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Notice of Availability of Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact for License Amendment to Source Materials License No. Stc-133, for Unrestricted Release of the Defense Logistics Agency's Curtis Bay Depot Facility In Baltimore, MD

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION:

Issuance of Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact for License Amendment.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Steve Hammann, Health Physicist, Commercial and R&D Branch, Division of Nuclear Materials Safety, Region I, 475 Allendale Road, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, 19406; telephone 610-337-5399; fax number 610-337-5269; or by e-mail: stephen.hammann@nrc.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Introduction

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is considering the issuance of a license amendment to Source Materials License No. STC-133. This license is held by Defense Logistics Agency (the Licensee), for its Curtis Bay Depot (the Facility), located at 710 Ordnance Road in Baltimore, Maryland. Issuance of the amendment would authorize release of the Facility for Start Printed Page 41460unrestricted use. The Licensee requested this action in a letter dated February 3, 2006. The NRC has prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) in support of this proposed action in accordance with the requirements of Title 10, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 51 (10 CFR Part 51). Based on the EA, the NRC has concluded that a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) is appropriate with respect to the proposed action. The amendment will be issued to the Licensee following the publication of this FONSI and EA in the Federal Register.

II. Environmental Assessment

Identification of Proposed Action

The proposed action would approve the Licensee's February 3, 2006, license amendment request, resulting in release of the Facility for unrestricted use. License No. STC-133 was issued on February 14, 1957, pursuant to 10 CFR Part 40, and has been amended periodically since that time. This license authorized the Licensee to possess natural uranium and thorium mixtures as ores, concentrates, and solids for the purpose of storage, sampling, repackaging, and transfer for the activities of the National Defense Stockpile.

The Facility is situated on approximately 483 acres of grassy open areas and some lightly wooded areas and consists of various building pads, buildings and warehouses, some functional and others in a serious state of disrepair. A number of paved and dirt roads, along with railroad tracks, traverse the site. The Facility is located in an industrial area. Within the Facility, use of licensed materials was confined to buildings 1022, A-921, B-911, B-912, B-913, F-731, F-734, F-735, F-736, F-737, G-721, H-711, H-712, H-713, H-714, H-715, and the waste burial pit.

In May 2005, the Licensee ceased licensed activities and initiated a survey and decontamination of the Facility. The Licensee conducted surveys of the Facility and provided information to the NRC to demonstrate that it meets the criteria in Subpart E of 10 CFR Part 20 for unrestricted release.

Need for the Proposed Action

The Licensee has ceased conducting licensed activities at the Facility and seeks the unrestricted use of its Facility.

Environmental Impacts of the Proposed Action

The historical review of licensed activities conducted at the Facility shows that such activities involved use of the following licensed materials with half-lives greater than 120 days: thorium and uranium in the form of thorium nitrate, monazite sand, and sodium sulfate. Prior to performing the final status survey, the Licensee conducted decontamination activities, as necessary, in the areas of the Facility affected by these materials.

The Licensee conducted a final status survey which encompassed the entire facility. The final status survey report was attached to the Licensee's letter dated January 11, 2008. The Licensee elected to demonstrate compliance with the radiological criteria for unrestricted release as specified in 10 CFR 20.1402 by developing derived concentration guideline levels (DCGLs) for its Facility. The Licensee conducted site-specific dose modeling using input parameters specific to the Facility that adequately bounded the potential dose. This included dose modeling for two scenarios: building surfaces and soil. The building surface dose model was based on the warehouse worker scenario and the soil dose modeling was based on a resident farmer scenario. The Licensee thus determined the maximum amount of residual radioactivity on building surfaces, equipment, materials, and soils that will satisfy the NRC requirements in Subpart E of 10 CFR Part 20 for unrestricted release. The NRC previously reviewed the Licensee's methodology and proposed DCGLs and concluded that the proposed DCGLs are acceptable for use as release criteria at the Facility. The NRC's approval of the Licensee's proposed DCGLs was published in the Federal Register on June 22, 2007. The Licensee's final status survey results were below these DCGLs and are thus acceptable.

The NRC staff conducted confirmatory surveys on April 3-4, 2007; May 3, 2007; July 11, 2007, and November 30, 2007. None of the confirmatory sample results exceeded the DCGLs established for the Facility. Based on its review, the staff has determined that the affected environment and any environmental impacts associated with the proposed action are bounded by the impacts evaluated by the “Generic Environmental Impact Statement in Support of Rulemaking on Radiological Criteria for License Termination of NRC-Licensed Nuclear Facilities” (NUREG-1496) Volumes 1-3 (ML042310492, ML042320379, and ML042330385). The Licensee also considered and appropriately accounted for the dose contribution from previous site releases. The staff finds there were no significant environmental impacts from the use of radioactive material at the Facility. The NRC staff reviewed the docket file records and the final status survey report to identify any non-radiological hazards that may have impacted the environment surrounding the Facility. No such hazards or impacts to the environment were identified. The NRC has identified no other radiological or non-radiological activities in the area that could result in cumulative environmental impacts.

The NRC staff finds that the proposed release of the Facility for unrestricted use and the termination of the NRC materials license is in compliance with 10 CFR 20.1402, including the impact of residual radioactivity at previously-released site locations of use. Based on its review, the staff considered the impact of the residual radioactivity at the Facility and concluded that the proposed action will not have a significant effect on the quality of the human environment.

Environmental Impacts of the Alternatives to the Proposed Action

Due to the largely administrative nature of the proposed action, its environmental impacts are small. Therefore, the only alternative the staff considered is the no-action alternative, under which the staff would leave things as they are by simply denying the amendment request. This no-action alternative is not feasible because it conflicts with 10 CFR 40.42(d), requiring that decommissioning of source material facilities be completed and approved by the NRC after licensed activities cease. The NRC's analysis of the Licensee's final status survey data confirmed that the Facility meets the requirements of 10 CFR 20.1402 for unrestricted release. Additionally, denying the amendment request would result in no change in current environmental impacts. The environmental impacts of the proposed action and the no-action alternative are therefore similar, and the no-action alternative is accordingly not further considered.

Conclusion

The NRC staff has concluded that the proposed action is consistent with the NRC's unrestricted release criteria specified in 10 CFR 20.1402. Because the proposed action will not significantly impact the quality of the human environment, the NRC staff concludes that the proposed action is the preferred alternative.

Agencies and Persons Consulted

NRC provided a draft of this Environmental Assessment to the Maryland Department of the Start Printed Page 41461Environment for review on June 19, 2009. On July 23, 2009, the Maryland Department of the Environment responded by e-mail. The State agreed with the conclusions of the EA and otherwise had no comments.

The NRC staff has determined that the proposed action is of a procedural nature, and will not affect listed species or critical habitat. Therefore, no further consultation is required under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act. The NRC staff has also determined that the proposed action is not the type of activity that has the potential to cause effects on historic properties. Therefore, no further consultation is required under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.

III. Finding of No Significant Impact

The NRC staff has prepared this EA in support of the proposed action. On the basis of this 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.

IV. Further Information

Documents related to this action, including the application for license amendment and supporting documentation, are available electronically at the NRC's Electronic Reading Room at http://www.nrc.gov/​reading-rm/​adams.html. From this site, you can access the NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS), which provides text and image files of NRC's public documents. The documents related to this action are listed below, along with their ADAMS accession numbers.

1. NUREG-1757, “Consolidated NMSS Decommissioning Guidance”

2. Title 10 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 20, Subpart E, “Radiological Criteria for License Termination”

3. Title 10, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 51, “Environmental Protection Regulations for Domestic Licensing and Related Regulatory Functions”

4. NUREG-1496, “Generic Environmental Impact Statement in Support of Rulemaking on Radiological Criteria for License Termination of NRC-Licensed Nuclear Facilities”

5. Submittal Letter dated February 3, 2006: ML060580094.

6. Historical Site Assessment: ML060580564.

7. Preliminary Site Specific Derived Concentration Guidelines: ML060580566.

8. Radiological Scoping Survey: ML060580581.

9. Environmental Assessment, Disposition of Thorium Nitrate: ML060580592.

10. Request for Additional Information dated June 12, 2006: ML061640494.

11. Deficiency Response Letter dated July 5, 2006: ML061870570.

12. Deficiency Response Letter dated August 8, 2006: ML062290404.

13. Characterization Survey Report: ML062650300.

14. Decommissioning/Remediation Plan: ML062760618.

15. Receipt of Decommissioning Plan: ML062930051.

16. Federal Register Notice of Consideration: ML070230235.

17. Request For Additional Information dated December 11, 2009: ML083460027.

18. Deficiency Response Letter dated May 19, 2009: ML091410338.

If you do not have access to ADAMS, or if there are problems in accessing the documents located in ADAMS, contact the NRC Public Document Room (PDR) Reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-4737, or by e-mail to pdr@nrc.gov. These documents may also be viewed electronically on the public computers located at the NRC's PDR, O 1 F21, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852. The PDR reproduction contractor will copy documents for a fee.

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Dated at Region I, 475 Allendale Road, King of Prussia, PA, this 7th day of August 2009.

For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

James P. Dwyer,

Chief, Commercial and R&D Branch, Division of Nuclear Materials Safety, Region I.

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[FR Doc. E9-19648 Filed 8-14-09; 8:45 am]

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