Source: EM Update | Vol. 12, Issue 29; Contributor: Wayne McKinney | October 6, 2020


Oak Ridge crews have removed all wastes stored at this facility and 78 others at the East Tennessee Technology Park.

Just as Oak Ridge crews have removed unneeded buildings at the East Tennessee Technology Park (ETTP), they also have disposed of wastes stored there, a critical step to completing cleanup at the site.

Wastes generated and handled at ETTP, the former Oak Ridge Gaseous Diffusion Plant, have been managed under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) — laws that address the proper management of hazardous and polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) wastes.

Those wastes at ETTP, generated from site operations or brought to Oak Ridge’s TSCA Incinerator for processing, were stored at various permitted locations across the site prior to treatment and disposal.

Previously, wastes were treated onsite at the TSCA Incinerator and offsite at commercial treatment facilities, depending on the type of waste. After the incinerator closed in 2009, all treatment took place at off-site facilities.

In a testament to cleanup progress at ETTP, workers have removed wastes that could fill 110,000 55-gallon drums from 79 RCRA-permitted storage facilities at the site. Storage sites ranged from trailers and liquid waste oil storage tanks to large warehouse facilities.

“Waste removal has been an ongoing process for many years, and completion is a key milestone in completing ETTP cleanup,” said James Daffron, ETTP’s portfolio federal project director. “This essential portion of cleanup, while not as visible as demolition projects, is critical to achieving our planned end state for ETTP.”

Removal, treatment, and disposal of these wastes, as well as closure of the storage sites, lowers risk and reduces the need for surveillance and maintenance of those sites. It is another major step toward achieving Vision 2020, EM’s milestone for completing site cleanup this year.

Through environmental cleanup and land and infrastructure transfers, EM is transforming ETTP from a former enrichment complex into a multi-use industrial park, national park, and conservation area. All unneeded facilities at the site have been demolished, and almost 1,300 acres have been transferred for new industrial development. More than 20 private businesses are now operating at the site.