Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation - DOE Oversight Division. Status Report to the Public - December 1999 Page: 46 of 72
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concentrations of any location in the sampling program. DOE contractors had
predicted that CERCLA cleanup activities completed at ORNL in 1995 would
reduce the total amount of strontium-90 passing across the dam by 30 percent.
While measurements at the dam have not verified this projection, data generated
by the Division of Radiological Health do corroborate a decrease in strontium-90
Public Drinking Water Supplies
Several public water systems near the ORR use the Clinch River as their
source of raw water. While monitoring of the river indicates radioactive contami-
nant levels are below regulatory standards, there has
been a concern that pollutants released from the ORR
been a concern could affect area drinking water supplies. In association
lutants released with EPA's Environmental Radiation Ambient
ORR could affect Monitoring System, the Division began sampling drink-
ea drinking water ing water at local water treatment systems in 1996.
supplies. Radiochemical analysis of the samples is performed at
EPA's National Air and Radiation Environmental
Laboratory in Montgomery, Alabama. The results report-
ed by EPA to date have all indicated contaminant levels well below regulatory
Much of the radiological contamination found in streams on the ORR comes
from groundwater that has itself been contaminated by deteriorating waste stor-
age, transport, and disposal facilities. These contaminants make their way into
the streams through seeps, springs and outfalls and are eventually carried to the
Clinch River. In an effort to better define the extent of this contamination, the
Division samples groundwater on and near the ORR and continuously reviews
monitoring data produced by DOE and its contractors. Although samples taken
on the Reservation have shown varying degrees of radioactive contamination,
samples taken by the Division in 1998 at off-site locations have not exhibited
significantly elevated levels of radioactive constituents.
For some time, there have been concerns that air emissions from the ORR
may pose a health threat to off-site residents, although these emissions have
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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/m1/46/: accessed April 18, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.