2009 CPEO Military List Archive

From: Lenny Siegel <lsiegel@cpeo.org>
Date: Mon, 7 Dec 2009 15:05:16 -0800 (PST)
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] REGULATION: Los Alamos National Laboratory (NM) groundwater
Time for NMED to protect groundwater from LANL

Opinion by Joni Arends
Santa Fe New Mexican
December 5, 2009

The recent action by the New Mexico Environment Department to fine Los Alamos National Laboratory nearly $1 million for groundwater contamination is important.

This is the seventh fine that taxpayers have had to pay since 2005 when the NMED/LANL consent order was signed, and so far, about $1.3 million has been paid to NMED. The consent order requires LANL to investigate some of its dumps located on the Pajarito Plateau and propose several different remedies to address pollution migration. Federal and state laws are very clear about what is required to protect groundwater, especially for the 21 million cubic feet of hazardous, toxic and radioactive waste buried in poorly monitored dump sites across the Pajarito Plateau.

But there is a dirty little secret: NMED is not requiring LANL to prevent legacy wastes from contaminating groundwater. NMED has not made LANL perform the necessary scientific studies nor provide accurate monitoring of the groundwater as required by law. NMED has approved well-monitoring networks that allow large-scale groundwater contamination to migrate uncontrolled beneath the 40-square-mile facility.


For the entire column, see


Lenny Siegel
Executive Director, Center for Public Environmental Oversight
a project of the Pacific Studies Center
278-A Hope St., Mountain View, CA 94041
Voice: 650/961-8918 or 650/969-1545
Fax: 650/961-8918

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