Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Hanford: CERCLA Five Year Report Available

"This is a message from the U.S. Department of Energy

The second Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) Five Year Review Report for the Hanford Site, November 2006 has been completed.

The purpose of the CERCLA five-year review is to evaluate whether cleanup remedies are protective, and recommend appropriate corrective actions when they are not achieving the established goals. The draft Report was released for public review and comment for a 45-day public comment period. The final Report reflects DOE’s consideration of input from the regulators, Tribal governments, stakeholders and the general public. In response, DOE agrees that in some cases the protectiveness statements made in the public review draft Report overstated the level of protectiveness based on the information available at this time. DOE changed the protectiveness statements to reflect the short-term (interim cleanup actions) and deferred long-term (final cleanup actions) protectiveness statements until final remedies are selected through the CERCLA remedial investigation/feasibility study process. In addition, the Report identifies several actions and proposed schedules to correct decencies identified during the review, including gathering more information to support ecological risk evaluations, development of technologies to support remediation of groundwater, and expansion of the application of existing technologies to cover additional areas and contaminants. For more information on the CERCLA Five Year Review Report for the Hanford Site, to view the report and public comments and responses, visit our website at www.hanford.gov under the public involvement section. Below is a brief summary of the protective determinations. In the 100 Areas, interim actions are meeting the cleanup goals in the short-term (interim cleanup actions versus final Record of Decisions (RODs). The review determined that most of the groundwater interim actions in the 100 Areas are meeting the interim cleanup goals. For example, the strontium-90 groundwater plume at the 100-N Area is an exception. An alternative technology approach is currently being tested. Groundwater contaminant plumes in the 100 Area that do not yet have cleanup remedies will be covered in future Record of Decisions (RODs). For the 200 Area Source (soil) Operable Units final remedies have not yet been selected or implemented therefore, protectiveness determi­nations cannot be made. Two pump-and-treatment systems and a vapor extraction system have been installed as interim actions to prevent further migration of groundwater contamination until final cleanup goal are established. Protectiveness determinations for the pump-and-treat and vapor extraction interim remedies are being deferred until final remedies are selected through the CERCLA remedial investigation/feasibility study process. The cleanup actions to remove, treat, and dispose of contaminated soil from the 300 Area are designed to be consistent with final cleanup actions. Additional final remedial actions are not anticipated; therefore, the selected interim cleanup action is protective or will be when completed. Clean up of the uranium plume in the 300 Area groundwater has not achieved the objectives. Because the initial cleanup action was not successful, additional technologies are being evaluated to select more effective remedies in the future. The selected cleanup actions will be evaluated in future five-year reviews. The cleanup actions for the 1100 Area Operable Units meet the cleanup goals and have been completed. The remedy remains protective, and the 1100 Area NPL site has been deleted from the list."