Exemption From Licensing for Disposal of Low-Activity Radioactive Waste at the US Ecology Idaho Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Disposal Facility, 65390-65392 [2013-25965]

Download as PDF 65390 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 211 / Thursday, October 31, 2013 / Notices mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES diffusion process. PGDP was last issued a renewed CoC on December 31, 2008, with an expiration date of December 31, 2013. By letter dated April 2, 2013 (GDP 13– 0010, ADAMS Accession No. ML13105A010), USEC submitted its renewal application in accordance with 10 CFR part 76. In its application, USEC requested that the NRC renew the CoC for a 5-year period with an expiration date of December 31, 2018. On May 22, 2013 (78 FR 30342), the NRC published in the Federal Register a notice of the Certificate renewal request and opportunity to comment. The notice stated that a public meeting would be conducted in the vicinity of the PGDP in July of 2013, in accordance with 10 CFR 76.39. An NRC administrative review, documented in an electronic communication to USEC dated May 31, 2013 (ADAMS Accession No. ML13151A356), found the application sufficient to begin a technical review, in accordance with 10 CFR 76.36. II. Discussion In a letter dated June 3, 2013, in accordance with 10 CFR 76.66(b), USEC notified the NRC of its decision to terminate its uranium enrichment operations at the PGDP. USEC stated that it plans to continue managing its inventory of NRC-regulated material, and conduct clean-up related activities under its existing CoC, before returning the PGDP facilities to DOE in 2014. Once USEC has completed these activities, it will request termination of the CoC. In accordance with 10 CFR 76.55, if a sufficient application for a CoC is timely filed, the existing CoC does not expire until a final determination on the application is made by the NRC. As stated above, USEC’s renewal application was found to be sufficient to begin a technical review, and it was timely because it was filed prior to April 15, 2013, as required by 10 CFR 76.31. Therefore, the existing CoC may remain in force after its December 31, 2013, expiration date, until the NRC makes a final determination on the renewal application. Based on USEC’s decision to terminate its uranium enrichment operations at PGDP, the NRC’s Office of Nuclear Materials Safety and Safeguards has suspended its review of USEC’s April 2, 2013, renewal application. As a result, the NRC will not meet the 10 CFR 76.43 requirement that final NRC decisions on renewal applications be made within 6 months of receipt, and is therefore publishing this notice in accordance with 10 CFR 76.43. The NRC will establish a date for making its VerDate Mar<15>2010 19:21 Oct 30, 2013 Jkt 232001 renewal decision if USEC changes the termination plans described in its June 3, 2013, letter. USEC’s activities at the PGDP will continue to be governed by the existing CoC until its termination, and the NRC will continue monitoring USEC’s security and control of nuclear material, decontamination, decommissioning, and waste disposal. Once the NRC receives USEC’s request for CoC termination, the NRC will start the decertification process and coordinate with USEC and DOE to ensure that an appropriate transition of regulatory authority from the NRC to the DOE occurs. Upon the CoC’s termination, DOE will assume responsibility and regulatory authority of the PGDP facility. The NRC intends to conduct a public meeting as part of the PGDP decertification process to allow USEC, DOE, relevant stakeholders, and members of the public to ask questions about the NRC process for terminating the CoC at the PGDP. A notice of this meeting will be posted on the NRC’s Web site, http://www.nrc.gov/publicinvolve/public-meetings/index.cfm. Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 22 day of October, 2013. For the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Catherine Haney, Director, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards. [FR Doc. 2013–25966 Filed 10–30–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket No. 040–38368; NRC–2013–0241] Exemption From Licensing for Disposal of Low-Activity Radioactive Waste at the US Ecology Idaho Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Disposal Facility Nuclear Regulatory Commission. ACTION: Environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact; issuance. AGENCY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing an environmental assessment (EA) and finding of no significant impact for the exemption from licensing for disposal of low-activity radioactive waste from the Safety Light Corporation (SLC) site in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, at the US Ecology Idaho (USEI) Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Subtitle C disposal facility near Grand View, Idaho. SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00127 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Please refer to Docket ID NRC–2013–0241 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information regarding this document. You may access publicly-available information related to this action by the following methods: • Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC–2013–0241. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301–287–3422; email: Carol.Gallagher@nrc.gov. For technical questions, contact the individual(s) listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document. • NRC’s Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS): You may access publicly available documents online in the NRC Library at http://www.nrc.gov/readingrm/adams.html. To begin the search, select ‘‘ADAMS Public Documents’’ and then select ‘‘Begin Web-based ADAMS Search.’’ For problems with ADAMS, please contact the NRC’s Public Document Room (PDR) reference staff at 1–800–397–4209, 301–415–4737, or by email to pdr.resource@nrc.gov. • NRC’s PDR: You may examine and purchase copies of public documents at the NRC’s PDR, Room O1–F21, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Stephen Lemont, Office of Federal and State Materials and Environmental Management Programs, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555–0001, telephone: 301–415– 5163, email: Stephen.Lemont@nrc.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: ADDRESSES: I. Introduction The NRC staff is considering a request from the US Ecology, Inc. (US Ecology), dated July 7, 2013 (ADAMS Accession No. ML13198A017), for exemption from licensing to receive and dispose of approximately 7,640 cubic meters (270,000 cubic feet) of low-activity radioactive wastes at the USEI RCRA Subtitle C hazardous and low-activity radioactive waste facility located near Grand View, Idaho. The wastes would consist of bulk debris and materials from the demolition of structures on the SLC site in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania. This proposed NRC action would exempt the USEI site from Atomic Energy Act and NRC licensing requirements. The term ‘‘low-activity waste’’ does not have a statutory or regulatory definition, but generally means wastes that contain some residual radioactivity, including naturally occurring E:\FR\FM\31OCN1.SGM 31OCN1 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 211 / Thursday, October 31, 2013 / Notices radionuclides, which can be safely and economically disposed of in hazardous or municipal solid waste landfills rather than in low-level radioactive waste (LLRW) disposal facilities. Such waste is invariably a fraction of the limits for Class A LLRW contained in part 61 of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), and is often below concentrations that are considered safe for unrestricted release under international standards. The SLC site (also known as the SLC Superfund Site) was listed on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (USEPA’s) National Priorities List on April 27, 2005, and is presently the subject of a remedial action under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). The USEPA is the lead agency for the remedial action. Section 121(d)(3) of CERCLA applies in any CERCLA response action involving offsite transfer of any hazardous substance, or pollutant or contaminant (CERCLA wastes). This section of the statute is interpreted in the USEPA’s Offsite Rule (OSR) (40 CFR 300.440), which requires that CERCLA wastes may only be placed in a facility operating in compliance with RCRA or other applicable Federal or State requirements. Therefore, the subject waste from the SLC site must be disposed at an appropriate offsite disposal facility pursuant to the OSR. The request to the NRC by US Ecology was made under the alternate disposal provision contained in 10 CFR 20.2002 and the exemption provision in 10 CFR 30.11. The Regulations in 10 CFR 20.2001 identify the mechanisms by which a licensee may lawfully dispose of its licensed radioactive waste. It contains seven different disposal paths, including 10 CFR 20.2002, a provision for ‘‘alternative disposal’’ authorizations. Section 20.2002 is a general provision that allows for other disposal methods, different from those already defined in the NRC’s regulations, provided that radiation doses are maintained as low as is reasonably achievable (ALARA) and within the dose limits in 10 CFR part 20. In practice, § 20.2002 is most often used for disposal of low-activity waste in hazardous or solid waste landfills that are permitted under RCRA. In Pennsylvania, where the SLC site is located, is an NRC Agreement State, while Idaho, where the USEI RCRA disposal facility is located, is not an Agreement State. As a RCRA facility, USEI is permitted and regulated by the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (IDEQ), not the NRC. Idaho regulations and USEI’s RCRA permit provide for the acceptance and disposal VerDate Mar<15>2010 19:21 Oct 30, 2013 Jkt 232001 of the low-activity waste material with appropriate NRC exemptions and approval. According to the NRC’s March 13, 2012, letter to all Agreement States (ADAMS Accession No. ML12065A038), ‘‘Clarification of the Authorization for Alternate Disposal of Material Issued under 10 CFR 20.2002 and Exemption Provisions in 10 CFR (FSME–12–025),’’ there are various approaches that should be taken when both Agreement States and non-Agreement States are involved in the § 20.2002 exemption process. The present action falls under Situation #3 in that letter, which addresses the course of action when an Agreement State licensee requests authorization under the State’s § 20.2002-equivalent regulation to dispose of material at an unlicensed facility in a non-Agreement State. According to Situation #3, . . . both the Agreement State and the NRC would need to become involved. The Agreement State that regulates the license seeking to dispose of the material at an unlicensed facility in another state would need to approve disposal under the Agreement State’s 20.2002-equivalent regulation. The unlicensed facility would then need to obtain a license or an exemption from the NRC prior to accepting the material for disposal. Accordingly, in a letter dated June 11, 2013 (ADAMS Accession No. ML13296A534), the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection informed the USEPA that it had authorized offsite disposal of the subject material from the SLC site in a controlled environment, such as that provided by a RCRA Subtitle C hazardous waste disposal facility. Approval of the US Ecology request to the NRC would satisfy the requirements of FSME–12–025 Situation #3, the State of Idaho and USEI’s RCRA permit, and allow the material to be transported to USEI for disposal. II. Environmental Assessment Summary Under the requirements of 10 CFR 51.21 and 51.30(a), the NRC staff developed an EA (ADAMS Accession No. ML13296A807) in support of the proposed federal action, which is for the NRC to grant an exemption from licensing to US Ecology for the USEI RCRA Subtitle C hazardous and lowactivity radioactive waste facility, located near Grand View, Idaho, to receive and dispose of approximately 7,640 cubic meters (270,000 cubic feet) of low-activity radioactive wastes, consisting of bulk debris and materials from the demolition of buildings on the SLC site in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania. If the NRC exemption is granted, the PO 00000 Frm 00128 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 65391 waste could be transported from the SLC site for disposal at the USEI facility. Radionuclides present in the waste materials originated from the production of luminous materials and other commercial products and are expected to be primarily surface and volumetric contaminants on walls, ceilings, floors, and other equipment. The waste will also include debris and materials associated with or contained within the buildings, such as furniture, ductwork, lighting, wiring, process equipment, metal sheet, and some asbestos-containing material in the form of roofing, floor tile and siding. Specific radionuclides expected in the waste include Actinium-227, Americium-241, Cesium-137, Cobalt-60, Lead-210, Neptunium-237, Nickel-63, Radium226, Strontium-90, and Tritium. Radionuclide concentrations are not expected to exceed any USEI waste acceptance criteria (WAC), and any material identified that could cause a shipment to exceed the USEI WAC will be segregated and disposed at an appropriately licensed LLRW disposal facility. The remedial action is not expected to generate RCRA hazardous wastes. However, if small quantities of hazardous wastes are generated, they will be segregated and initially separated from the main building debris for classification and radiological assessment. Hazardous waste materials found to contain radiological contaminants will be treated (by microand/or macro-encapsulation) and disposed at USEI under the RCRA permit and WAC. If organic compounds that require treatment are present, appropriate methods will be used to treat the organics prior to any stabilization for disposal. The USEI site comprises an approximately 65-hectare (160-acre) hazardous waste treatment, storage and disposal facility. The facility is permitted under Subtitle C of RCRA and under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to treat and dispose of RCRA and TSCA wastes, as well as a wide range of low-activity radioactive wastes and other wastes. The operating disposal area includes two active landfill disposal cells and four surface impoundment disposal units. The site is located in the semi-arid Owyhee Desert where there is limited precipitation. The site’s arid climate, deep groundwater, and favorable soil and geologic conditions serve to promote waste isolation. The information on environmental impacts presented in the EA is focused on those environmental resource areas for which the NRC staff understands that potential impacts of the proposed E:\FR\FM\31OCN1.SGM 31OCN1 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 65392 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 211 / Thursday, October 31, 2013 / Notices action could occur. Both potential radiological and non-radiological impacts were considered. If the NRC grants the exemption, the low-activity SLC waste would be disposed of at the USEI site. The USEI site includes an operating disposal facility, and disposition of the low-activity SLC waste would occur in an existing waste disposal cell at the site. The NRC staff concludes that USEI facility’s RCRA permit requirements, site and facility design features, and engineering and administrative controls ensure the protection of workers, members of the public, and the environment. Also, prior major earth disturbances to create the waste disposal cell and other site facilities, and ongoing site operations associated with waste handling and disposal would preclude the existence of listed threatened or endangered species or critical habitat and of historic properties. The US Ecology request (ADAMS Accession No. ML13198A017) includes a radiological dose assessment for the transport and disposal of the SLC waste material. According to 10 CFR 20.2002, the analysis must show that the radiological doses arising from the proposed action will be ALARA and within the 10 CFR part 20 dose limits. The dose assessment evaluates worker doses for transporting the material to USEI, doses for the onsite workers at the USEI facility, and landfill post closure doses for members of the general public. The analysis used Microshield and RESRAD Version 6.5, as appropriate, to calculate the doses. The NRC staff reviewed and evaluated this dose assessment and performed independent dose calculations, and found the dose assessment to be acceptable under 10 CFR part 20. The dose assessment uses a conservative source term and sitespecific parameter values, and assessed a range of possible exposure scenarios. Estimated doses to workers associated with both the transport and disposal processes were all below 0.01 millisievert/year (mSv/yr) (1 millirem/ year (mrem/yr)). Regardless of the radionuclide concentrations used, the post-closure dose to a member of the public was also below 0.01 mSv/yr (1 mrem/yr). By comparison, the 10 CFR part 20 dose limits, as total effective dose equivalents, are 50 mSv/yr (5000 mrem/yr) to workers (10 CFR 20.1201(a)(1)(i)) and 1 mSv/yr (100 mrem/yr) to individual members of the public (10 CFR 20.1301(a)(1)). Also, based on the results of these analyses, the staff concludes that the proposed disposal action will not significantly add to the annual cumulative dose from VerDate Mar<15>2010 19:21 Oct 30, 2013 Jkt 232001 all exempted and naturally occurring radioactive material received at the USEI disposal facility. As a result of the dose assessment and other considerations, the staff concludes that the exemption of the USEI site from NRC licensing requirements will not significantly increase the probability or consequences of accidents, no changes are being made in the types of any effluents that may be released off site, and there is no significant increase in occupational or public radiation exposure. The staff considered the no-action alternative as an alternative to the proposed action. Under the no-action alternative, the NRC would deny the present US Ecology exemption request and the SLC waste could not be received and disposed at the USEI RCRA disposal facility. However, the staff assumes that the subject SLC waste would still be generated under the USEPA’s CERCLA response action and, for this response action to be in compliance with the OSR, the SLC waste would still need to be transported to and disposed at another acceptable offsite facility. This facility could be another appropriately permitted disposal site, such as another RCRA hazardous disposal facility, a municipal landfill, or a licensed LLRW disposal site. Under these circumstances, the potential environmental impacts of the proposed action and the no-action alternative at the disposal facilities would be similar, although denial of the US Ecology request by the NRC may result in delayed demolition of the structures at the SLC site or delayed offsite shipment of the demolition wastes, potentially resulting in increased exposure of site workers and members of the public to the lowactivity materials. Also, disposal of the material at a LLRW disposal facility would be at higher cost than at a RCRA hazardous waste landfill or municipal landfill permitted to accept low-activity radioactive wastes but with little or no commensurate reduction of risk, and disposal in a RCRA hazardous waste or municipal landfill would conserve LLRW disposal capacity for higher activity wastes. III. Finding of No Significant Impact The NRC staff has prepared an EA in support of the proposed action. The staff has concluded that the proposed action, for the NRC to grant an exemption from licensing for the USEI RCRA Subtitle C hazardous and low-activity radioactive waste facility to receive and dispose of specified low-activity radioactive wastes from the SLC Superfund Site, will not significantly impact the quality of the PO 00000 Frm 00129 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 human environment, and that the proposed action is the preferred alternative. The USEI site includes an operating disposal facility where the low-activity SLC waste would be disposed of pursuant to a RCRA permit in an existing waste disposal cell. The protection of workers, members of the public, and the environment are ensured by USEI permit requirements, site and facility design features, and engineering and administrative controls. Further, estimated radiological doses associated with transport and disposal of the waste to workers and members of the public would be below 0.01 mSv/yr (1 mrem/yr), which is orders of magnitude below the 10 CFR part 20 dose limits of 50 mSv/yr (5000 mrem/ yr) to workers and 1 mSv/yr (100 mrem/ yr) to individual members of the public. Also, the staff concludes that the proposed disposal action will not significantly add to the annual cumulative dose from all exempted and naturally occurring radioactive material received at the USEI disposal facility. On the basis of the conclusion of the EA, the NRC finds that there are no significant environmental impacts from the proposed action, and that preparation of an environmental impact statement is not warranted. Accordingly, the NRC has determined that a Finding of No Significant Impact is appropriate. Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 25th day of October 2013. For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Kevin Hsueh, Acting Deputy Director, Environmental Protection and Performance Directorate, Division of Waste Management and Environmental Protection, Office of Federal and State Materials and Environmental Management Programs. [FR Doc. 2013–25965 Filed 10–30–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P POSTAL SERVICE Product Change—Parcel Return Service Negotiated Service Agreement Postal ServiceTM. Notice. AGENCY: ACTION: The Postal Service gives notice of filing a request with the Postal Regulatory Commission to add a domestic shipping services contract to the list of Negotiated Service Agreements in the Mail Classification Schedule’s Competitive Products List. DATES: Effective date: October 31, 2013. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Elizabeth A. Reed, 202–268–3179. SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\31OCN1.SGM 31OCN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 211 (Thursday, October 31, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 65390-65392]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-25965]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[Docket No. 040-38368; NRC-2013-0241]


Exemption From Licensing for Disposal of Low-Activity Radioactive 
Waste at the US Ecology Idaho Resource Conservation and Recovery Act 
Disposal Facility

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact; 
issuance.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing an 
environmental assessment (EA) and finding of no significant impact for 
the exemption from licensing for disposal of low-activity radioactive 
waste from the Safety Light Corporation (SLC) site in Bloomsburg, 
Pennsylvania, at the US Ecology Idaho (USEI) Resource Conservation and 
Recovery Act (RCRA) Subtitle C disposal facility near Grand View, 
Idaho.

ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2013-0241 when contacting the 
NRC about the availability of information regarding this document. You 
may access publicly-available information related to this action by the 
following methods:
     Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2013-0241. Address 
questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-287-
3422; email: Carol.Gallagher@nrc.gov. For technical questions, contact 
the individual(s) listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section 
of this document.
     NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System 
(ADAMS): You may access publicly available documents online in the NRC 
Library at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. To begin the 
search, select ``ADAMS Public Documents'' and then select ``Begin Web-
based ADAMS Search.'' For problems with ADAMS, please contact the NRC's 
Public Document Room (PDR) reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-
4737, or by email to pdr.resource@nrc.gov.
     NRC's PDR: You may examine and purchase copies of public 
documents at the NRC's PDR, Room O1-F21, One White Flint North, 11555 
Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Stephen Lemont, Office of Federal 
and State Materials and Environmental Management Programs, U.S. Nuclear 
Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, telephone: 301-415-
5163, email: Stephen.Lemont@nrc.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Introduction

    The NRC staff is considering a request from the US Ecology, Inc. 
(US Ecology), dated July 7, 2013 (ADAMS Accession No. ML13198A017), for 
exemption from licensing to receive and dispose of approximately 7,640 
cubic meters (270,000 cubic feet) of low-activity radioactive wastes at 
the USEI RCRA Subtitle C hazardous and low-activity radioactive waste 
facility located near Grand View, Idaho. The wastes would consist of 
bulk debris and materials from the demolition of structures on the SLC 
site in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania. This proposed NRC action would exempt 
the USEI site from Atomic Energy Act and NRC licensing requirements.
    The term ``low-activity waste'' does not have a statutory or 
regulatory definition, but generally means wastes that contain some 
residual radioactivity, including naturally occurring

[[Page 65391]]

radionuclides, which can be safely and economically disposed of in 
hazardous or municipal solid waste landfills rather than in low-level 
radioactive waste (LLRW) disposal facilities. Such waste is invariably 
a fraction of the limits for Class A LLRW contained in part 61 of Title 
10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), and is often below 
concentrations that are considered safe for unrestricted release under 
international standards.
    The SLC site (also known as the SLC Superfund Site) was listed on 
the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (USEPA's) National 
Priorities List on April 27, 2005, and is presently the subject of a 
remedial action under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, 
Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). The USEPA is the lead agency 
for the remedial action. Section 121(d)(3) of CERCLA applies in any 
CERCLA response action involving off-site transfer of any hazardous 
substance, or pollutant or contaminant (CERCLA wastes). This section of 
the statute is interpreted in the USEPA's Offsite Rule (OSR) (40 CFR 
300.440), which requires that CERCLA wastes may only be placed in a 
facility operating in compliance with RCRA or other applicable Federal 
or State requirements. Therefore, the subject waste from the SLC site 
must be disposed at an appropriate offsite disposal facility pursuant 
to the OSR.
    The request to the NRC by US Ecology was made under the alternate 
disposal provision contained in 10 CFR 20.2002 and the exemption 
provision in 10 CFR 30.11. The Regulations in 10 CFR 20.2001 identify 
the mechanisms by which a licensee may lawfully dispose of its licensed 
radioactive waste. It contains seven different disposal paths, 
including 10 CFR 20.2002, a provision for ``alternative disposal'' 
authorizations. Section 20.2002 is a general provision that allows for 
other disposal methods, different from those already defined in the 
NRC's regulations, provided that radiation doses are maintained as low 
as is reasonably achievable (ALARA) and within the dose limits in 10 
CFR part 20. In practice, Sec.  20.2002 is most often used for disposal 
of low-activity waste in hazardous or solid waste landfills that are 
permitted under RCRA.
    In Pennsylvania, where the SLC site is located, is an NRC Agreement 
State, while Idaho, where the USEI RCRA disposal facility is located, 
is not an Agreement State. As a RCRA facility, USEI is permitted and 
regulated by the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (IDEQ), not 
the NRC. Idaho regulations and USEI's RCRA permit provide for the 
acceptance and disposal of the low-activity waste material with 
appropriate NRC exemptions and approval. According to the NRC's March 
13, 2012, letter to all Agreement States (ADAMS Accession No. 
ML12065A038), ``Clarification of the Authorization for Alternate 
Disposal of Material Issued under 10 CFR 20.2002 and Exemption 
Provisions in 10 CFR (FSME-12-025),'' there are various approaches that 
should be taken when both Agreement States and non-Agreement States are 
involved in the Sec.  20.2002 exemption process. The present action 
falls under Situation 3 in that letter, which addresses the 
course of action when an Agreement State licensee requests 
authorization under the State's Sec.  20.2002-equivalent regulation to 
dispose of material at an unlicensed facility in a non-Agreement State. 
According to Situation 3,

    . . . both the Agreement State and the NRC would need to become 
involved. The Agreement State that regulates the license seeking to 
dispose of the material at an unlicensed facility in another state 
would need to approve disposal under the Agreement State's 20.2002-
equivalent regulation. The unlicensed facility would then need to 
obtain a license or an exemption from the NRC prior to accepting the 
material for disposal.

    Accordingly, in a letter dated June 11, 2013 (ADAMS Accession No. 
ML13296A534), the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection 
informed the USEPA that it had authorized offsite disposal of the 
subject material from the SLC site in a controlled environment, such as 
that provided by a RCRA Subtitle C hazardous waste disposal facility. 
Approval of the US Ecology request to the NRC would satisfy the 
requirements of FSME-12-025 Situation 3, the State of Idaho 
and USEI's RCRA permit, and allow the material to be transported to 
USEI for disposal.

II. Environmental Assessment Summary

    Under the requirements of 10 CFR 51.21 and 51.30(a), the NRC staff 
developed an EA (ADAMS Accession No. ML13296A807) in support of the 
proposed federal action, which is for the NRC to grant an exemption 
from licensing to US Ecology for the USEI RCRA Subtitle C hazardous and 
low-activity radioactive waste facility, located near Grand View, 
Idaho, to receive and dispose of approximately 7,640 cubic meters 
(270,000 cubic feet) of low-activity radioactive wastes, consisting of 
bulk debris and materials from the demolition of buildings on the SLC 
site in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania. If the NRC exemption is granted, the 
waste could be transported from the SLC site for disposal at the USEI 
facility.
    Radionuclides present in the waste materials originated from the 
production of luminous materials and other commercial products and are 
expected to be primarily surface and volumetric contaminants on walls, 
ceilings, floors, and other equipment. The waste will also include 
debris and materials associated with or contained within the buildings, 
such as furniture, ductwork, lighting, wiring, process equipment, metal 
sheet, and some asbestos-containing material in the form of roofing, 
floor tile and siding. Specific radionuclides expected in the waste 
include Actinium-227, Americium-241, Cesium-137, Cobalt-60, Lead-210, 
Neptunium-237, Nickel-63, Radium-226, Strontium-90, and Tritium. 
Radionuclide concentrations are not expected to exceed any USEI waste 
acceptance criteria (WAC), and any material identified that could cause 
a shipment to exceed the USEI WAC will be segregated and disposed at an 
appropriately licensed LLRW disposal facility. The remedial action is 
not expected to generate RCRA hazardous wastes. However, if small 
quantities of hazardous wastes are generated, they will be segregated 
and initially separated from the main building debris for 
classification and radiological assessment. Hazardous waste materials 
found to contain radiological contaminants will be treated (by micro- 
and/or macro-encapsulation) and disposed at USEI under the RCRA permit 
and WAC. If organic compounds that require treatment are present, 
appropriate methods will be used to treat the organics prior to any 
stabilization for disposal.
    The USEI site comprises an approximately 65-hectare (160-acre) 
hazardous waste treatment, storage and disposal facility. The facility 
is permitted under Subtitle C of RCRA and under the Toxic Substances 
Control Act (TSCA) to treat and dispose of RCRA and TSCA wastes, as 
well as a wide range of low-activity radioactive wastes and other 
wastes. The operating disposal area includes two active landfill 
disposal cells and four surface impoundment disposal units. The site is 
located in the semi-arid Owyhee Desert where there is limited 
precipitation. The site's arid climate, deep groundwater, and favorable 
soil and geologic conditions serve to promote waste isolation.
    The information on environmental impacts presented in the EA is 
focused on those environmental resource areas for which the NRC staff 
understands that potential impacts of the proposed

[[Page 65392]]

action could occur. Both potential radiological and non-radiological 
impacts were considered. If the NRC grants the exemption, the low-
activity SLC waste would be disposed of at the USEI site. The USEI site 
includes an operating disposal facility, and disposition of the low-
activity SLC waste would occur in an existing waste disposal cell at 
the site. The NRC staff concludes that USEI facility's RCRA permit 
requirements, site and facility design features, and engineering and 
administrative controls ensure the protection of workers, members of 
the public, and the environment. Also, prior major earth disturbances 
to create the waste disposal cell and other site facilities, and 
ongoing site operations associated with waste handling and disposal 
would preclude the existence of listed threatened or endangered species 
or critical habitat and of historic properties.
    The US Ecology request (ADAMS Accession No. ML13198A017) includes a 
radiological dose assessment for the transport and disposal of the SLC 
waste material. According to 10 CFR 20.2002, the analysis must show 
that the radiological doses arising from the proposed action will be 
ALARA and within the 10 CFR part 20 dose limits. The dose assessment 
evaluates worker doses for transporting the material to USEI, doses for 
the onsite workers at the USEI facility, and landfill post closure 
doses for members of the general public. The analysis used Microshield 
and RESRAD Version 6.5, as appropriate, to calculate the doses. The NRC 
staff reviewed and evaluated this dose assessment and performed 
independent dose calculations, and found the dose assessment to be 
acceptable under 10 CFR part 20.
    The dose assessment uses a conservative source term and site-
specific parameter values, and assessed a range of possible exposure 
scenarios. Estimated doses to workers associated with both the 
transport and disposal processes were all below 0.01 millisievert/year 
(mSv/yr) (1 millirem/year (mrem/yr)). Regardless of the radionuclide 
concentrations used, the post-closure dose to a member of the public 
was also below 0.01 mSv/yr (1 mrem/yr). By comparison, the 10 CFR part 
20 dose limits, as total effective dose equivalents, are 50 mSv/yr 
(5000 mrem/yr) to workers (10 CFR 20.1201(a)(1)(i)) and 1 mSv/yr (100 
mrem/yr) to individual members of the public (10 CFR 20.1301(a)(1)). 
Also, based on the results of these analyses, the staff concludes that 
the proposed disposal action will not significantly add to the annual 
cumulative dose from all exempted and naturally occurring radioactive 
material received at the USEI disposal facility.
    As a result of the dose assessment and other considerations, the 
staff concludes that the exemption of the USEI site from NRC licensing 
requirements will not significantly increase the probability or 
consequences of accidents, no changes are being made in the types of 
any effluents that may be released off site, and there is no 
significant increase in occupational or public radiation exposure.
    The staff considered the no-action alternative as an alternative to 
the proposed action. Under the no-action alternative, the NRC would 
deny the present US Ecology exemption request and the SLC waste could 
not be received and disposed at the USEI RCRA disposal facility. 
However, the staff assumes that the subject SLC waste would still be 
generated under the USEPA's CERCLA response action and, for this 
response action to be in compliance with the OSR, the SLC waste would 
still need to be transported to and disposed at another acceptable 
offsite facility. This facility could be another appropriately 
permitted disposal site, such as another RCRA hazardous disposal 
facility, a municipal landfill, or a licensed LLRW disposal site. Under 
these circumstances, the potential environmental impacts of the 
proposed action and the no-action alternative at the disposal 
facilities would be similar, although denial of the US Ecology request 
by the NRC may result in delayed demolition of the structures at the 
SLC site or delayed offsite shipment of the demolition wastes, 
potentially resulting in increased exposure of site workers and members 
of the public to the low-activity materials. Also, disposal of the 
material at a LLRW disposal facility would be at higher cost than at a 
RCRA hazardous waste landfill or municipal landfill permitted to accept 
low-activity radioactive wastes but with little or no commensurate 
reduction of risk, and disposal in a RCRA hazardous waste or municipal 
landfill would conserve LLRW disposal capacity for higher activity 
wastes.

III. Finding of No Significant Impact

    The NRC staff has prepared an EA in support of the proposed action. 
The staff has concluded that the proposed action, for the NRC to grant 
an exemption from licensing for the USEI RCRA Subtitle C hazardous and 
low-activity radioactive waste facility to receive and dispose of 
specified low-activity radioactive wastes from the SLC Superfund Site, 
will not significantly impact the quality of the human environment, and 
that the proposed action is the preferred alternative. The USEI site 
includes an operating disposal facility where the low-activity SLC 
waste would be disposed of pursuant to a RCRA permit in an existing 
waste disposal cell. The protection of workers, members of the public, 
and the environment are ensured by USEI permit requirements, site and 
facility design features, and engineering and administrative controls. 
Further, estimated radiological doses associated with transport and 
disposal of the waste to workers and members of the public would be 
below 0.01 mSv/yr (1 mrem/yr), which is orders of magnitude below the 
10 CFR part 20 dose limits of 50 mSv/yr (5000 mrem/yr) to workers and 1 
mSv/yr (100 mrem/yr) to individual members of the public. Also, the 
staff concludes that the proposed disposal action will not 
significantly add to the annual cumulative dose from all exempted and 
naturally occurring radioactive material received at the USEI disposal 
facility.
    On the basis of the conclusion of the EA, the NRC finds that there 
are no significant environmental impacts from the proposed action, and 
that preparation of an environmental impact statement is not warranted. 
Accordingly, the NRC has determined that a Finding of No Significant 
Impact is appropriate.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 25th day of October 2013.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Kevin Hsueh,
Acting Deputy Director, Environmental Protection and Performance 
Directorate, Division of Waste Management and Environmental Protection, 
Office of Federal and State Materials and Environmental Management 
Programs.
[FR Doc. 2013-25965 Filed 10-30-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7590-01-P