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Kentucky Resources Council, PO Box 1070, Frankfort, KY 40602 Phone [502] 875-2428

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PO Box 1070, Frankfort, KY 40602  Phone 502.875.2428, Fax 502.875.2845

KRC OPPOSES DISPOSAL OF MORE WASTES AT DOE LANDFILL UNTIL SEISMIC HAZARD FURTHER INVESTIGATED  Posted: May 12, 2004

Kentucky Resources Council, Inc.

Post Office Box 1070

Frankfort, Kentucky 40602

(502) 875-2428 phone (502) 875-2845 fax

e-mail: fitzKRC@aol.com

www.kyrc.org

May 11, 2004

Ron Gruzesky

Division of Waste Management

14 Reilly Road

Frankfort, Kentucky 40601

Michael Welch

Division of Waste Management

14 Reilly Road

Frankfort, Kentucky 40601

Re: PGDP Application No. 073-00045 APE 20010001

Gentlemen:

KRC submits these comments in response to the public notice announcing the issuance by the Division of Waste Management (DWM) of a draft modification to the construction/operation permit for the United States Department of Energy (DOE) Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant (PGDP).

KRC, as you are aware, represents several individuals in a pending court challenge to the Agreed Orders entered into between the agency and DOE, which collectively compromise both the regulatory powers of the agency and the standards for proper management of wastes that are hazardous by characteristic or listing.

KRC opposes the proposed modification as being ill-considered for two reasons: the first, relating to the composition of some of the proposed waste streams, which are unsuitable for disposal in a non-hazardous municipal solid waste landfill; and second, relating to the unsuitability of the location of the proposed landfill with respect to seismic hazard.

With respect to the first issue, to the extent that any of the proposed wastes identified as being suitable for disposal are so classified by application of the “contained-in policy,” or are wastes that have been granted a variance outside of those variances authorized under 401 KAR 37:040, KRC vigorously objects for the reasons stated in our January, 2004 comments to the agency.

As to the second, and more fundamental issue, the agency should not allow placement of additional wastes, particularly non-listed wastes and spill cleanup residue that pose groundwater contamination risks, into the C-746-U landfill doe to the probability of faults in the landfill area.

As your agency is well aware, the earthquake fault study that was required to be performed by the agency indicates a high probability of faults in the landfill area. I understand that the University of Kentucky’s experts and other technical personnel concur that there are possible faults within 8 to 10 feet of the surface, based on the seismic studies that have been done to date.

Condition 8 of the revised landfill permit required DOE to perform a reevaluation of the seismic hazard to the landfill. Over DOE’s objections, that study was mandated in late 2000 due to the development by the DWM of significant information, including seismic hazard maps published by the U.S. Geological Survey, indicating a much greater seismic hazard to the site than had been modeled by DOE and its contractors. KRC incorporates by reference the Cabinet’s January 11, 2001 letter identifying the sources of information justifying the Cabinet’s heightened concern with seismic hazard.

Prior to any expansion in area or types of wastes allowed at the landfill, further studies characterizing the extent and location of faults, and in particular, whether these potential faults extend into the younger units (which could not be determined using the S-Wave reflection technique, according to the October 2003 Technical Memorandum) must be required in order to assure that the Cabinet’s siting standards are met.

After such studies and a determination of compliance with the Cabinet’s performance standards, concurrence should be obtained from Dr. Woolery, from the Kentucky Geological Survey, and from all agency technical personnel that the identified faults present no risk of liner and containment failure and migration of wastes in the event of seismic event. Absent such concurrence and further study, further use and expansion of the types of wastes (particularly industrial and spill residue wastes) in the landfill would be irresponsible.

Thank you for your consideration of these concerns.

Cordially,

Tom FitzGerald

Director

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