2002 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 31 May 2002 23:25:05 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] ITRC Press Release
For Immediate Release

Contact: Carl Spreng, (303) 692-3358, carl.spreng@state.co.us

State-led team lays groundwork to accelerate cleanup of DOE sites

The Interstate Technology and Regulatory Council (ITRC) has just
released a document designed to facilitate accelerated closure at the 
nation's nuclear weapons production sites by enhancing consistency and 
streamlining decision making. Determining Cleanup Goals at Radioactively 
Contaminated Sites: Case Studies, produced by ITRC's Radionuclides Team, 
discusses the requirements of federal regulations and agencies, explains 
variations in risk assessment approaches, and examines the development 
of cleanup levels at a dozen radioactively contaminated Department of 
Energy sites. Each case study has
information about the site's background, history and the nature of
contamination, remedial actions that have occurred, and contact
information. Common elements in the case studies are applicable 
regulations, risk assessment approaches and calculations, and cleanup 
levels used or proposed.

Calculations of cleanup levels vary from site to site due to different
physical settings, cleanup authorities, and risk assessment approaches
used. Using science-based cleanup criteria reduces the likelihood that
litigation or other factors will delay cleanup. This document 
facilitates a common understanding among states, stakeholders, sites, 
and agencies of how various cleanup levels have been and could be 
derived, making the process more efficient, defensible, and consistent. 
The Radionuclides Team believes that consistency in developing cleanup 
goals will encourage selection and deployment of appropriate 
environmental characterization and remediation technologies.

The document concurs with EM's redirection of adopting a consistent
risk-based assessment tool for overall cleanup and closure activities.
Using a consistent risk assessment approach will accelerate 
environmental decision making and ensure that cleanup is done in a 
timely and cost-effective manner.

The document ends with 10 conclusions, including the following:

*       Because of differing bases and differing assumptions, cleanup
numbers used at one site should not be used to justify similar cleanup
numbers at other sites.

*       Consistency within given risk assessment approaches is a
worthwhile and achievable goal for agencies charged with conducting risk 
assessments of radioactively contaminated sites.

*       Variation in health assessment approaches (risk or dose) leads
to variation in assessed risk. Models and input parameters make a
difference in assessed risks, and they need to be carefully examined for 
assumptions made.

*       Workshops and training would help lend consistency to assessment 
of risks and would greatly assist in application of updated guidance by 
state, tribal, and federal agencies involved with those risk 

Following development of this document, ITRC's Radionuclides Team is
working with DOE and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to develop 
updated radiation risk assessment training to be offered in classrooms 
and on the Internet. Determining Cleanup Goals and more than 30 other 
ITRC-developed guidance documents are available through the ITRC Web 
site at http://www.itrcweb.org/.

ITRC is a state-led group that works to overcome regulatory barriers to 
the deployment of innovative environmental technologies. ITRC 
participants come from state regulatory agencies, federal agencies 
concerned with environmental cleanup, environmental consulting firms, 
and technology vendors. These diverse experts work together in technical 
teams to develop documents and training to help regulators develop 
consistent, streamlined approaches to regulating innovative 
technologies. ITRC products also help environmental consultants improve 
the way innovative technologies are deployed. ITRC's Radionuclides Team 
is led by Carl Spreng of the Colorado
Department of Public Health and Environment (carl.spreng@state.co.us) 
and Tom Schneider of the Ohio EPA Office of Federal Facilities Oversight 

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