated penalties totaling $308,388 against DOE for the violations of the Federal Facilities Agreement (FAA). Additionally, TDEC assessed stipulated penalties totaling $500,000 for the FFA violations. The terms of the dispute resolution agreement for these two projects include provisions for DOE ORR to conduct site inspections prior to submission of completion reports to prevent similar violations. EPA and TDEC may accompany DOE on these inspections.

It is expected that a consistent inspection of site activities will enhance completion of cleanup activities. Additionally, there have been recent efforts among the agencies to work more collaboratively in pursuing a site cleanup strategy.

The ORR covers nearly 35,000 acres and is located within and adjacent to the corporate limits of the City of Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The NPL site contains contaminated areas on the ORR and contaminated surface water and sediment outside the ORR boundary, including the Poplar Creek, the Clinch River, and lower Watts Bar Reservoir of the Tennessee River.

The ORR consists of three large industrial production facilities constructed as part of the World War II-era Manhattan Project: the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (formerly known as the X-10 Site), a research facility that includes nuclear reactors and ongoing energy, chemical, and biological programs; the former K-25 Site, now known as ETTP, a former production facility that enriched uranium-235 by gaseous diffusion; and the Y-12 Plant, a production facility that formerly enriched uranium-235 by an electromagnetic process, and currently disassembles nuclear weapon components, processes nuclear materials, and performs other functions related to energy and national defense programs.

For more information about the DOE ORR Superfund Site visit: