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E-M:/ Kawkawlin, MI Hartley radwaste site, near bay city



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Enviro-Mich message from "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <ajs@sagady.com>
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[Federal Register: March 2, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 41)]
[Notices]
[Page 10724-10727]
 From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr02mr06-98]

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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION
[Docket No. 40-09022]
 
Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact 
Related to Issuance of Amendment No. 4 to Materials License No. Suc-
1565, the S.C. Holdings, Inc., Bay City, Mi Site (Tac #L60510)

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
ACTION: Environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: David Nelson, Project Manager, 
Materials Decommissioning Section, Decommissioning Directorate, 
Division of Waste Management and Environmental Protection, Office of 
Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory 
Commission (NRC), Mail Stop T7E18, Washington, DC 20555.
    Telephone: 301-415-6626; fax number: 301-415-5397; e-mail: <A HREF="mailto:dwn@nrc.gov";>
dwn@nrc.gov</A>.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Introduction

    NRC is considering the issuance of a license amendment to the S.C. 
Holdings, Inc. Material License, No. SUC-1565. The amendment would 
incorporate the Decommissioning Plan (DP), the Quality Assurance 
Project Plan for Decommissioning Activities, and the Health and Safety 
Plan for Site Decommissioning Activities into Materials License SUC-1565.
    NRC has prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) in support of 
this amendment request in accordance with the requirements of 10 CFR 
Part 51. Based on the EA, NRC concluded that a Finding of No 
Significant Impact (FONSI) is appropriate.

II. Environmental Assessment

Background

    The S.C. Holdings site is a part of the former (now closed) 
industrial waste disposal area locally known as the Hartley & Hartley 
Landfill. The landfill is a former waste disposal facility that 
accepted municipal and industrial waste from the 1950s until 1978. The 
facility is estimated to have received 18,000 barrels of spent 
solvents, oils, and other liquid and solid wastes for disposal during 
the 1960's and early 1970's. During the period from 1970 to 1972, 
foundry slag containing radioactive thorium (Th) and progeny was 
disposed of in the Northwest Landfill, and in two small slag piles 
outside of the Northwest Landfill (Slag Piles A and B). There are no 
records of Th-bearing slag outside the Northwest Landfill and the two 
slag piles. In 1995, the NRC issued Source Materials License No. SUC-
1565 to SCA Services, Inc., for storage of radioactive Th and uranium 
(U) in slag/waste at the Hartley & Hartley Landfill site. The current 
owner of the property is S.C. Holdings, Inc., successor by merger to 
SCA Services, Inc.
    The Hartley & Hartley Landfill industrial disposal site has been 
subdivided into two separate sites: the Michigan Department of Natural 
Resources (MDNR) site and the S.C. Holdings, Inc. site. In a formal 
land exchange concluded in 1973, the Hartleys conveyed land to the 
State of Michigan that included approximately three acres where waste 
disposal had previously occurred in return for lands bordering their 
industrial waste disposal area. The 3-acre portion, now known as the 
MDNR site, is part of the State of Michigan's Tobico Marsh State Game 
Area. The remaining property comprises what is known as the S.C. 
Holdings, Inc. site.
    Post-closure activities at the site included construction of slurry 
walls, subsurface clay dikes, and compacted clay covers over the 
Northwest and East Landfills to contain the chemical wastes and 
preclude the potential migration of chemical (non-radioactive) 
contaminants beyond those areas already impacted by the disposal.
    Wells and piping for a leachate collection and treatment system 
(LCTS) will be installed within the Northwest Landfill. Wells and 
piping have already been installed in the East Landfill and in the 
adjacent MDNR waste cell. After piping is installed in the Northwest 
Landfill, the LCTS will collect liquid (leachate) from the MDNR cell, 
and the Northwest and East Landfills and pump the leachate to a single 
collection tank located adjacent to the East Landfill. The LCTS was 
designed to withdraw liquid contaminants (leachate) from the waste cell 
and landfills to prevent hydrostatic pressure in the cell from building 
to a point that chemical contaminants would leak out.
    On November 26, 2003, S.C. Holdings, Inc. submitted a 
Decommissioning Plan (DP) for the site. The DP outlined decommissioning 
activities including excavating and relocating of Slag Piles A and B to 
the Northwest Landfill, installing LCTS wells and piping in the 
Northwest Landfill, and upgrading the existing cover over the Northwest 
Landfill. Following these activities, the site would be released for 
unrestricted use, as specified in 10 CFR 20.1402, and the radioactive 
materials license would be terminated. On October 14, 2004, and October 
28, 2005, the NRC staff transmitted letters to S.C. Holdings, Inc. 
requesting additional information (RAI) related to the DP. In letters 
dated May 9, 2005, and December 8, 2005, S.C. Holdings, Inc. responded 
to the RAIs.

The Proposed Action

    The proposed action is to amend Source Materials License No. SUC-
1565 to incorporate the DP, the Quality Assurance Plan, and the Health 
and Safety Plan into the license. The DP proposes excavating and 
relocating Slag Piles A and B to the Northwest Landfill, installing 
LCTS wells and piping in the Northwest Landfill, and upgrading the 
existing cover over Northwest Landfill. With regard to the radiological 
materials, the site will be released for unrestricted use in accordance 
with 10 CFR 20.1402.

Need for the Proposed Action

    The proposed action is to amend Source Materials License No. SUC-
1565 to authorize activities on-site that would lead to the release of 
the S.C. Holdings, Inc. site located at 2370 South Two Mile Road, Bay 
City, Michigan, for unrestricted use. The licensee's proposed action of 
relocating the Th-bearing slag from Slag Piles A and B into the 
Northwest Landfill and leaving all of the radioactive material in place 
within the Landfill is one option that would conform with the NRC 
regulation that the dose to the average member of the critical group is 
below the requirements in 10 CFR Part 20 Subpart E for license 
termination and unrestricted release. The licensee needs the license 
amendment incorporating the DP, the Quality Assurance Project Plan, and 
the Health and Safety Plan into the license, to be able to decommission 
the site. The NRC is fulfilling its responsibilities under the Atomic 
Energy Act, as amended, to make a decision on a proposed license amendment 
for incorporation of a DP into the license and to ensure adequate

[[Page 10725]]

protection of public health and safety and the environment.

Alternatives to the Proposed Action

    S.C. Holdings, Inc. considered four alternatives to the proposed 
decommissioning plan: (1) Completely removing Slag Piles A and B and 
the contents of the East and Northwest Landfills (both radiological and 
chemical materials); (2) removing only the radiological material from 
the Piles and the Northwest Landfill; (3) relocating Slag Piles A and B 
into the Northwest Landfill, installing a LCTS in the Northwest and 
East Landfills, and enhancing the Northwest Landfill Cap; and (4) 
taking no remedial action and retaining the site license (``No Action 
Alternative''). The licensee's preferred alternative is Alternative No. 
3, which is described, in detail, in the DP.
    The S.C. Holdings, Inc. site contains both radiological and 
chemical materials. The chemical materials are regulated by the State 
of Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) under Part 201 
of Michigan regulations. The chemical materials are contained within 
the East and Northwest Landfills both of which have slurry walls and 
caps. The radiological materials are confined to the Northwest Landfill 
and Slag Piles A and B. The Slag Piles are covered with clay fill.
    Alternatives 1 and 2 would cause the contents of the waste cell to 
be open to the environment and disturbed, potentially leading to 
release of those contents into the surrounding environment. 
Specifically, excavation of the landfills would expose workers and 
visitors to hazardous materials within the cell. Hazardous materials 
could be released into the surrounding environment via effluents, 
airborne particles and/or gases. Shipping the materials off-site for 
disposal could also expose workers and others to the materials before, 
during, and after shipment to a waste disposal site. The environmental 
impact presented by these two alternatives could potentially put 
workers and the surrounding environment at risk, and therefore, are not 
environmentally sound options.
    Alternative 3 is the preferred alternative, because the alternative 
has little, if any, impact on the environment. Once Piles A and B have 
been relocated, all radiological materials will be confined to the 
Northwest Landfill. Based on an independent dose assessment, the NRC 
staff concluded that, if the radiological material is consolidated into 
the Northwest Landfill and the LCTS is left in place, as described in 
the DP, then no additional actions would be needed at the S.C. Holdings 
site for it to be released for unrestricted use per 10 CFR 20.1402.
    The impacts from the ``No Action Alternative'' (Alternative 4) are 
similar to the preferred alternative, in that, they would present 
little if any risk to workers and/or the surrounding environment. 
However, Alternative 4 is not acceptable, because retaining a license 
would impose an unnecessary regulatory burden on S.C. Holding, Inc. 
Since no additional actions would be needed at the site following the 
proposed actions, described in the DP (Alternative 3), for it to be 
released for unrestricted use per 10 CFR 20.1402, there would no longer 
be any need for requiring that the licensee maintain site security and/
or maintain the site's materials license.

Environmental Impacts of the Proposed Action

    The affected environment at the Site includes the Northwest 
Landfill bounded by a slurry wall covered with a cap, and two piles of 
slag (Slag Piles A and B) located adjacent to the Northwest Landfill. 
The slag in Slag Piles A and B will be excavated and relocated into the 
Northwest Landfill through a small hole that will be cut into the cap. 
The volume of material in Piles A and B is small in comparison to the 
volume of the Landfill, therefore the physical placement of the 
material into the Landfill will have no significant adverse effect on 
the materials already located in the Northwest Landfill.
    The residual radioactivity at the site consists of foundry waste 
containing U/Th slag in the Northwest Landfill and two small areas of 
U/Th slag (Slag Piles A and B) located just outside the slurry wall 
surrounding the Northwest Landfill.
    Additional radiological contamination could result from the primary 
source term at the site through the operation of the existing Leachate 
Collection and Treatment System (LCTS). The LCTS could result in the 
leakage of thorium and its daughter products on the cap surface. Also, 
the storage of thorium and its daughter products in an above ground 
leachate tank associated with the LCTS could result in gamma radiation 
exposure to site workers. Radioactivity associated with the LCTS and 
the leachate tank would originate from groundwater in contact with the 
thorium-bearing slag in the waste cell.
    The non-radiological contamination at this site is contained within 
both the Northwest and East Landfills. The non-radiological 
contamination includes organic chemicals which are regulated by the 
MDEQ, not by the NRC. The non-radiological contamination will be 
present after NRC terminates the license. Approval of the proposed 
action does not absolve the licensee of any other responsibilities it 
may have under Federal, State, or local statutes or regulations 
regarding the non-radiological contamination.
    Much of the immediate area, except for the adjacent Bangor Township 
Landfill, is marsh land of the Tobico Marsh State Game Area. Also 
adjacent to the site is a separate facility known as MDNR Tobico Marsh 
State Game Area Site, previously licensed by the NRC. There are several 
ponds located on the site that had been excavated for sand as part of a 
quarry operation prior to landfilling or had been excavated during site 
activities for cell construction or cover material. The shallow 
groundwater on-site is non-potable.
    The environmental impacts of the licensee's requested action were 
evaluated by reviewing the results of S.C. Holdings, Inc. dose 
assessments for the Northwest Landfill and the slag piles. The 
licensee's assessments assume that the radiological contaminants remain 
within the Northwest Landfill, and surface soil of the excavated slag 
piles does not exceed the derived concentration guideline levels 
(DCGLs) of the DP. The licensee used the computer code, RESRAD Version 
6.2, to demonstrate that doses from residual radioactivity do not 
exceed the regulatory limit (25 millirem (mrem)/yr). The licensee used 
the model to calculate the radiation dose expected to be received by a 
hypothetical industrial worker beginning at the time of site closure 
and extending into the future (i.e., 1000 years). The NRC staff 
performed independent analyses of the licensee's dose assessments and 
NRC's results were in agreement with S.C. Holdings, Inc. methods and 
procedures.
    For the residual radioactivity in the Northwest Landfill, the 
licensee assumed U and Th concentrations as measured by Oak Ridge 
Associated University (ORAU) in 1985. ORAU determined that the 
concentrations of the individual radionuclides present in the Northwest 
Landfill were: (1) Lead-210--0.61pCi/g, (2) Radium (Ra)-226--0.61pCi/g, 
(3) Ra-228--18.67pCi/g, (4) Th-228--17.96pCi/g, (5) Th-230--2.54pCi/g, 
(6) Th-232--18.67pCi/g, and (7) U-234--2.54pCi/g. The licensee's 
expected dose from to the material in the Northwest Landfill was 5 
mrem/yr and no DCGLs were reported for the Landfill.
    For the residual soil surface radioactivity of the excavated slag 
piles, the licensee derived DCGLs. The licensee did not take into account

[[Page 10726]]

exposure from material in the Northwest Landfill in deriving the DCGLs 
for the remediated slag piles, because the dose contribution from the 
Northwest Landfill at the slag piles locations would not be 
distinquishable from background. These DCGLs reflect the concentration 
of radionuclides that may be present outside of the Northwest Landfill 
and result in a maximum dose of less than 25 mrem per year over 
background. The presence of these isotopes will be verified after the 
remediation is completed and the final status survey is implemented.
    Micro Shield, Version 5.01, was used to determine the dose from 
exposure to the leachate tank. S.C. Holdings assumed that the 15,000-
gallon leachate storage tank that is located on the site is used to 
collect leachate for the Northwest Landfill. The modeled scenario 
assumed that tank is always completely full and the presence of thorium 
radioactivity in slag at the specific activity limit. The exposure 
scenario involves a worker who hypothetically stands 1 meter from the 
leachate storage tank. For leachate leakage from the LCTS, the licensee 
used an analysis performed by MDNR. The annual dose for the potential 
leaking of the LCTS determined by MDNR was less than 1 mrem/yr. S.C. 
Holding's analysis for the gamma radiation exposure for a worker within 
close proximity to the leachate tank was less than 2 mrem/yr.
    The NRC staff evaluated the potential radiological exposure to 
offsite receptors resulting from groundwater seepage through the slurry 
walls. This potential radiological exposure is very low due to the 
following reasons:
    1. Any seepage of radiological contaminated groundwater through the 
slurry walls will be dispersed and diluted as the groundwater slowly 
travels to Saginaw Bay of Lake Huron.
    2. The travel time for groundwater to reach Saginaw Bay from the 
site is long (several thousand years) because of the distance (2.24 
kilometers) between the two locations and because of the low hydraulic 
gradient (0.0002 ft/ft) of the water table.
    3. The solubility of Th in groundwater is very low.
    4. The concentration of the radiological contaminated groundwater 
will become highly diluted if it is discharged into the much larger 
surface water volume of Saginaw Bay.
    5. There are no receptors along the groundwater pathway between the 
site and Saginaw Bay, and none are anticipated, in the future.
    The NRC staff reviewed the potential Environmental Impacts of the 
licensee's requested action to relocate the Slag Piles into the 
Northwest Landfill and leave the Northwest Landfill ``as is'' and 
release it for unrestricted use. Based on the staff's review of the DP, 
the staff determined that the radiological environmental impacts 
associated with the licensee's proposed action are bounded by the 
impacts evaluated in NUREG-1496, ``Generic Environmental Impact 
Statement of Rulemaking on Radiological Criteria for License 
Termination of NRC-Licensed Nuclear Facilities.''

Agencies and Persons Consulted

    This EA was prepared entirely by the NRC staff. The Michigan State 
Historic Preservation Office and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 
were contacted regarding this action and neither organization had 
concerns regarding this licensing action. No remedial actions are 
planned for the site. Therefore, the release of the S.C. Holdings, Inc. 
site for unrestricted use would not affect historical or cultural 
resources, nor will it affect threatened or endangered species. No 
other sources of information were used beyond those referenced in this EA.
    The NRC provided a draft of this EA to the MDEQ for its review on 
October 27, 2005. The MDEQ agreed with the conclusions in the EA.

Conclusions and Finding of No Significant Impact

    Based on its review, the NRC staff concludes that the proposed 
action complies with 10 CFR 20, Subpart E. NRC has prepared this EA in 
support of the proposed license amendment to approve the DP. On the 
basis of the EA, NRC has concluded that the environmental impacts from 
the proposed action are expected to be insignificant and has determined 
that preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is not 
needed for the proposed action.

Sources Used

    1. NRC License No. SUC-1565.
    2. S.C. Holdings, Inc., Letter dated November 26, 2003, ``Submittal 
of the Decommissioning Plan SCA Hartley & Hartley Landfill Site, 
Kawkawlin Township, Michigan NRC Materials License No. SUC-1565, Docket 
No. 40-9022.'' [ADAMS Accession No. ML033450337]
    3. NRC, Letter dated October 14, 2004, ``The Nuclear Regulatory 
Commission's Request for Additional Information (RAI) with Regard to 
the Decommissioning Plan 1, for the S.C. Holdings, Inc. Hartley and 
Hartley Landfill Site, Kawkawlin, Michigan.'' [ADAMS Accession No. 
ML042670354]
    4. S.C. Holdings, Inc., Letter dated May 9, 2005, ``Response to RAI 
SCA Hartley & Hartley Landfill Site, Kawkawlin Township, Michigan NRC 
Source License SUC-1565.'' [ADAMS Accession No. ML051380221]
    5. S.C. Holdings, Inc., Letter dated December 8, 2005, ``Response 
to Second Request for Additional Information SCA Hartley & Hartley 
Landfill Site, Kawkawlin Township, Michigan NRC Source License SUC-
1565.'' [ADAMS Accession No. ML053480161]
    6. S.C. Holdings, Inc., Letter dated September 15, 2005, 
``Submittal of the Quality Assurance Project Plan and the Health and 
Safety Plan for Site Decommissioning SCA Hartley & Hartley Landfill 
Site, Kawkawlin Township, Michigan NRC Source License SUC-1565.'' 
[ADAMS Accession No. ML052640183]
    7. NUREG-1748, Environmental Review Guidance for Licensing Actions 
Associated with NMSS Programs, August 2003.
    8. NUREG-1757, Volume 1, Rev 1, Consolidated NMSS Decommissioning 
Guidance, Decommissioning Process for Materials Licensees, Final 
Report, September 2003.
    9. Title 10 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 20, Subpart E, 
``Radiological Criteria for License Termination.''
    10. Title 10, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 51, ``Environmental 
Protection Regulations for Domestic Licensing and Related Regulatory 
Functions.''
    11. NUREG-1496, Generic Environmental Impact Statement of 
Rulemaking on Radiological Criteria for License Termination of NRC-
Licensed Nuclear Facilities, July 1997.
    12. MDNR, Response to RAI--Tobico Marsh State Game Area Site and 
Submission of Additional Information Relative to the Decommissioning 
Plan, August 27, 2004.

III. Finding of No Significant Impact

    Based upon the analysis in this EA, NRC staff has concluded that 
there will be no significant environmental impacts from the proposed 
action and has determined not to prepare an Environmental Impact 
Statement for the proposed action.

IV. Further Information

    Documents related to this action, including the application for 
amendment and supporting documentation, are available electronically at 
NRC's Electronic Reading Room at <A HREF="http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html";>http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html</A>.

[[Page 10727]]

 From this site, you can access NRC's ADAMS, 
which provides text and image files of NRC's public documents. The 
ADAMS accession numbers for the documents related to this notice are: 
ML033450337 for the November 26, 2003, letter submitting the 
Decommissioning Project Plan; ML052640183 for the September 15, 2005, 
letter submitting the Quality Assurance Plan and the Health and Safety 
Plan, and ML051380221 and ML053480161 for the May 9, 2005, and December 
8, 2005, letters responding to NRC requests for additional information. 
If you do not have access to ADAMS or if there are problems accessing 
the documents located in ADAMS, contact NRC's Public Document Room 
(PDR) Reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-4737, or by email to <A HREF="mailto:pdr@nrc.gov";>
pdr@nrc.gov</A>.
    These documents may also be viewed electronically on the public 
computers located at NRC's PDR, O-1F21, One White Flint North, 11555 
Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852. The PDR reproduction contractor 
will copy documents for a fee.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland this 20th day of February 2006.

    For The Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Daniel M. Gillen,
Deputy Director, Decommissioning Directorate, Division of Waste 
Management and Environmental Protection, Office of Nuclear Material 
Safety and Safeguards.
[FR Doc. E6-2947 Filed 3-1-06; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7590-01-P

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