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E-M:/ Dow Radioactive Thorium Wastes in Bay City and Midland



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Enviro-Mich message from asagady@sojourn.com
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Gee...what interesting stuff you read in the Federal Register...

I sure didn't know that Dow Chemical had piles of radioactive
thorium waste in Bay City and Midland!!

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[Federal Register: July 10, 1997 (Volume 62, Number 132)]
[Notices]               
[Page 37081-37082]
>From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr10jy97-132]

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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[Docket No. 040-0017]

 
Notice of Environmental Assessment, Finding of No Significant 
Impact

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Notice of environmental assessment, finding of no significant 
impact, and opportunity for hearing related to amendment of materials 
license no. STB-527 for the Dow Chemical Company, Midland, Michigan.

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    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission is considering a license 
amendment request submitted by the Dow Chemical Company (Dow). The 
proposed action is the approval of Dow's unrestricted release criteria 
for the thorium-contaminated slag storage piles at Dow's Midland and 
Bay City, Michigan, plant sites.

Summary of the Environmental Assessment

    Dow submitted its proposed release criteria by letter dated March 
11, 1996. The proposed action is the approval of the release criteria 
so that Dow can complete remediation of the storage areas, release them 
for unrestricted use, and terminate the license. The proposed action is 
necessary so that Dow can release the current storage areas for 
unrestricted use and terminate Dow's license.
    Dow is currently decommissioning the Midland and Bay City, 
Michigan, sites, by excavating and transporting the contaminated 
material, by truck, from the Midland, to the Bay City, facility. The 
thorium-contaminated material from both facilities is then transported 
by rail for burial at the Envirocare low-level radioactive waste 
facility in Clive, Utah. NRC issued the license amendment authorizing 
the current decommissioning activities on July 19, 1996.
    Based on staff's evaluation of Dow's unrestricted release criteria, 
it was determined that the proposed criteria complies with NRC's 
guidance on criteria for release for unrestricted use, and that 
authorizing the license amendment would not be a major Federal action 
significantly affecting the quality of the human environment. The staff 
concludes that a finding of no significant impact is justified and 
appropriate and that an environmental impact statement is not required.
    The staff-identified alternatives for approving Dow's proposed 
release criteria are: (1) No action; or (2) adherence to the 
remediation criteria in the ``Action Plan to Ensure Timely Cleanup of 
Site Decommissioning Management Plan Sites'' (SDMP Action Plan) (57 FR 
13389, April 16, 1992). NRC's soil remediation criteria for thorium and 
uranium wastes, referenced in the SDMP Action Plan, are from the Branch 
Technical Position (BTP) entitled ``Disposal or Onsite Storage of 
Thorium or Uranium Wastes from Past Operations'' (46 FR 52601, October 
23, 1981).
    The no-action alternative runs counter to the goals of 10 CFR part 
40 and protecting public health safety and environment. The dose 
modeling results for Dow's proposed remediation criteria gave a maximum 
dose at or below the dose modeling results for the BTP Option 1 thorium 
remediation criteria (maximum modeled dose of 0.03 mSv (30 mrem)/year 
predominantly from the direct radiation and inhalation pathways). Based 
on these results, Dow's proposed isotope specific concentration limits 
for soil comply with NRC's guidance for unrestricted release and are 
acceptable for unrestricted release.

Finding of No Significant Impact:

    Based on the findings in the environmental assessment, the staff 
has determined that, under the National Environmental Policy Act of 
1969, as amended, and NRC's regulations in 10 CFR part 51, authorizing 
this license amendment would not be a major Federal action 
significantly affecting the quality of the human environment and, 
therefore, an environmental impact statement is not required. The staff 
concludes that a finding of no significant impact is justified and 
appropriate.
    The staff believes that approval of Dow's release criteria will not 
cause any significant impacts on the human environment and is 
acceptable. Dow's preferred alternative provides the most complete and 
optimum level of protection of human health and safety and the 
environment among the various alternatives for release of this site.

Further Information

    For additional information regarding the proposed action, see the 
licensee's proposed release criteria submitted by letter dated March 
11, 1996, and supplementary information, the safety evaluation report, 
and the environmental assessment, which are available for inspection at 
NRC's Public Document Room, 2120 L Street NW, Washington, DC.
    For further information contact Jack D. Parrott, Division of Waste 
Management, USNRC, Mailstop T-8F37, Washington, DC 20555-0001, 
Telephone: (301) 415-6700.

Opportunity for a Hearing

    NRC hereby provides notice that this is a proceeding on an 
application for a license amendment falling within the scope of Subpart 
L, ``Informal Hearing Procedures for Adjudications in Materials 
Licensing Proceedings,'' of NRC's rules of practice, for domestic 
licensing proceedings, in 10 CFR Part 2. Pursuant to 10 CFR 2.1205(a), 
any person whose interest may be affected by this proceeding may file a 
request for a hearing in accordance with 10 CFR 2.1205(c). A request 
for a hearing must be filed within thirty (30) days of the

[[Page 37082]]

date of publication of this Federal Register notice.
    The request for a hearing must be filed with the Office of the 
Secretary either:
    1. By hand delivery to: Docketing and Service Branch, Office of the 
Secretary, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852, between 7:45 a.m. 
and 4:15 p.m., Federal workdays; or
    2. By mail or telegram to: Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory 
Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, Attention: Docketing and 
Services Branch.
    In addition to meeting other applicable requirements of 10 CFR Part 
2 of NRC's regulations, a request for a hearing filed by a person other 
than an applicant must describe in detail:
    1. The interest of the requestor in the proceeding;
    2. How that interest may be affected by the results of the 
proceeding, including the reasons why the requestor should be permitted 
a hearing, with particular reference to the factors set out in 10 CFR 
2.1205(g);
    3. The requestor's areas of concern about the licensing activity 
that is the subject matter of the proceeding; and
    4. The circumstances establishing that the request for a hearing is 
timely in accordance with 10 CFR 2.1205(c).
    Each request for a hearing must also be served, by delivering it 
personally or by mail to:
    1. The applicant, The Dow Chemical Company, Attention: Mr. Larry 
Giebelhaus, Project Manager, 1261 Building, Midland, MI 48667; and
    2. NRC staff, by delivery to the Executive Director for Operations, 
One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852, or by 
mail addressed to the Executive Director for Operations, U.S. Nuclear 
Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 1st day of July, 1997.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
John W. N. Hickey,
Chief, Low-Level Waste and Decommissioning Projects Branch, Division of 
Waste Management, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards. .
[FR Doc. 97-17991 Filed 7-9-97; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7590-01-P


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Alex J. Sagady & Associates        Email:  asagady@sojourn.com
Environmental Consulting and Database Systems
PO Box 39  East Lansing, MI  48826-0039  
(517) 332-6971 (voice); (517) 332-8987 (fax)


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