[Federal Register Volume 64, Number 209 (Friday, October 29, 1999)]
[Pages 58384-58385]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 99-28319]



Floodplain Statement of Findings for Fire Protection Systems 
Upgrade at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory

AGENCY: Office of Science, DOE.

ACTION: Floodplain statement of findings.


SUMMARY: This is a Floodplain Statement of Findings for upgrading the 
fire suppression and life safety systems in selected facilities at the 
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Roane and Anderson Counties, 
Tennessee, in accordance with 10 CFR part 1022, Compliance with 
Floodplain/Wetlands Environmental Review Requirements. Fire suppression 
and life safety systems in many ORNL facilities are over 30 years old, 
obsolete, and do not provide adequate fire protection for personnel, 
equipment, and research activities. The installation of below ground 
waterlines would include disturbances of the 100-year floodplain of 
White Oak Creek (WOC). DOE has prepared a floodplain assessment 
describing the possible effects, alternatives, and measures designed to 
avoid or minimize potential harm to floodplains or their flood storage 
potential. DOE will allow 15 days of public review after publication of 
the Statement of Findings before implementation of the proposed action.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Stanley D. Frey, U.S. Department of 
Energy, Post Office Box 2008, Oak Ridge, TN 37831-6269, (423) 576-0136.

REQUIREMENTS, CONTACT: Carol M. Borgstrom, Director, Office of NEPA 
Policy and Assistance, EH-42, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 
Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20585, Telephone: (202) 586-
4600 or (800) 472-2756.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A Notice of Floodplain Involvement was 
published in the Federal Register on September 16, 1999 (64 FR 50277), 
and subsequently a floodplain assessment was prepared. The floodplain 
assessment covers the installation of approximately 7,200 ft of 
underground water mains (16-in-diameter piping installed in a loop 
configuration) in the 6000 Area of ORNL and would include (as detailed 
in the September 16, 1999, notice), but is not limited to: (1) 
Constructing coffer dams or similar structures in WOC and its 
tributaries; (2) routing the stream water around the disturbed channel 
areas by constructing a bypass using a culvert or similar device; (3) 
removing stream bed rock in preparation for the under-creek, 
reinforced-concrete pipe trench; (4) pouring the concrete; (5) 
embedding the pipeline in the concrete structure; (6) covering the 
structure to the level of the original stream bed; and (7) routing the 
stream water back into the stream bed. Activities outside the creek/
stream channel but within the floodplain area would include (1) 
excavating a trench approximately 5 ft wide and 4 ft deep, (2) 
installing the pipeline, and (3) covering the pipe with excavated fill. 
No aboveground structures (i.e., fire hydrants, valves, etc.) would be 
located in the floodplain area.
    Alternatives considered in the assessment were (1) no action, (2) 
installing water mains above the floodplain, (3) installing water mains 
below ground by tunneling beneath the floodplain and creeks, and (4) 
installing water mains below ground to provide water in a dependable 
looped system. The no-action alternative would result in noncompliance 
with DOE Order 420.1 (Facility Safety) and the potential failure of 
fire suppression systems in the 6000 Area of ORNL. Installing water 
mains above the floodplain would require additional equipment and 
material (e.g., force main, insulation, etc.), and the increased number 
of 90-degree turns will increase the possibility of pipe stress-
failure. Tunneling beneath the floodplain, creeks, and wetlands was not 
considered practicable because of the shallow elevation of bed rock and 
the difficulties associated with tunneling when compared to the 
preferred alternative. Therefore, after considering the various 
alternatives and the area to install the water mains, no other 
practicable routes were available that would avoid the floodplain area 
of WOC. The activities addressed by the floodplain assessment will 
result in no measurable impact on floodplain cross-section or flood 
stage, and thus do not increase the risk of flooding.
    Water quality within WOC and its tributaries will be protected 
during excavation to the extent practicable by several measures. 
Administrative controls will be used to stop work during major storm 
events. When excavations would remain exposed overnight, erosion 
controls will be installed to prevent the transport of silt downstream 
by stormwater flows. Additionally, silt dams will be constructed in 
areas where the existing drainage right-of-way route deviates 
significantly from the defined drainage channel. Restoration of 
excavated areas will include grading to avoid steep or vertical slopes, 
and to minimize ponding and backfilling. Areas of exposed soil outside 
the stream channels will be mulched and reseeded with an annual grass 
to minimize erosion and allow the natural seedbank to reestablish 
vegetative cover.
    Equipment and personnel in the floodplain area will be limited in 
accordance with an approved Best Management Practices (BMP) plan, and 
excavated hydric soils will be placed next to the site and reused as 
fill material. In addition, silt fences will be installed to minimize 
runoff into the floodplain in accordance with the BMP.

[[Page 58385]]

Underground piping installation activities addressed in the floodplain 
assessment conform to applicable floodplain protection standards.

    Issued in Oak Ridge, Tennessee on October 20, 1997.
James L. Elmore,
Alternate National Environmental Policy Act Compliance Officer.
[FR Doc. 99-28319 Filed 10-28-99; 8:45 am]