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Oregon Department of Energy to Host Public Meeting on Chemical Waste Management Risk Assessment and Corrective Action Plan – Sept. 30th

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In-person meeting to be held at Arlington High School

SALEM – The Oregon Department of Energy will hold two public meetings on September 30, 2020 to discuss Chemical Waste Management of the Northwest’s risk assessment and corrective action plan following ODOE’s February Notice of Violation to the company for illegal disposal of radioactive materials in an Arlington landfill.  

The material that was disposed in the chemical waste landfill is known as TENORM – Technologically Enhanced Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials. Radioactivity occurs naturally in the environment, but can be concentrated during human activity, like commercial or industrial purposes. The TENORM disposed at the Arlington landfill includes out-of-state materials that are byproducts from the oil and gas industry. Oregon statutes and rules prohibit the disposal of radioactive materials within the state.  

In its official Notice of Violation to Chemical Waste Management in February, ODOE found that the company failed to do its due diligence by incorrectly analyzing the waste against Oregon’s criteria for the definition of “radioactive material” before it was disposed. ODOE directed Chemical Waste Management to prepare a risk assessment to formally evaluate potential past, present, and future risk from the waste. From this information, the company was required to develop a corrective action plan to evaluate options for addressing the disposed TENORM and to outline the processes the company will put in place to prevent re-occurrence.

The risk assessment and corrective action plan are now available on ODOE’s website for public review and comment.   The Oregon Department of Energy will hold two public meetings on September 30, 2020 to discuss Chemical Waste Management’s submitted documents.

The two meetings, one virtual and one in-person, will cover the same information:   Virtual Meeting September 30, 2020, 9 – 11 a.m. ODOE will host a virtual meeting beginning at 9 a.m. via the online platform WebEx. We encourage participants to join online, if possible, so they may view presentation materials. An alternate phone number is available for call-in: 1-408-418-9388 (access code 173 016 8425).  

In-Person Meeting September 30, 2020, 6 – 8 p.m. ODOE will host an in-person meeting outdoors at the Arlington High School football stadium (1200 Main Street in Arlington). Attendees are required to practice COVID-19 physical distancing guidelines and to wear face coverings outdoors whenever six feet of physical space is not possible. The school district will capture attendee information for contact-tracing purposes.  

The Oregon Department of Energy is also accepting public comments on Chemical Waste Management’s documents through November 8, 2020. Public comments or questions may be addressed to ODOE.Comments@Oregon.gov or mailed directly to the Oregon Department of Energy Nuclear Safety Division at 550 Capitol St NE, Salem OR 97301. Following the close of the comment period, ODOE will review and respond to all substantive comments and issue a determination accepting or rejecting Chemical Waste Management’s plan for the waste in the landfill.   More information about the documents and the public meetings is available on the Oregon Department of Energy’s website: https://www.oregon.gov/energy/safety-resiliency/Pages/Radioactive-Waste-Disposal.aspx

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