Building Consensus Through Risk Assessment and Management of the Department of Energy's Environmental Remediation Program

Committee to Review Risk Management in the DOE's Environmental Remediation Program

Commission to Review Risk Management in the DOE's Environmental Remediation Program

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
Washington, D.C.
1994



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Building Consensus Through Risk Assessment and Management of the Department of Energy's Environmental Remediation Program Building Consensus Through Risk Assessment and Management of the Department of Energy's Environmental Remediation Program Committee to Review Risk Management in the DOE's Environmental Remediation Program Commission to Review Risk Management in the DOE's Environmental Remediation Program NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1994

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Building Consensus Through Risk Assessment and Management of the Department of Energy's Environmental Remediation Program NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competence and with regard for appropriate balance. The report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. In addition, members of the committee went through the bias and conflict of interest procedures required by the Academy Complex. During this process, members of the committee are required to state in both written and oral form their potential biases and conflicts of interest. Using this information, the Academy determined that the committee was balanced. This study by the National Research Council's Commission to Review Risk Management in the DOE's Environmental Remediation Program was sponsored by Department of Energy contract DE-AC01-89DP48070. The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. Additional copies of this report are available from: National Academy Press 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. Box 285 Washington, DC 20055 800-624-6242 202-334-3313 (in the Washington Metropolitan Area) Copyright 1994 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America

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Building Consensus Through Risk Assessment and Management of the Department of Energy's Environmental Remediation Program COMMITTEE TO REVIEW RISK MANAGEMENT IN THE DOE'S ENVIRONMENTAL REMEDIATION PROGRAM Frank L. Parker (Chairman), Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn., and Clemson University, Clemson, S. Car. Frederick R. Anderson, Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, Washington, D.C. Halina Brown, Clark University, Worcester, Mass. Melvin Carter, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Ga. Edwin Clark, II, Clean Sites, Inc., Alexandria, Va. William Colglazier, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C. B. John Garrick, PLG, Inc., Newport Beach, Calif. George Hornberger, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va. Michael Jayjock, Rohm & Haas Company, Spring House, Pa. James H. Johnson, Jr., Howard University, Washington, D.C. Paul Lioy, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Piscataway, N.J. Clifford Russell, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn. David Thomas, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Wash. Susan Wiltshire, JK Research Associates, Inc., Hamilton, Mass. Staff Paul Gilman, Project Director Deborah Stine, Senior Program Officer Norman Grossblatt, Editor Kit Lee, Project Assistant Solveig Padilla, Project Assistant

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Building Consensus Through Risk Assessment and Management of the Department of Energy's Environmental Remediation Program COMMISSION TO REVIEW RISK MANAGEMENT IN THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY'S ENVIRONMENTAL REMEDIATION PROGRAM Thomas D. Pollard (Chairman), Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Md. Patrick R. Atkins, Aluminum Company of America, Pittsburgh, Pa. Jonathan M. Samet, University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque, N. Mex. Staff Paul Gilman, Executive Director Carl Anderson, Director— Board on Radioactive Waste Management James J. Reisa, Director— Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology John Zimbrick, Director— Board on Radiation Effects Research

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Building Consensus Through Risk Assessment and Management of the Department of Energy's Environmental Remediation Program The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Robert M. White is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and scientific and engineering communities. The council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce Alberts and Dr. Robert M. White are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council.

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Building Consensus Through Risk Assessment and Management of the Department of Energy's Environmental Remediation Program This page in the original is blank.

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Building Consensus Through Risk Assessment and Management of the Department of Energy's Environmental Remediation Program Preface The Department of Energy (DOE) is responsible for the restoration of the environment at the nation's nuclear-weapons complex. Over the last 5 years, DOE was allocated over $18 billion to identify and manage its waste and to assess the degree of remediation necessary for its various sites and facilities. In a letter to the National Academy of Sciences dated September 13, 1993, Thomas P. Grumbly, DOE Assistant Secretary for Environmental Restoration and Waste Management, indicated the need for a fundamental re-evaluation of the department 's environmental-remediation program: The Department of Energy's Environmental Restoration and Waste Management program has been beset by public and Congressional concern over priorities, the pace of cleanup, and the total costs of the program. One of my highest priorities is to conduct a fundamental re-evaluation of the program. As part of this effort, I intend to have the Department's major sites conduct a credible risk assessment of all the risks at the sites, with active participation of all the local participants: state and local governments, local citizens, Indian Tribes, and other stakeholders. The overall process would be aimed at finding ways to identify and characterize the major risks, develop and use better technology and controls, and protect workers involved with the cleanup programs.

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Building Consensus Through Risk Assessment and Management of the Department of Energy's Environmental Remediation Program In the same letter, he asked the Academy to help him implement that evaluation and in a more narrow sense to focus on whether a risk-based approach to evaluating the consequences of alternative actions is feasible and desirable. In response, the Academy formed the Committee to Review Risk Management in the DOE's Environmental Remediation Program. The committee conducted a workshop on November 3-4, 1993, to solicit views as to how DOE 's program has operated and should operate. Some 25 people provided input for the committee's deliberations. Their participation and the questions they were asked to address are discussed in Section 1. On the basis of the workshop, background reading, and the knowledge of the committee members, the committee developed findings and recommendations concerning how DOE should assess and manage the risks at its environmental-remediation sites. Although this report represents the work of the committee, it benefited greatly from the support of staff of the National Research Council, specifically, Paul Gilman, who helped the committee to refine the report, and Deborah Stine, who contributed to the preparation and administrative organization of the study. Their intellectual contributions advanced the committee's efforts throughout the study, and their resumes are included with those of the committee members in Appendix B. Additional support came from the three Research Council boards that work in this field—specifically, the Board on Radioactive Waste Management, the Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology, and the Board on Radiation Effects Research, directed by Carl Anderson, James Reisa, and John Zimbrick, respectively. Ray Wassel of the Research Council staff also provided valuable input. The report was greatly improved by the diligent work of its editor, Norman Grossblatt. In addition, Kit Lee and Solveig Padilla provided invaluable support. The committee appreciates as well the efforts of the University

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Building Consensus Through Risk Assessment and Management of the Department of Energy's Environmental Remediation Program of New Mexico's National Environmental Training Network, especially the work of Connie Callen and Marcella Davis, and Skehan Televideo Service, Inc. who broadcast this event via satellite. Videotapes of the workshop are available for purchase by calling them at 1-800-292-7051. The committee also acknowledges with appreciation presentations made at the workshop by the following persons: Elizabeth Averill, Oil Chemical Atomic Workers Mark Bashor, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry Lewis Bedenbaugh, South Carolina Department of Health Environment Control Robert Benedetti, EG&G Rocky Flats Plant David Bennett, Environmental Protection Agency Norman Boyter, Westinghouse-Savannah River Patricia Buffler, University of California, Berkeley Mark Drummond, Eastern Washington University Clyde Frank, Department of Energy Bernard Goldstein, UMDNJ—Robert Wood Johnson Medical School Thomas Grumbly, Department of Energy Leonard Hamilton, Brookhaven National Laboratory James Honeyman, Westinghouse Hanford Plant Ralph Hutchinson, Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance Joseph King, City of Richland, Washington Mildred McClain, Citizens for Environmental Justice, Savannah, Georgia Dan Miller, Office of the Attorney General, Colorado John Moran, Laborers Health and Safety Fund of North America Robert Neill, New Mexico Environmental Evaluation Group Lance Nielsen, Idaho Department of Environmental Quality Gilbert Omenn, University of Washington Glenn Paulson, Illinois Institute of Technology Mary Riveland, Washington Department of Ecology

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Building Consensus Through Risk Assessment and Management of the Department of Energy's Environmental Remediation Program Randy Smith, Environmental Protection Agency, Region 10 Merv Tano, Council of Energy Resources Tribes, Denver, Colorado Robert Thomas, Argonne National Laboratory Curtis Travis, Oak Ridge National Laboratory Victoria Tschinkel, Landers and Parsons, Tallahassee, Florida Chris Whipple, ICF/Kaiser Environmental Group, Oakland, California Frank L. Parker Chairman