Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation - DOE Oversight Division. Status Report to the Public - December 1999 Page: 13 of 72
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The Oak Ridge Reservation is one of the largest DOE sites in the
nation. It is home to three major DOE facilities: Oak Ridge National
Laboratory, the Y-12 Plant, and East Tennessee Technology Park.
These three facilities have diverse missions that parallel DOE's national mis-
sions: Energy Research, Defense, and Environmental Management.
Radioactive, hazardous, and mixed wastes generated over the last 50-plus
years have been released into the environment on the Reservation. Additional
wastes were brought from other locations and buried near ORNL. The resulting
environmental contamination prompted the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency to place the ORR on the National Priorities List (NPL) on November 21,
The NPL is generated by the EPA under the authority of Superfund, known
officially as the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and
Liability Act (CERCLA). Enacted in 1980, this law
established a trust fund for cleaning up abandoned or
uncontrolled hazardous waste sites. The law also set up
rules governing these sites and holding liable those
responsible for the contamination liable. CERCLA
required the establishment of the NPL and enabled revi-
sion of the National Contingency Plan, which is the fed-
eral government's blueprint for responding to oil spills
and hazardous substance releases.
Being placed on the NPL is an important designation.
Sites on the NPL pose the nation's most serious threats
and mixed wastes
generated over the last
50-plus years have been
released into the
environment on the
to public health and the environment. CERCLA requires that NPL sites be inves-
tigated to assess the nature and extent of contamination, risks faced by humans
and the environment, and alternatives available to minimize these risks.
In 1991 the State of Tennessee and DOE signed the Tennessee Oversight
Agreement (TOA). Under TOA, DOE provides technical and financial support to
the State for environmental monitoring and oversight. TOA focuses on four
major areas: environmental restoration, environmental monitoring and oversight,
emergency response and preparation, and public outreach. The TOA was extend-
ed in 1996 and will be reviewed for further extension or modification in 2001.
The 1999 Status Report to the Public details the activities of the various sec-
tions of the DOE Oversight Division sections during the fiscal 1999 (July 1,
1998, to June 30, 1999). It recounts DOE activities in Oak Ridge and
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Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation - DOE Oversight Division. Status Report to the Public - December 1999, report, December 1, 1999; United States. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc724924/m1/13/: accessed April 23, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.