CCNS NEWS UPDATE
Runs 11/6/15 through 11/13/15
(THEME UP AND UNDER) This is the CCNS News Update, an overview of the latest nuclear safety issues, brought to you every week by Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety. Here is this week’s top headline:
- DOE Extends Public Comment Period for LANL Chromium Plume to Friday, November 13th and NMED Rolls Out Consent Order Agreement on Thursday, November 12th and Friday, November 13th
The Department of Energy (DOE) recently announced its second extension of the public comment period for a draft environmental assessment about the migrating ground water plume containing dangerous levels of hexavalent chromium and perchlorate beneath Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) towards Pueblo de San Ildefonso and Santa Fe’s drinking water wells and the Buckman Direct Diversion Project until Friday, November 13th.
DOE granted the second extension of time because on Friday, October 30th the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) released its draft ground water discharge permit for re-injection of the treated chromium contaminated ground water into the regional drinking water aquifer. Public comments are due the day after Thanksgiving, or on Friday, November 27th. d DP-1835 Reinjection 10-29-15
In addition, on Thursday, November 5th, DOE released its floodplain assessment for land application of treated ground waters for public comment, which are due on Friday, November 20th. Cr Project-Floodplain Notice 11-4-15
CCNS argued that in order for the public to provide informed comments about the draft environmental assessment, it needs to be able to review all of the pieces of the growing regulatory puzzle for the chromium project and asked for more time.
Joni Arends, of CCNS, said, “Even with the additional time, it is not adequate for the public to provide informed comments. DOE is in a hurry to get the necessary paperwork done before the ground freezes. Once it freezes, the outdoor work must stop.”
She added, “DOE should stop the environmental assessment. With the multitude of state permits required for the proposed action, including a permit from the State Engineer which has not been applied for, DOE should prepare an environmental impact statement so that the public can understand the cumulative impacts of the proposal as required by the National Environmental Policy Act, or NEPA.”
The chromium public comment period now ends on Friday, November 13, 2015. Comments may be submitted to DOE by email at CRProjectEA@em.doe.gov
In the meantime, the New Mexico Environment Department, DOE and LANL will be making presentations about a “LANL Consent Order Agreement” on Thursday, November 12th and Friday, November 13th at day-time meetings in the Espanola Valley.
The November 12th meeting of the Northern New Mexico Citizens’ Advisory Board will have presentations about the agreement from 1 pm to 4:30 pm at the Cities of Gold Conference Center in Pojoaque. New website at: http://energy.gov/em/nnmcab/northern-new-mexico-citizens-advisory-board
The November 13th meeting of the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities will have the parties present from 9 to 11 am at the Hernandez Community Center, 19418 US Highway 84/285, Hernandez, NM, located north of Espanola. http://regionalcoalition.org
This has been the CCNS News Update. For more information and a sample chromium public comment letter, please visit nuclearactive.org and our Facebook page.