2006 Citizen Excellence in Community Involvement Award
The Office of Superfund Remediation and Technology Innovation is pleased to announce the Oak Ridge Site Specific Advisory Board Stewardship Committee as this year's winner of the Citizen Excellence in Community Involvement Award. This award recognizes an individual or a community group working with EPA to address hazardous waste issues. The Stewardship Committee is recognized for their dedication and commitment to the residents around the Department of Energy Oak Ridge Reservation Site in Oak Ridge, TN.
The Oak Ridge Site Specific Advisory Board (ORSSAB) was established in 1995 to reflect the concerns of the communities impacted by cleanup of the Oak Ridge Reservation and to serve as a communication link between the public and the Department of Energy (DOE). The Board is comprised of twenty members and has included two to three high school students each year since 1999. Board members are appointed by DOE and serve on a voluntary basis, without compensation.
During fiscal year 2005, the Stewardship Committee completed two important achievements that strengthened the community's participation in the cleanup of the site; the Stewardship Education Resource Kit and the development of a process to facilitate tracking contaminated parcels of DOE land. The Stewardship Education Resource Kit provides local educators with the tools to engage students in developing a general awareness of environmental cleanup issues and long-term stewardship issues at the site. The Kit contains lesson plans, videos, a fictional case study on actual cleanup operations, an appendix of supporting materials, and a video CD on the background and use of the Kit.
During World War II, the Oak Ridge Reservation played a significant role in developing nuclear weapons. As a result of the nuclear weapons development, extensive radiological and chemical contamination occurred over several decades. Because of the extensive contamination and acreage involved, much of the radioactive waste will be managed on site and will remain a potential health and environmental hazard for thousands of years. To ensure that these contaminated parcels of land are tracked, the End Use Working Group was formed in 1997. The Group recommended that the information necessary for long-term care of perpetually contaminated areas reside in a system that would transcend DOE's presence at the site. The Group also recommended that a plat map be placed into the geographical information system (GIS) of the county property assessor as well as the city's GIS system. The text contamination notices and the plat locations are now available on-line at no cost via the Anderson County Register's document retrieval system and the City of Oak Ridge's GIS system.
The award was presented to The Oak Ridge Site Specific Advisory Board Stewardship Committee on June 29, 2006, at the EPA Community Involvement Conference and Training in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Kerry Trammell, board chairperson, Heather Cothron, ORSSAB board member and Peter Osborne, ORSSAB Administrator accepted the award at the conference on behalf of the entire ORSSAB.