Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended (42 USC 2011 et seq.); provides authority for EPA and NRC to establish generally applicable environmental radiation standards and guidance, covering all radioactive materials (including source, byproduct and special nuclear material); EPA and NRC set standards and other agencies (i.e. NRC, DOE, and states) are responsible for actual implementation
U.S. Atomic Energy Commission; predecessor agency to DOE, set up by the Atomic Energy Act of 1946, abolished by the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, which created ERDA, DOE's immediate predecessor (see "DOE")
As Low As Reasonably Achievable (see Glossary)
"Applicable or Relevant and Appropriate Requirements", a CERCLA term denoting all promulgated rules, regulations, etc. or non-promulgated guidelines, respectively, that must be met in a CERCLA cleanup (see "cleanup criteria" in Glossary)
Bechtel National, Inc., DOE's prime contractor for management and cleanup of the Tonawanda Site
Baseline Risk Assessment; required by the NEPA review process; for Tonawanda, contains a weak evaluation of the current hazards and risks posed by the contamination reported in the RI, and presents a very unrealistic picture of future risks resulting from the "No Action" alternative, see Overview of Tonawanda Site
Coalition Against Nuclear material in Tonawanda; name used by an ex officio group of local politicians that formed to prevent DOE from siting a tumulus (engineered landfill) along River Road in the Town of Tonawanda for permanently storing wastes to be consolidated there from planned clean-up activities at the five Tonawanda Site properties; while simultaneously claiming to represent the public as its elected representatives, these politicians have held numerous secret meetings (see FACTS' Newsletters); CANiT has supported: the weak clean-up criteria proposed by DOE for the Tonawanda Site, the USACE's illegal clean-up criteria (set in the Ashland and Linde RODs), and the disposal of Tonawanda Site wastes at inappropriate out-of-state landfills (see "Army Improperly Selects Cleanup Criteria" and "Botched 'Cleanups' ... "; CANiT opposed the NYS DEC Part 380 Amendment intended to prevent USACE from dumping what it considers "clean" wastes in NYS solid waste landfills (see comments on Part 380 Amendment process; CANiT members have included former Congressman John LaFalce, former Tonawanda Supervisor Carl Calabrese, former Erie County Environment and Planning Commissioner Richard Tobe, and the current Commissioner Laurence Rubin, former City of Tonawanda Mayor Alice Roth, Erie County Legislator Charles Swanick, Town of Tonawanda Supervisor Ronald Moline, State Senator Mary Lou Rath, and Assemblyman Robin Schimminger.
Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 ("Superfund Act"), as amended (42 USC 9601-9657); provides for government-sponsored cleanup of hazardous waste sites; does not provide citizens the detailed, "hard look" impact analysis required by NEPA, nor the legal right to challenge faulty cleanup decisions.
Code of Federal Regulations; an official compilation of promulgated federal regulations; ex.,"10 CFR 40", refers to "Title 10 of the CFR, Part 40"
Curie, 1 Ci = 37 billion atomic disintegrations per second, the original unit used to measure radioactivity, named after the chemist Marie Curie (see "dps" and "dpm" in Glossary)
Contaminants of Concern, a CERCLA term referring to those contaminants which must be addressed by the cleanup plan; at the Tonawanda Site the identified COCs are both radioactive materials: U-238 decay chain, U-235 decay chain, Th-230, Ra-226, and Th-232, and chemical wastes: many metals including arsenic, barium, beryllium, boron, cadmium, chromium, copper, iron, lead, magnesium, nickel,uranium, vanadium; many BNAEs (base neutral acid extractables); and several VOCs (volatile organic compounds) including methylene chloride
Draft Environmental Impact Statement; required by the NEPA when a proposed action may have a significant impact on the environment, must be a thorough "hard look" at potential long-term impacts of the action; DEIS for Tonawanda released for comment in November 1993, overwhelming public support for Alternative #2 (complete excavation, including demolition of buildings, with offsite disposal) led DOE to "suspend" the EIS review process on 4-22-94, inadequate "interim actions" were improperly started in October 1995; a complete listing of Tonawanda Site DEIS documents can be found in the Reference Sources
U.S. Department of Energy; successor to ERDA which along with NRC was created by the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974 in an effort to separate the often conflicting roles of the old AEC: the roles of promoting the military and commercial applications of nuclear materials (now DOE), and the regulatory role of protecting public health and environment (now NRC)
Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (October 2000); a long overdue entitlement program passed by Congress after revelations that workers at DOE's Paducah, KY gaseous diffusion plant had for many years been exposed to plutonium and other transuranics without being informed of or monitored for such exposures; extended to cover workers at hundreds of formerly utilized nuclear weapons production sites including Linde, Bethlehem Steel, Simonds Saw, and Electromet locally; intent was to provide medical expenses and a $150,000 lump sum payment to workers or deceased workers' surviving family members for ionizing radiation-induced cancers, but implementation of program by Labor Department and Health and Human Services (Centers for Disease Control) is seriously deficient; see EEOICPA page.
Environmental Impact Statement, see "DEIS"
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; primary agency responsible for environmental and public health protection, responsible for implementing CERCLA, RCRA, SARA, TSCA, etc., responsible for setting radiation protection standards (ex., 40 CFR 192 resulting from UMTRCA) that are then implemented by NRC and DOE; for years has failed to meet its lawful mandate to establish effectively protective, overarching "Radiation Site Cleanup Regulations" (draft regulations were to be proposed at 40 CFR 196) that would reform DOE's continuing policy of implementing nuclear waste management plans that are not protective of health and environment, nor cost-effective, in the long run
U.S. Energy Research and Development Authority, see "DOE"
F.A.C.T.S. (For A Clean Tonawanda Site), Inc.; a non-governmental public interest group formed in 1994 to address government mismanagement of nuclear wastes at the Tonawanda, NY FUSRAP Site; see the FACTS' website.
Final Environmental Impact Statement; incorporates changes as a result of comments, both written and oral (at public hearings) submitted by the public, interested parties, and stakeholders during the required public review and comment period on the DEIS, must precede ROD
U.S. Freedom of Information Act (5 USC 522); among other things, requires disclosure of requested information if such disclosure "is in the public interest because it is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations or activities of the government"
N.Y.S. Freedom of Information Law (Public Officers Law, Sections 84-90); weaker version of federal law; sets up fee barriers to access, fees currently proposed to be increased
Feasibility Study; part of CERCLA public review process; evaluates and compares a range of cleanup plan alternatives against a set of goals, the fundamental goal is preservation of public health and the environment
Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program; an ad hoc program initiated by the Atomic Energy Commission in 1974 to clean up sites that were contaminated by Manhattan Project or AEC operations and then improperly released from federal control, i.e. sold to the private sector, sometimes without disclosure of the contamination present
General Services Administration; the federal agency responsible for management of real property, also provides other services
Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments to RCRA
U.S. Army Manhattan Engineer District; the top secret "Manhattan Project" to make the world's first atomic bombs during World War II
National Environmental Policy Act (42 USC 4321-4347); requires EISs for projects which have a significant impact on the environment, requires a "No Action" alternative for purposes of comparison, ex., the "No Action" alternative in the Tonawanda Site DEIS has major long-term impacts (see "BRA")
National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants, promulgated under Section 112 of the Clean Air Act (at 42 USC 7412); limits emissions of radioactive materials from 8 categories of sources including disposal of uranium mill tailings (radon), and NRC regulated facilities
Notice of Intent; the public notification of an agency's plans to undertake an action requiring public environmental review; required by NEPA, CERCLA, SARA; must specify the level of public review required; ex., DOE issued a "NOI to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement" for the Tonawanda Site on 4-11-88
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (see "DOE"); along with EPA, responsible for assuring that the DOE cleanup at the Tonawanda Site at least meets the minimum existing legal requirements (see "cleanup criteria" in Glossary)
National Priorities List; a list of hazardous waste sites ranked in order of priority for response according to relative risk or harm to the public, maintained by EPA under CERCLA authority, the Tonawanda Site should have been put on the NPL, but wasn't
New York City Department of Health
New York Compilation of Rules and Regulations; the collection of promulgated (legally enforceable) New York State rules and regulations, ex., "6 NYCRR 380" refers "Title 6 of the NYCRR, Part 380"
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, responsible for regulating environmental releases of radioactive materials (6 NYCRR 380)
New York State Department of Health, responsible for licensing and regulating medical users of radioactive materials (under 10 NYCRR 16)
New York State Department of Labor, responsible for licensing and regulating industrial and commercial users of radioactive materials (under 12 NYCRR 38)
U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, responsible for protecting workers from hazards, including radiation, in the workplace
picoCurie, 1 pCi = 2.2 atomic disintegrations per minute (see "dpm" in Glossary)
Proposed Plan; part of a CERCLA public review process, identifies the FS cleanup plan alternative that the proposing agency would prefer to implement, as well as others required by law (see "Summary of NRC Cleanup Criteria" in Pertinent Regulations and Laws)
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, as amended (42 USC 6901-6991), also known as the Solid Waste Disposal Act; governs disposal of hazardous wastes, and mixed wastes (mixed hazardous and radioactive wastes)
Remedial Investigation; first phase of CERCLA process; a characterization study of a contaminated site to determine the type, the degree, and the extent of the contamination; used to develop FS cleanup alternatives
Record of Decision; a description of the alternative selected (cleanup criteria and cleanup plan) and the rationale for its selection, issued by the responsible agency only after publication of the response to public comments and release of the PP or FEIS
Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 (numerous USC Sections), one section [113(h)] prohibits legal challenges to defective RODs
Safe Drinking Water Act, as amended (42 USC 300f-300j-g); promulgated limits on radioactive materials in surface waters and public water suppply systems, later amendments have addressed concerns with aquifers and groundwater protection
Toxic Substances Control Act, as amended (15 USC 2601-2671); aimed primarily at preventing health and environmental hazards from chemicals distributed in commerce
the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act of 1978 (42 USC 2022, 2113, 2114, 7901, 7911-7925, 7941, 7942) amended the AEA; Title I of UMTRCA required DOE to clean up (under EPA's subsequent 40 CFR 192 regs, and with the concurrence of the NRC and the states) and to provide long-term federal control (through ownership) over 20 inactive (all western, with 1 exception, Canonsburg, PA) mill tailings sites listed in the Act or later (within 1 year of passage) designated by the Secretary of DOE; the Tonawanda Site should have been designated a Title I site, but it was not, and, subsequently, the regulatory responsibility to license and control this site (and other NYS FUSRAP sites), required by Title II of UMTRCA and specified in the requirements of the amended 10 CFR 40 regulations, passed to NRC on November 8, 1981 when NYS failed to meet the new Agreement State requirements of Title II of UMTRCA (see 3-3-97 F.A.C.T.S letter to J. Sweeney for details.)
UMTRCA Amendments
UMTRCA was amended in 1979, 1983, 1988, and 1992 (see "Reference Sources")
United States Code, a compilation of federal laws; ex. "42 USC 9601 et seq" means "Title 42 of the USC, Section 9601 and following Sections"