The Environmental Journal of Southern Appalachia

Displaying items by tag: oak ridge, tn

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Potential water runoff issues stall future Oak Ridge landfill construction

OAK RIDGE — A landfill intended to hold potentially toxic debris from the demolition of legacy Oak Ridge research facilities is moving forward but construction won’t start until it is definitively determined whether the site could pollute ground and surface water.

As reported previously by Hellbenderpress, environmentalists fear toxins leaking out of the proposed landfill could contaminate waterways and make their way into fish that people might catch downstream. The landfill’s contractor, however, said leaving buildings full of toxic residue standing may be more dangerous for workers and nearby residents and the landfill will help get the buildings quickly demolished. The contractor is doing a mock-up study this year to see how best to handle water issues on the future landfill site.

This summer, the contractor United Cleanup Oak Ridge LLC will choose a subcontractor and do field work. Ben Williams, the Department of Energy’s public affairs specialist, said roads and utilities will need to move to get the site ready at that time. But UCOR stated it won’t build the landfill until after a water study spanning “two wet seasons,” beginning later this year. 

Published in News

Exercise your body and your mind during a ranger-guided hike starting at 10 a.m. July 17 along the Cedar Hill Greenway in Oak Ridge that will examine the local features of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park.

The “Secret City,” replete with housing, schools and shopping for a massive workforce, was carved out of largely rugged wilderness and farms during World War II to support the development of the first atomic bombs, known as the Manhattan Project. 

The historical park, formed in November 2015, is actually a national collection of sites, including Oak Ridge, Los Alamos and Hartford, that highlights features of the various communities, labs and reservations involved in the early development of atomic weapons and energy.

Rangers will share the story of the early days of 1940s-era Oak Ridge and Clinton Engineer Works, including the town’s nascent school system, which went on to become one of the best in the state and region. Its STEM programs are nationally recognized. Nuclear engineering work continues today at Y-12 National Security Complex. Oak Ridge National Laboratory is a modern leader in scientific research and applications, ranging from high-speed computing to biology.

The 2.5-mile group hike begins, appropriately enough, at the site of the former Cedar Hill Elementary School (attended for a period by the editor of Hellbender Press) at the intersection of Outer Drive and Michigan Avenue.

The greenway hike may prove moderately difficult for some; so bring water and wear sunscreen and good shoes. 

Call (865) 482-1942 for more information.

Published in Event Archive