Proposed Baseline Approval of the Contact-Handled Transuranic Waste Characterization Program Implemented at the Department of Energy's Savannah River Site, 19262-19265 [2021-07485]

Download as PDF 19262 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 69 / Tuesday, April 13, 2021 / Notices Estimated number of respondents: 7. Frequency of response: Semiannually. Estimated Annual burden: 1,470 hours. Estimated Annual cost: $95,500, includes no annualized capital or O&M costs. Changes in Estimates: There is no change in burden from the previous ICR. Dated: April 5, 2021. Penny Lassiter, Director, Sector Policies and Programs Division. [FR Doc. 2021–07562 Filed 4–12–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560–50–P ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA–HQ–ORD–2015–0467; FRL–10022–36– ORD] Board of Scientific Counselors (BOSC) Safe and Sustainable Water Resources Subcommittee Meeting—May 2021 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ACTION: Notice of public meeting. AGENCY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Office of Research and Development (ORD), gives notice of a series of virtual meetings of the Board of Scientific Counselors (BOSC) Safe and Sustainable Water Resources (SSWR) Subcommittee to discuss water treatment and infrastructure. DATES: 1. The initial meeting will be held over two days via videoconference: a. Wednesday, May 26, 2021, from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. (EDT); and b. Thursday, May 27, 2021, from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. (EDT). Attendees must register by May 25, 2021. 2. A BOSC deliberation will be held on June 22, 2021, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. (EDT). Attendees must register by June 21, 2021. 3. A final summary teleconference will be held on June 29, 2021, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. (EDT). Attendees must register by June 28, 2021. Meeting times are subject to change. This series of meetings is open to the public. Comments must be received by May 25, 2021, to be considered by the subcommittee. Requests for the draft agenda or making a presentation at the meeting will be accepted until May 25, 2021. ADDRESSES: Instructions on how to connect to the videoconference will be provided upon registration at: https:// www.eventbrite.com/e/us-epa-bosc-safeand-sustainable-water-resources- jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:42 Apr 12, 2021 Jkt 253001 subcommittee-meeting-tickets142587379691. Submit your comments to Docket ID No. EPA–HQ–ORD–2015–0467 by one of the following methods: • www.regulations.gov: Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. D Note: Comments submitted to the www.regulations.gov website are anonymous unless identifying information is included in the body of the comment. • Email: Send comments by electronic mail (email) to: ORD.Docket@ epa.gov, Attention Docket ID No. EPA– HQ–ORD–2015–0467. D Note: Comments submitted via email are not anonymous. The sender’s email will be included in the body of the comment and placed in the public docket which is made available on the internet. Instructions: All comments received, including any personal information provided, will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at www.regulations.gov. Information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute will not be included in the public docket, and should not be submitted through www.regulations.gov or email. For additional information about the EPA’s public docket visit the EPA Docket Center homepage at http:// www.epa.gov/dockets/. Public Docket: Publicly available docket materials may be accessed Online at www.regulations.gov. Copyrighted materials in the docket are only available via hard copy. The telephone number for the ORD Docket Center is (202) 566–1752. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: The Designated Federal Officer (DFO), Tom Tracy, via phone/voicemail at: (202) 564–6518; or via email at: tracy.tom@ epa.gov. Any member of the public interested in receiving a draft agenda, attending the meeting, or making a presentation at the meeting should contact Tom Tracy no later than May 25, 2021. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Board of Scientific Counselors (BOSC) is a federal advisory committee that provides advice and recommendations to EPA’s Office of Research and Development on technical and management issues of its research programs. The meeting agenda and materials will be posted to https:// www.epa.gov/bosc. Proposed agenda items for the meeting include, but are not limited to, PO 00000 Frm 00052 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 the following: Water treatment and infrastructure. Information on Services Available: For information on translation services, access, or services for individuals with disabilities, please contact Tom Tracy at (202) 564–6518 or tracy.tom@epa.gov. To request accommodation of a disability, please contact Tom Tracy at least ten days prior to the meeting to give the EPA adequate time to process your request. Authority: Pub. L. 92–463, 1, Oct. 6, 1972, 86 Stat. 770. Mary Ross, Director, Office of Science Advisor, Policy and Engagement. [FR Doc. 2021–07480 Filed 4–12–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560–50–P ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA–HQ–OAR–2021–0233; 10022–32–OAR] Proposed Baseline Approval of the Contact-Handled Transuranic Waste Characterization Program Implemented at the Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ACTION: Notice of availability; opening of a 45-day public comment period. AGENCY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or the Agency) is announcing the availability of, and soliciting public comments on, the proposed ‘‘baseline’’ approval of the contact-handled (CH) transuranic (TRU) debris waste characterization program implemented by the Central Characterization Program (CCP) at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Savannah River Site (SRS), in Aiken, South Carolina. The inspections supporting this proposed baseline approval took place from November 30 through December 2, 2020, remotely and at SRS. The EPA identified no findings or concerns and proposes to approve the SRS CH TRU debris waste characterization program. The EPA’s report documenting the inspection results and proposed baseline approval is available for review in the public docket listed in the ADDRESSES section of this document. Until the Agency finalizes its baseline approval decision, the DOE Carlsbad Field Office may not certify SRS’ waste characterization program and the site may not ship transuranic waste to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant for disposal. DATES: Comments must be received on or before May 28, 2021. SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\13APN1.SGM 13APN1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 69 / Tuesday, April 13, 2021 / Notices ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA–HQ– OAR–2021–0233, to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or withdrawn. The EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not electronically submit any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e., on the web, cloud or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit: http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/ commenting-epa-dockets. 2. Tips for Preparing Your Comments. When submitting comments, remember to: • Identify the rulemaking by docket number EPA–HQ–OAR–2021–0233 and other identifying information (subject heading, Federal Register date and page number). • Follow directions: The Agency may ask you to respond to specific questions or organize comments by referencing a Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) part or section number. • Explain why you agree or disagree; suggest alternatives and substitute language for your requested changes. • Describe any assumptions and provide any technical information and/ or data that you used. • If you estimate potential costs or burdens, explain how you arrived at your estimate in sufficient detail to allow for it to be reproduced. • Provide specific examples to illustrate your concerns and suggest alternatives. • Explain your views as clearly as possible, avoiding the use of profanity or personal threats. • Make sure to submit your comments by the comment period deadline identified. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: II. Background The DOE operates the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) facility near Carlsbad in southeastern New Mexico as a deep geologic repository for disposal of defense-related TRU radioactive waste. TRU waste contains more than 100 nanocuries of alpha-emitting TRU isotopes, with half-lives greater than twenty years, per gram of waste. Much of the existing TRU waste, which may also be contaminated with hazardous chemicals, consists of items contaminated during the production of nuclear weapons, such as debris waste (rags, equipment, tools) and solid waste (sludges, soil). Section 8(d)(2) of the WIPP Land Withdrawal Act (LWA) of 1992 provided that the EPA would certify whether the WIPP facility will comply with the Agency’s final disposal regulations, later codified at 40 CFR part 191, subparts B and C. On May 13, 1998, the Agency announced its final compliance certification to the Secretary of Energy (published May 18, 1998; 63 FR 27354), certifying that the WIPP will comply with the disposal regulations. The EPA’s certification of the WIPP was subject to various conditions, including conditions concerning quality assurance and waste characterization relating to EPA inspections, evaluations and approvals of the site-specific TRU waste characterization programs to ensure Edward Feltcorn (202–343–9422) or Jerry Ellis (202–564–2766), Radiation Protection Division, Center for Waste Management and Regulations, Mail Code 6608T, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC 20460; email addresses: feltcorn.ed@epa.gov or ellis.jerry@epa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. General Information jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES A. What should I consider as I prepare my comments for EPA? 1. Submitting CBI. Do not submit this information to the EPA through www.regulations.gov or email. Clearly mark the part or all of the information that you claim to be CBI. For CBI information in a disk or CD ROM that you mail to the EPA, mark the outside of the disk or CD ROM as CBI and then identify electronically within the files on the disk or CD ROM the specific information that is claimed as CBI. In addition to one complete version of the comment that includes information claimed as CBI, a copy of the comment that does not contain the information claimed as CBI must be submitted for inclusion in the public docket. Information so marked will not be disclosed except in accordance with procedures set forth in 40 CFR part 2. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:42 Apr 12, 2021 Jkt 253001 PO 00000 Frm 00053 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 19263 compliance with various EPA regulatory requirements, including those at 40 CFR 194.8, 194.22(a)(2)(i), 194.22(c)(4), 194.24(c)(3) and 194.24(c)(5). In addition, under the LWA, the initial WIPP certification was subject to quinquennial (every five years) recertification by the Agency. The EPA’s inspection and approval processes for waste generator sites, including quality assurance and waste characterization programs, are described at 40 CFR 194.8. The Agency has discretion in establishing technical priorities, the ability to accommodate variation in the site’s waste characterization capabilities, and flexibility in scheduling site waste characterization inspections. In accordance with the conditions in the WIPP compliance certification and relevant regulatory provisions, including 40 CFR 194.8, the EPA conducts ‘‘baseline’’ inspections at waste generator sites, as well as subsequent inspections to confirm continued compliance. As part of a baseline inspection, the EPA evaluates each waste characterization process component (equipment, procedures and personnel training and experience) for adequacy and appropriateness in characterizing TRU waste intended for disposal at the WIPP. During the inspection, the site demonstrates its capabilities to characterize TRU waste(s) and its ability to comply with the regulatory limits and tracking requirements under § 194.24. The baseline inspection can result in approval with limitations and conditions or may require follow-up inspection(s) before approval. Within the approval documentation, the EPA specifies what subsequent program changes should be reported to the Agency, referred to as Tier 1 (T1) or Tier 2 (T2) changes, depending largely on the anticipated effect of the changes on data quality. A T1 designation requires that the DOE Carlsbad Field Office (CBFO) provide to the EPA documentation on proposed changes to the approved components of an individual sitespecific waste characterization process (such as radioassay equipment), which the Agency must approve before the change can be implemented. Tier 2 designated changes are minor changes to the approved components of individual waste characterization processes (such as visual examination procedures) which must also be reported to the EPA, but the site may implement such changes without awaiting Agency approval. After receiving notification of T1 changes, the EPA may choose to inspect the site to E:\FR\FM\13APN1.SGM 13APN1 19264 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 69 / Tuesday, April 13, 2021 / Notices evaluate technical adequacy. The inspections conducted to evaluate T1 or T2 changes are under the authority of the EPA’s WIPP compliance certification conditions and regulations, including 40 CFR 194.8 and 194.24(h). In addition to follow-up inspections, the EPA may opt to conduct continued compliance inspections at TRU waste sites with a baseline approval under the authority of the WIPP compliance certification regulations, including § 194.24(h). In accordance with 40 CFR 194.8, the EPA issues a Federal Register notice proposing a baseline compliance decision, dockets the inspection report for public review, and seeks public comment on the proposed decision for a minimum period of 45 days. The report describes the waste characterization processes the Agency inspected at the site, as well as their compliance with 40 CFR 194.8 and 194.24 requirements. A. Proposed Baseline Decision This notice announces the EPA’s proposed baseline approval of the CH TRU waste characterization program implemented by the CCP at the DOE’s SRS in Aiken, South Carolina. In accordance with 40 CFR 194.8(b), the EPA conducted Baseline Inspection No. SRS–CCP–CH–Baseline–2020 on November 30 through December 2, 2020, remotely and at SRS. Upon EPA’s final approval, DOE may emplace SRS– CCP CH TRU waste in the WIPP. SRS was constructed during the early 1950s to produce the basic materials used in the fabrication of nuclear weapons, primarily tritium and plutonium-239, in support of the national defense program. Its main focus has been to develop technical solutions to support national security and to counter national and international threats. Site activities support national needs in the areas of nuclear weapons, nonproliferation and assessments, military technologies and applications, energy and infrastructure assurance, and homeland security. The EPA had initially approved a CH TRU waste characterization program at SRS in July 2006. The DOE suspended waste characterization activities at SRS in February 2016. On October 1, 2020, the DOE’s CBFO informed the Agency that SRS–CCP resumed waste characterization activities; CBFO then notified the EPA that SRS–CCP would be ready for an inspection in November 2020. The EPA then concluded that a new baseline inspection and approval would be necessary. The EPA is proposing to approve the SRS–CCP waste characterization program implemented to characterize CH TRU waste as documented in the accompanying inspection report. Specifically, the proposed approval includes: (1) The Acceptable Knowledge process for characterizing SRS CH TRU waste. (2) The nondestructive assay systems for measuring the radioactivity in SRS CH TRU waste. (3) The Visual Examination nondestructive examination process to identify waste material parameters (WMPs) and the physical form of SRS CH TRU waste. (4) The Real-Time Radiography (RTR) nondestructive examination process to identify WMPs and the physical form of SRS CH TRU waste using the RTR2 unit. Any changes to the waste characterization activities after the date of the baseline inspection must be reported to and, if applicable, approved by the EPA according to Table 1 below. All T1 changes must be submitted for approval before their implementation and will be evaluated by the EPA. Upon approval, the Agency will post the results of the evaluations in the EPA’s general WIPP docket at regulations.gov (Docket No. EPA–HQ–OAR–2001– 0012). SRS–CCP must submit T2 changes at the end of the fiscal year quarter in which they were implemented. The EPA’s final approval decision regarding the SRS–CCP CH waste characterization program will be conveyed to the DOE separately by letter following the EPA’s review of public comments received in response to this notice and proposed approval discussed in the inspection report. This information will be provided through the EPA’s WIPP docket provided for this action at regulations.gov (Docket No. EPA–HQ–OAR–2021–0233), in accordance with 40 CFR 194.8(b)(3). A summary table of the status of all WIPPrelated EPA inspections can also be found on the EPA website at https:// www.epa.gov/radiation/waste-isolationpilot-plant-wipp-inspections, and any interested party can get these and other WIPP updates via the Agency’s WIPP– NEWS website (https://www.epa.gov/ radiation/wipp-news). Individuals may also subscribe to the WIPP–NEWS email listserv using the instructions on the website. TABLE 1—TIERING OF CONTACT-HANDLED TRANSURANIC WASTE CHARACTERIZATION PROCESSES IMPLEMENTED BY SRS– CCP jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES [November 30–December 2, 2020, SRS baseline inspection] Process elements SRS–CCP CH waste characterization process—T1 changes Acceptable Knowledge .............. Implementation of payload management ...................................... Nondestructive Assay ................ New equipment or substantive physical modifications ** to approved equipment. Extension of or changes to approved calibration ranges for approved equipment. Visual Examination .................... Real-time Radiography .............. Any use of Visual Examination for CH wastes ............................. RTR by any process other than CCP–TP–053 ............................ VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:42 Apr 12, 2021 Jkt 253001 PO 00000 Frm 00054 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 SRS–CCP CH waste characterization process—T2 changes * Submission of a list of active SRS–CCP CH AK Experts and Site Project Managers. Notification to the EPA upon availability of or substantive modification ** to: • AK summary reports (e.g., CCP–AK–SRS–4). • AK accuracy reports (annually, at a minimum). • Waste stream profile forms and any associated change notices. • Site AK procedures requiring CBFO approval.*** Submission of a list of SRS–CCP NDA operators, expert analysts and independent technical reviewers that performed work during the previous quarter. Relocation of the MILCC6 from its current location at SRS. Notification to the EPA upon substantive modification ** to: • Software for approved equipment. • Operating ranges upon CBFO approval. • Site NDA procedures requiring CBFO approval.*** None. New RTR equipment operated in accordance with procedure CCP–TP–053. Relocation of approved RTR8 from its current location at SRS. E:\FR\FM\13APN1.SGM 13APN1 19265 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 69 / Tuesday, April 13, 2021 / Notices TABLE 1—TIERING OF CONTACT-HANDLED TRANSURANIC WASTE CHARACTERIZATION PROCESSES IMPLEMENTED BY SRS– CCP—Continued [November 30–December 2, 2020, SRS baseline inspection] Process elements SRS–CCP CH waste characterization process—T1 changes SRS–CCP CH waste characterization process—T2 changes * Submission of a list of SRS–CCP RTR operators and independent technical reviewers that performed work during the previous quarter. Notification to the EPA upon substantive modification ** to site RTR procedures requiring CBFO approval.*** * SRS–CCP will report all unmarked T2 changes to the EPA every three months. ** ‘‘Substantive modification’’ refers to a change with the potential to affect SRS–CCP’s CH waste characterization processes or documentation of them, excluding changes that are solely related to the environment, safety and health; nuclear safety; or the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act; or that are editorial in nature or are required to address administrative concerns. The EPA may request copies of new references that the DOE adds during a document revision. *** Site procedures include any procedures used by SRS–CCP personnel that require Carlsbad Field Office (CBFO) approval. This includes SRS–CCP-specific procedures as well as applicable CCP-wide procedures. III. Availability of the Baseline Inspection Report and Proposed Approval for Public Comment • Mail: Manny Cabeza (202–898– 3767), Regulatory Counsel, MB–3128, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, 550 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20429. • Hand Delivery: Comments may be hand-delivered to the guard station at the rear of the 17th Street NW building (located on F Street), on business days between 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. All comments should refer to the relevant OMB control number. A copy of the comments may also be submitted to the OMB desk officer for the FDIC: Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, New Executive Office Building, Washington, DC 20503. the ADDRESSES section of this document). The EPA has placed the report discussing the results of the inspection of the CH TRU waste characterization program at SRS in the public docket as described in the ADDRESSES section of this document. In accordance with 40 CFR 194.8, the Agency is providing the public 45 days to comment on this and other documents and the EPA’s proposed decision to approve the SRS CH TRU waste characterization program. The Agency will accept public comment on this notice and supplemental information as described in Section I above. At the end of the public comment period, the EPA will evaluate all relevant public comments and, as the Agency may deem appropriate and necessary, revise the report and proposed decision or take other appropriate action. If the EPA concludes that there are no unresolved issues after the public comment period, the Agency will issue an approval letter and the final report. The letter of approval will authorize the DOE to use the approved waste characterization processes to characterize CH TRU waste at SRS. Information on the approval decision will be filed in the official public docket opened for this action on www.regulations.gov, Docket ID No. EPA–HQ–OAR–2021–0233 (as listed in Jonathan Edwards, Director, Office of Radiation and Indoor Air. [FR Doc. 2021–07485 Filed 4–12–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560–50–P FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION [OMB No. 3064–0006; –0015; –0019; –0097] Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection Renewal; Comment Request Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). ACTION: Notice and request for comment. AGENCY: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Manny Cabeza, Regulatory Counsel, 202–898–3767, mcabeza@fdic.gov, MB– 3128, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, 550 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20429. The FDIC, as part of its obligations under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the renewal of the existing information collections described below (OMB Control No. 3064–0006; –0015; –0019; –0097). DATES: Comments must be submitted on or before June 14, 2021. ADDRESSES: Interested parties are invited to submit written comments to the FDIC by any of the following methods: • https://www.FDIC.gov/regulations/ laws/federal. • Email: comments@fdic.gov. Include the name and number of the collection in the subject line of the message. SUMMARY: SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Proposal to renew the following currently approved collections of information: 1. Title: Interagency Biographical and Financial Report. OMB Number: 3064–0006. Form Number: 6200/06. Affected Public: Individuals or households; business or other for profit; Insured state nonmember banks and state savings associations. Burden Estimate: SUMMARY OF ANNUAL BURDEN Type of burden Obligation to respond Reporting ................. Mandatory ................ jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES Information collection description Interagency Biographical and Financial Report. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:31 Apr 12, 2021 Jkt 253001 PO 00000 Frm 00055 Fmt 4703 Estimated number of respondents I Sfmt 4703 517 Estimated time per response (hours) Estimated frequency of responses On Occasion ............ I E:\FR\FM\13APN1.SGM 13APN1 I 4.5 Estimated annual burden (hours) I 2,327

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 69 (Tuesday, April 13, 2021)]
[Notices]
[Pages 19262-19265]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-07485]


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

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

[EPA-HQ-OAR-2021-0233; 10022-32-OAR]


Proposed Baseline Approval of the Contact-Handled Transuranic 
Waste Characterization Program Implemented at the Department of 
Energy's Savannah River Site

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Notice of availability; opening of a 45-day public comment 
period.

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

SUMMARY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or the Agency) is 
announcing the availability of, and soliciting public comments on, the 
proposed ``baseline'' approval of the contact-handled (CH) transuranic 
(TRU) debris waste characterization program implemented by the Central 
Characterization Program (CCP) at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) 
Savannah River Site (SRS), in Aiken, South Carolina. The inspections 
supporting this proposed baseline approval took place from November 30 
through December 2, 2020, remotely and at SRS. The EPA identified no 
findings or concerns and proposes to approve the SRS CH TRU debris 
waste characterization program.
    The EPA's report documenting the inspection results and proposed 
baseline approval is available for review in the public docket listed 
in the ADDRESSES section of this document. Until the Agency finalizes 
its baseline approval decision, the DOE Carlsbad Field Office may not 
certify SRS' waste characterization program and the site may not ship 
transuranic waste to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant for disposal.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before May 28, 2021.

[[Page 19263]]


ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-
OAR-2021-0233, to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting 
comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or withdrawn. The 
EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not 
electronically submit any information you consider to be Confidential 
Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is 
restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must 
be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered 
the official comment and should include discussion of all points you 
wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment 
contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e., on the web, 
cloud or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, 
the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia 
submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please 
visit: http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Edward Feltcorn (202-343-9422) or 
Jerry Ellis (202-564-2766), Radiation Protection Division, Center for 
Waste Management and Regulations, Mail Code 6608T, U.S. Environmental 
Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC 20460; 
email addresses: [email protected] or [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. General Information

A. What should I consider as I prepare my comments for EPA?

    1. Submitting CBI. Do not submit this information to the EPA 
through www.regulations.gov or email. Clearly mark the part or all of 
the information that you claim to be CBI. For CBI information in a disk 
or CD ROM that you mail to the EPA, mark the outside of the disk or CD 
ROM as CBI and then identify electronically within the files on the 
disk or CD ROM the specific information that is claimed as CBI. In 
addition to one complete version of the comment that includes 
information claimed as CBI, a copy of the comment that does not contain 
the information claimed as CBI must be submitted for inclusion in the 
public docket. Information so marked will not be disclosed except in 
accordance with procedures set forth in 40 CFR part 2.
    2. Tips for Preparing Your Comments. When submitting comments, 
remember to:
     Identify the rulemaking by docket number EPA-HQ-OAR-2021-
0233 and other identifying information (subject heading, Federal 
Register date and page number).
     Follow directions: The Agency may ask you to respond to 
specific questions or organize comments by referencing a Code of 
Federal Regulations (CFR) part or section number.
     Explain why you agree or disagree; suggest alternatives 
and substitute language for your requested changes.
     Describe any assumptions and provide any technical 
information and/or data that you used.
     If you estimate potential costs or burdens, explain how 
you arrived at your estimate in sufficient detail to allow for it to be 
reproduced.
     Provide specific examples to illustrate your concerns and 
suggest alternatives.
     Explain your views as clearly as possible, avoiding the 
use of profanity or personal threats.
     Make sure to submit your comments by the comment period 
deadline identified.

II. Background

    The DOE operates the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) facility 
near Carlsbad in southeastern New Mexico as a deep geologic repository 
for disposal of defense-related TRU radioactive waste. TRU waste 
contains more than 100 nanocuries of alpha-emitting TRU isotopes, with 
half-lives greater than twenty years, per gram of waste. Much of the 
existing TRU waste, which may also be contaminated with hazardous 
chemicals, consists of items contaminated during the production of 
nuclear weapons, such as debris waste (rags, equipment, tools) and 
solid waste (sludges, soil).
    Section 8(d)(2) of the WIPP Land Withdrawal Act (LWA) of 1992 
provided that the EPA would certify whether the WIPP facility will 
comply with the Agency's final disposal regulations, later codified at 
40 CFR part 191, subparts B and C. On May 13, 1998, the Agency 
announced its final compliance certification to the Secretary of Energy 
(published May 18, 1998; 63 FR 27354), certifying that the WIPP will 
comply with the disposal regulations. The EPA's certification of the 
WIPP was subject to various conditions, including conditions concerning 
quality assurance and waste characterization relating to EPA 
inspections, evaluations and approvals of the site-specific TRU waste 
characterization programs to ensure compliance with various EPA 
regulatory requirements, including those at 40 CFR 194.8, 
194.22(a)(2)(i), 194.22(c)(4), 194.24(c)(3) and 194.24(c)(5). In 
addition, under the LWA, the initial WIPP certification was subject to 
quinquennial (every five years) recertification by the Agency.
    The EPA's inspection and approval processes for waste generator 
sites, including quality assurance and waste characterization programs, 
are described at 40 CFR 194.8. The Agency has discretion in 
establishing technical priorities, the ability to accommodate variation 
in the site's waste characterization capabilities, and flexibility in 
scheduling site waste characterization inspections.
    In accordance with the conditions in the WIPP compliance 
certification and relevant regulatory provisions, including 40 CFR 
194.8, the EPA conducts ``baseline'' inspections at waste generator 
sites, as well as subsequent inspections to confirm continued 
compliance. As part of a baseline inspection, the EPA evaluates each 
waste characterization process component (equipment, procedures and 
personnel training and experience) for adequacy and appropriateness in 
characterizing TRU waste intended for disposal at the WIPP. During the 
inspection, the site demonstrates its capabilities to characterize TRU 
waste(s) and its ability to comply with the regulatory limits and 
tracking requirements under Sec.  194.24. The baseline inspection can 
result in approval with limitations and conditions or may require 
follow-up inspection(s) before approval. Within the approval 
documentation, the EPA specifies what subsequent program changes should 
be reported to the Agency, referred to as Tier 1 (T1) or Tier 2 (T2) 
changes, depending largely on the anticipated effect of the changes on 
data quality.
    A T1 designation requires that the DOE Carlsbad Field Office (CBFO) 
provide to the EPA documentation on proposed changes to the approved 
components of an individual site-specific waste characterization 
process (such as radioassay equipment), which the Agency must approve 
before the change can be implemented. Tier 2 designated changes are 
minor changes to the approved components of individual waste 
characterization processes (such as visual examination procedures) 
which must also be reported to the EPA, but the site may implement such 
changes without awaiting Agency approval. After receiving notification 
of T1 changes, the EPA may choose to inspect the site to

[[Page 19264]]

evaluate technical adequacy. The inspections conducted to evaluate T1 
or T2 changes are under the authority of the EPA's WIPP compliance 
certification conditions and regulations, including 40 CFR 194.8 and 
194.24(h). In addition to follow-up inspections, the EPA may opt to 
conduct continued compliance inspections at TRU waste sites with a 
baseline approval under the authority of the WIPP compliance 
certification regulations, including Sec.  194.24(h).
    In accordance with 40 CFR 194.8, the EPA issues a Federal Register 
notice proposing a baseline compliance decision, dockets the inspection 
report for public review, and seeks public comment on the proposed 
decision for a minimum period of 45 days. The report describes the 
waste characterization processes the Agency inspected at the site, as 
well as their compliance with 40 CFR 194.8 and 194.24 requirements.

A. Proposed Baseline Decision

    This notice announces the EPA's proposed baseline approval of the 
CH TRU waste characterization program implemented by the CCP at the 
DOE's SRS in Aiken, South Carolina. In accordance with 40 CFR 194.8(b), 
the EPA conducted Baseline Inspection No. SRS-CCP-CH-Baseline-2020 on 
November 30 through December 2, 2020, remotely and at SRS. Upon EPA's 
final approval, DOE may emplace SRS-CCP CH TRU waste in the WIPP.
    SRS was constructed during the early 1950s to produce the basic 
materials used in the fabrication of nuclear weapons, primarily tritium 
and plutonium-239, in support of the national defense program. Its main 
focus has been to develop technical solutions to support national 
security and to counter national and international threats. Site 
activities support national needs in the areas of nuclear weapons, 
nonproliferation and assessments, military technologies and 
applications, energy and infrastructure assurance, and homeland 
security.
    The EPA had initially approved a CH TRU waste characterization 
program at SRS in July 2006. The DOE suspended waste characterization 
activities at SRS in February 2016. On October 1, 2020, the DOE's CBFO 
informed the Agency that SRS-CCP resumed waste characterization 
activities; CBFO then notified the EPA that SRS-CCP would be ready for 
an inspection in November 2020. The EPA then concluded that a new 
baseline inspection and approval would be necessary.
    The EPA is proposing to approve the SRS-CCP waste characterization 
program implemented to characterize CH TRU waste as documented in the 
accompanying inspection report. Specifically, the proposed approval 
includes:
    (1) The Acceptable Knowledge process for characterizing SRS CH TRU 
waste.
    (2) The nondestructive assay systems for measuring the 
radioactivity in SRS CH TRU waste.
    (3) The Visual Examination nondestructive examination process to 
identify waste material parameters (WMPs) and the physical form of SRS 
CH TRU waste.
    (4) The Real-Time Radiography (RTR) nondestructive examination 
process to identify WMPs and the physical form of SRS CH TRU waste 
using the RTR2 unit.
    Any changes to the waste characterization activities after the date 
of the baseline inspection must be reported to and, if applicable, 
approved by the EPA according to Table 1 below. All T1 changes must be 
submitted for approval before their implementation and will be 
evaluated by the EPA. Upon approval, the Agency will post the results 
of the evaluations in the EPA's general WIPP docket at regulations.gov 
(Docket No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2001-0012). SRS-CCP must submit T2 changes at 
the end of the fiscal year quarter in which they were implemented.
    The EPA's final approval decision regarding the SRS-CCP CH waste 
characterization program will be conveyed to the DOE separately by 
letter following the EPA's review of public comments received in 
response to this notice and proposed approval discussed in the 
inspection report. This information will be provided through the EPA's 
WIPP docket provided for this action at regulations.gov (Docket No. 
EPA-HQ-OAR-2021-0233), in accordance with 40 CFR 194.8(b)(3). A summary 
table of the status of all WIPP-related EPA inspections can also be 
found on the EPA website at https://www.epa.gov/radiation/waste-isolation-pilot-plant-wipp-inspections, and any interested party can 
get these and other WIPP updates via the Agency's WIPP-NEWS website 
(https://www.epa.gov/radiation/wipp-news). Individuals may also 
subscribe to the WIPP-NEWS email listserv using the instructions on the 
website.

 Table 1--Tiering of Contact-Handled Transuranic Waste Characterization
                    Processes Implemented by SRS-CCP
         [November 30-December 2, 2020, SRS baseline inspection]
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                      SRS-CCP CH waste
                                SRS-CCP CH waste      characterization
      Process elements          characterization     process--T2 changes
                               process--T1 changes            *
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Acceptable Knowledge........  Implementation of     Submission of a list
                               payload management.   of active SRS-CCP
                                                     CH AK Experts and
                                                     Site Project
                                                     Managers.
                                                    Notification to the
                                                     EPA upon
                                                     availability of or
                                                     substantive
                                                     modification ** to:
                                                        AK
                                                        summary reports
                                                        (e.g., CCP-AK-
                                                        SRS-4).
                                                        AK
                                                        accuracy reports
                                                        (annually, at a
                                                        minimum).
                                                        Waste
                                                        stream profile
                                                        forms and any
                                                        associated
                                                        change notices.
                                                        Site AK
                                                        procedures
                                                        requiring CBFO
                                                        approval.***
Nondestructive Assay........  New equipment or      Submission of a list
                               substantive           of SRS-CCP NDA
                               physical              operators, expert
                               modifications ** to   analysts and
                               approved equipment.   independent
                              Extension of or        technical reviewers
                               changes to approved   that performed work
                               calibration ranges    during the previous
                               for approved          quarter.
                               equipment.           Relocation of the
                                                     MILCC6 from its
                                                     current location at
                                                     SRS.
                                                    Notification to the
                                                     EPA upon
                                                     substantive
                                                     modification ** to:
                                                        Software
                                                        for approved
                                                        equipment.
                                                       
                                                        Operating ranges
                                                        upon CBFO
                                                        approval.
                                                        Site NDA
                                                        procedures
                                                        requiring CBFO
                                                        approval.***
Visual Examination..........  Any use of Visual     None.
                               Examination for CH
                               wastes.
Real-time Radiography.......  RTR by any process    New RTR equipment
                               other than CCP-TP-    operated in
                               053.                  accordance with
                                                     procedure CCP-TP-
                                                     053.
                                                    Relocation of
                                                     approved RTR8 from
                                                     its current
                                                     location at SRS.

[[Page 19265]]

 
                                                    Submission of a list
                                                     of SRS-CCP RTR
                                                     operators and
                                                     independent
                                                     technical reviewers
                                                     that performed work
                                                     during the previous
                                                     quarter.
                                                    Notification to the
                                                     EPA upon
                                                     substantive
                                                     modification ** to
                                                     site RTR procedures
                                                     requiring CBFO
                                                     approval.***
------------------------------------------------------------------------
* SRS-CCP will report all unmarked T2 changes to the EPA every three
  months.
** ``Substantive modification'' refers to a change with the potential to
  affect SRS-CCP's CH waste characterization processes or documentation
  of them, excluding changes that are solely related to the environment,
  safety and health; nuclear safety; or the Resource Conservation and
  Recovery Act; or that are editorial in nature or are required to
  address administrative concerns. The EPA may request copies of new
  references that the DOE adds during a document revision.
*** Site procedures include any procedures used by SRS-CCP personnel
  that require Carlsbad Field Office (CBFO) approval. This includes SRS-
  CCP-specific procedures as well as applicable CCP-wide procedures.

III. Availability of the Baseline Inspection Report and Proposed 
Approval for Public Comment

    The EPA has placed the report discussing the results of the 
inspection of the CH TRU waste characterization program at SRS in the 
public docket as described in the ADDRESSES section of this document. 
In accordance with 40 CFR 194.8, the Agency is providing the public 45 
days to comment on this and other documents and the EPA's proposed 
decision to approve the SRS CH TRU waste characterization program. The 
Agency will accept public comment on this notice and supplemental 
information as described in Section I above. At the end of the public 
comment period, the EPA will evaluate all relevant public comments and, 
as the Agency may deem appropriate and necessary, revise the report and 
proposed decision or take other appropriate action. If the EPA 
concludes that there are no unresolved issues after the public comment 
period, the Agency will issue an approval letter and the final report. 
The letter of approval will authorize the DOE to use the approved waste 
characterization processes to characterize CH TRU waste at SRS.
    Information on the approval decision will be filed in the official 
public docket opened for this action on www.regulations.gov, Docket ID 
No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2021-0233 (as listed in the ADDRESSES section of this 
document).

Jonathan Edwards,
Director, Office of Radiation and Indoor Air.
[FR Doc. 2021-07485 Filed 4-12-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6560-50-P