Federal Register: September 5, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 172)
DOCID: FR Doc 03-22638
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
Environmental Protection Agency
CFR Citation: 40 CFR Part 194
FRL ID: [FRL-7553-2]
NOTICE: PROPOSED RULES
ACTION: Radiation protection programs:
DOCUMENT ACTION: Notice of availability; opening of public comment period.
Central Characterization Project Waste Characterization Program Documents Applicable to Transuranic Radioactive Waste From the Hanford Site Proposed for Disposal at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant
DATES: EPA is requesting public comment on the documents. Comments must be received by EPA's official Air Docket on or before October 6, 2003.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA, or ``we'') is
announcing an inspection for the week of September 8, 2003, at the
Hanford Site in Washington. With this action, we also announce
availability of Department of Energy (DOE) documents in the EPA Docket,
and solicit public comments on the documents available in the docket
for a period of 30 days. The following DOE documents, entitled ``CCP
PO001Revision 6, 6/11/03CCP Transuranic Waste Characterization
Quality Assurance Project Plan'' and ``CCPPO002Revision 6, 6/11/
03CCP Transuranic Waste Certification Plan,'' are available for
review in the public dockets listed in ADDRESSES. We will consider
public comments received on or before the due date mentioned in DATES.
In accordance with EPA's WIPP Compliance Criteria, we will conduct an
inspection of the Central Characterization Project (CCP) at Hanford to
verify that, using the systems and processes developed as part of the DOE Carlsbad Office's CCP, DOE can
characterize TRU waste consistent with the Compliance Criteria.
Transuranic radioactive waste for disposal at Waste Isolation Pilot Plant; waste characterization program documents availability—; Hanford Site, WA,
I. General Information
A. How Can I Get Copies of This Document and Other Related Information ?
1. Docket. EPA has established an official public docket for this action under Docket ID No. OAR20030144. The official public docket consists of the documents specifically referenced in this action, any public comments received, and other information related to this action. Although a part of the official docket, the public docket does not include Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. The official public docket is the collection of materials that is available for public viewing at the Air and Radiation Docket in the EPA Docket Center, (EPA/DC) EPA West, Room B102, 1301 Constitution Ave., NW., Washington, DC. The EPA Docket Center Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 5661744, and the telephone number for the Air and Radiation Docket is (202) 5661742. These documents are also available for review in paper form at the official EPA Air Docket in Washington, DC, Docket No. A9849, Category IIA2, and at the following three EPA WIPP informational docket locations in New Mexico: in Carlsbad at the Municipal Library, Hours: MondayThursday, 10 a.m.9 p.m., FridaySaturday, 10 a.m.6 p.m., and Sunday 1 p.m.5 p.m.; in Albuquerque at the Government Publications Department, Zimmerman Library, University of New Mexico, Hours: vary by semester; and in Santa Fe at the New Mexico State Library, Hours: MondayFriday, 9 a.m. 5 p.m. As provided in EPA's regulations at 40 CFR part 2, and in accordance with normal EPA docket procedures, if copies of any docket materials are requested, a reasonable fee may be charged for photocopying.
2. Electronic Access. You may access this Federal Register document electronically through the EPA Internet under the ``Federal Register'' listings at http://www.epa.gov/fedrgstr/.
An electronic version of the public docket is available through EPA's electronic public docket and comment system, EPA Dockets. You may use EPA Dockets at http://www.epa.gov/edocket/ to submit or view public comments, access the index listing of the contents of the official public docket, and to access those documents in the public docket that are available electronically. Once in the system, select ``search,'' then key in the appropriate docket identification number.
Certain types of information will not be placed in the EPA Dockets. Information claimed as CBI and other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute, which is not included in the official public docket, will not be available for public viewing in EPA's electronic public docket. EPA's policy is that copyrighted material will not be placed in EPA's electronic public docket but will be available only in printed, paper form in the official public docket. To the extent feasible, publicly available docket materials will be made available in EPA's electronic public docket. When a document is selected from the index list in EPA Dockets, the system will identify whether the document is available for viewing in EPA's electronic public docket. Although not all docket materials may be available electronically, you may still access any of the publicly available docket materials through the docket facility identified in Unit I.B. EPA intends to work towards providing electronic access to all of the publicly available docket materials through EPA's electronic public docket.
For public commenters, it is important to note that EPA's policy is that public comments, whether submitted electronically or in paper, will be made available for public viewing in EPA's electronic public docket as EPA receives them and without change, unless the comment contains copyrighted material, CBI, or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. When EPA identifies a comment containing copyrighted material, EPA will provide a reference to that material in the version of the comment that is placed in EPA's electronic public docket. The entire printed comment, including the copyrighted material, will be available in the public docket.
Public comments submitted on computer disks that are mailed or delivered to the docket will be transferred to EPA's electronic public docket. Public comments that are mailed or delivered to the Docket will be scanned and placed in EPA's electronic public docket. Where practical, physical objects will be photographed, and the photograph will be placed in EPA's electronic public docket along with a brief description written by the docket staff.
For additional information about EPA's electronic public docket visit EPA Dockets online or see 67 FR 38102, May 31, 2002.
B. How and to Whom Do I Submit Comments?
You may submit comments electronically, by mail, by facsimile, or through hand delivery/courier. To ensure proper receipt by EPA, identify the appropriate docket identification number in the subject line on the first page of your comment. Please ensure that your comments are submitted within the specified comment period. Comments received after the close of the comment period will be marked ``late.'' EPA is not required to consider these late comments. However, late comments may be considered if time permits.
1. Electronically. If you submit an electronic comment as
prescribed below, EPA recommends that you include your name, mailing
address, and an email address or other contact information in the body
of your comment. Also include this contact information on the outside
of any disk or CD ROM you submit, and in any cover letter accompanying
the disk or CD ROM. This ensures that you can be identified as the
submitter of the comment and allows EPA to contact you in case EPA
cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties or needs further
information on the substance of your comment. EPA's policy is that EPA
will not edit your comment, and any identifying or contact information
provided in the body of a comment will be included as part of the
comment that is placed in the official public docket, and made
available in EPA's electronic public docket. If EPA cannot read your [[Page 52726]]
comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA may not be able to consider your comment.
i. EPA Dockets. Your use of EPA's electronic public docket to submit comments to EPA electronically is EPA's preferred method for receiving comments. Go directly to EPA Dockets at http://www.epa.gov/edocket , and follow the online instructions for submitting comments. To access EPA's electronic public docket from the EPA Internet Home Page, select ``Information Sources,'' ``Dockets,'' and ``EPA Dockets.'' Once in the system, select ``search,'' and then key in Docket ID No. OAR 20030144. The system is an ``anonymous access'' system, which means EPA will not know your identity, email address, or other contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment.
ii. Email. Comments may be sent by electronic mail (email) to a
firstname.lastname@example.org, Attention Docket ID No. OAR20030144. In contrast to EPA's electronic public docket, EPA's email system is not an ``anonymous access'' system. If you send an email comment directly to the Docket without going through EPA's electronic public docket, EPA's email system automatically captures your email address. Email addresses that are automatically captured by EPA's email system are included as part of the comment that is placed in the official public docket, and made available in EPA's electronic public docket.
2. By Mail. Send your comments to: EPA Docket Center (EPA/DC), Air and Radiation Docket, Environmental Protection Agency, EPA West, Mail Code 6102T, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20460. Attention Docket ID No. OAR20030144.
3. By Hand Delivery or Courier. Deliver your comments to: Air and Radiation Docket, EPA Docket Center, (EPA/DC) EPA West, Room B102, 1301 Constitution Ave., NW., Washington, DC, Attention Docket ID No. OAR 20030144. Such deliveries are only accepted during the Docket's normal hours of operation as identified in Unit I.A.1.
4. By Facsimile. Fax your comments to: (202) 5661741, Attention Docket ID. No. OAR20030144.
C. What Should I Consider as I Prepare My Comments for EPA?
You may find the following suggestions helpful for preparing your comments:
1. Explain your views as clearly as possible.
2. Describe any assumptions that you used.
3. Provide any technical information and/or data you used that support your views.
4. If you estimate potential burden or costs, explain how you arrived at your estimate.
5. Provide specific examples to illustrate your concerns.
6. Offer alternatives.
7. Make sure to submit your comments by the comment period deadline identified.
8. To ensure proper receipt by EPA, identify the appropriate docket identification number in the subject line on the first page of your response. It would also be helpful if you provided the name, date, and Federal Register citation related to your comments.
DOE is operating the WIPP near Carlsbad in southeastern New Mexico as a deep geologic repository for disposal of TRU radioactive waste. As defined by the WIPP Land Withdrawal Act (LWA) of 1992 (Pub. L. 102 579), as amended (Pub. L. 104201), transuranic (TRU) waste consists of materials containing elements having atomic numbers greater than 92 (with halflives greater than twenty years), in concentrations greater than 100 nanocuries of alphaemitting TRU isotopes per gram of waste. Much of the existing TRU waste consists of items contaminated during the production of nuclear weapons, such as rags, equipment, tools, and sludges.
On May 13, 1998, EPA announced its final compliance certification decision to the Secretary of Energy (published May 18, 1998, 63 FR 27354). This decision stated that the WIPP will comply with EPA's radioactive waste disposal regulations at 40 CFR part 191, subparts B and C.
The final WIPP certification decision includes conditions that (1)
Prohibit shipment of TRU waste for disposal at WIPP from any site other
than the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) until the EPA determines
that the site has established and executed a quality assurance program,
in accordance with Sec. Sec. 194.22(a)(2)(i), 194.24(c)(3), and
194.24(c)(5) for waste characterization activities and assumptions
(Condition 2 of appendix A to 40 CFR part 194); and (2) prohibit
shipment of TRU waste for disposal at WIPP from any site other than
LANL until the EPA has approved the procedures developed to comply with
the waste characterization requirements of Sec. 194.22(c)(4)
(Condition 3 of appendix A to 40 CFR part 194). The EPA's approval
process for waste generator sites is described in Sec. 194.8. As part
of EPA's decisionmaking process, the DOE is required to submit to EPA appropriate documentation of quality assurance and waste
characterization programs at each DOE waste generator site seeking approval for shipment of TRU radioactive waste to WIPP. In accordance with Sec. 194.8, EPA will place such documentation in the official Air Docket in Washington, D.C., and informational dockets in the State of New Mexico for public review and comment.
EPA will perform an inspection of the TRU waste characterization
activities performed by the DOE's Central Characterization Project
(CCP) staff at the Hanford Site in accordance with Condition 3 of the
WIPP certification. The CCP is a mobile characterization facility that
DOE is developing to assist small TRU waste generator sites with
complex waste characterization activities. We will evaluate the
adequacy, implementation, and effectiveness of the CCP technical
activities contracted by Hanford for characterization of the disposal
of retrievablystored debris waste at the WIPP. The overall program
adequacy and effectiveness of CCP/Hanford documents will be based on
the following DOEprovided documents: (1) CCPPO001Revision 6, 6/11/
03CCP Transuranic Waste Characterization Quality Assurance Project
Plan and (2) CCPPO002Revision 6, 6/11/03CCP Transuranic Waste
Certification Plan. EPA has placed these DOEprovided documents
pertinent to the Hanford inspection in the public docket described in
ADDRESSES. They can be found online in EDOCKET ID No. OAR20030144 and also in hard copy form as item IIA247 in Docket A9849. In
accordance with 40 CFR 194.8, EPA is providing the public 30 days to comment on these documents. The inspection is scheduled to take place the week of September 8, 2003.
EPA will inspect the following technical elements for characterizing retrievablystored TRU debris and solid waste: data validation and verification, acceptable knowledge (AK), nondestructive assay (NDAWIT and APNEA), Digital Radiography/Computed Tomography, visual examination (VE), and data tracking and reporting via the WIPP Waste Information System (WWIS).
If EPA determines as a result of the inspection that the proposed
CCP waste characterization processes and programs used at Hanford
adequately control the characterization of transuranic waste, we will
notify DOE by letter and place the letter in the official Air Docket in [[Page 52727]]
Washington, DC, as well as in the informational docket locations in New Mexico. A letter of approval will allow DOE to ship transuranic waste from Hanford to the WIPP. The EPA will not make a determination of compliance prior to the inspection or before the 30day comment period has closed.
Information on the certification decision is filed in the official
EPA Air Docket, Docket No. A9302 and is available for review in
Washington, DC, and at three EPA WIPP informational docket locations in
New Mexico. The dockets in New Mexico contain only major items from the
official Air Docket in Washington, DC, plus those documents added to
the official Air Docket since the October 1992 enactment of the WIPP LWA.
Dated: August 28, 2003.
Jeffrey R. Holmstead,
Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation.
[FR Doc. 0322638 Filed 9403; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 656050P
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
Mr. Ed Feltcorn, Office of Radiation and Indoor Air, (202) 5649422. You can also call EPA's tollfree WIPP Information Line, 1800331WIPP or visit our website at http://www.epa/gov/radiation/wipp .