On Tuesday, August 9th the New Mexico Water Quality Control Commission will hear virtually a petition for review of the groundwater discharge permit, DP-1132, filed by non-governmental organizations CCNS and Honor Our Pueblo Existence (HOPE). DP-1132 allows Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) to handle, store and discharge treated radioactive and hazardous waters from the Radioactive Liquid Waste Treatment Facility into Effluent Canyon, a tributary of Mortandad Canyon. Noting procedural errors in the permitting process, the NGOs request the Commission to send the permit back to the New Mexico Environment Department Secretary James Kenney for the required administrative action on his part. Further, the NGOs state the Secretary was required to find that the facility manages hazardous waste, and so it must be regulated under the Hazardous Waste Act, instead of the Water Quality Act.
To download the August 9th agenda, which can be revised up to the meeting time, please visit https://www.env.nm.gov/opf/water-quality-control-commission/ . To read the pleadings, please visit https://www.env.nm.gov/opf/docketed-matters/ and scroll down to WQCC 22-21, Petition for Review of DP-1132.
Please consider submitting the attached comment letter – with your concerns – to the WQCC in support of the Petition for Review of DP-1132 submitted by CCNS and HOPE. Contact information on letter. 220803 DP-1132 public comment to WQCC
CCNS first raised concerns about the discharge from the Radioactive Liquid Waste Treatment Facility in 1994 – that’s right – 28 years ago. In the interim, there have been many errors in the permitting process.
For example, a public hearing about a draft permit was held in November 2019 before a Hearing Officer. Following a hearing, a report by the Hearing Officer to the Secretary is required. The Secretary then has 30 days to make his decision.
On March 4, 2020, the Hearing Officer delivered his report to the Secretary and recommended issuance of DP-1132. The Secretary did not act within 30 days. Instead, on June 24, 2020 the Secretary issued a non-final order, sending the matter back for consideration of financial assurance. He directed the Hearing Officer to submit a revised report after the hearing, which has not been presented to the Secretary. Further, the Secretary has not expressed his position on the March 4, 2020 report, in any revised Report, nor did he provide a response to the voluminous public comments. https://www.env.nm.gov/opf/docketed-matters/ , scroll down to Ground Water Quality Bureau 19-24 – Proposed Discharge Permit No. 1132 for RLWTF at Los Alamos National Labs.
On May 5th, 2022, the Environment Department issued DP-1132 under the New Mexico Water Quality Act, with no reference to the Hearing Officer’s March 4, 2020 Report. 2022-05-05 – WPD GWQB DP-1132 FinalDP
A complete Administrative Record must contain the Hearing Officer’s report to the Secretary, the action by the Secretary that includes such a report, and the Secretary’s responses to all significant public comments. Without these elements, the Administrative Record is incomplete.
CCNS and HOPE respectfully request that the Commission return DP-1132 back to the Secretary to complete the administrative processes. They also request the Secretary determine that the Hazardous Waste Act is the proper regulatory vehicle for the Facility, not the Water Quality Act.
Lindsay A. Lovejoy, Jr., represents CCNS and HOPE in this matter.
- Friday, August 5th from noon to 1 pm – Join the weekly peaceful protest for nuclear disarmament on the corners of Alameda and Guadalupe in downtown Santa Fe. Celebrate the successful historic First Meeting of State Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and the Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference negotiations going on right now at the United Nations (Aug. 1 to 26, 2022). Attend to discuss next steps toward nuclear disarmament!
- Friday, August 5th at 9 am to 5 pm MT – Live and Virtual NM Interim Radioactive & Hazardous Materials Committee meeting at Clovis Civic Center, 801 Schepps Blvd., Clovis. See agenda for links to view and make public comments. Agenda includes WIPP, PFASs, Holtec, Produced Water Act, Carlsbad Brine Well Remediation Authority, State Emergency Response Commission. https://www.nmlegis.gov/committee/Interim_Committee?CommitteeCode=RHMC
- Saturday, August 6th from noon to 2 pm in the historic shelter on the southside of Ashley Pond in Los Alamos. The Santa Fe Chapter of Veterans for Peace, Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety, Nuclear Watch NM, Nonviolent Santa Fe and others will host the 77th commemoration of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan on August 6, 1945.
Please bring signs, banners, and other pro-peace displays. Also bring water and protection from the sun and/or possible rain. Encourage your friends and family to join the commemoration. Wage Peace and Nuclear Abolition! http://nuclearactive.org/august-6th-and-9th-live-and-virtual-events-to-commemorate-the-u-s-bombings-of-hiroshima-and-nagasaki-in-1945/
- Tuesday, August 9th at 5:15 pm Live and Virtual Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi and Virtual and Live Panel Discussion with Prominent Interfaith Leaders at 6:15 pm. Join Most Rev. John C. Wester, Archbishop of Santa Fe. The 5:15 pm Mass will be live streamed at https://youtu.be/M4SnixeGwyE
His homily will be centered on his pastoral letter on nuclear disarmament, “Living in the Light of Christ’s Peace: A Conversation Toward Nuclear Disarmament.” https://archdiosf.org/living-in-the-light-of-christs-peace
At 6:15 pm, a panel discussion with prominent interfaith leaders about the growing need for nuclear disarmament will be held followed by a question and answer session. The 6:15 pm panel discussion will be livestreamed at https://youtu.be/U88tJwq7yNs
For more information, https://archdiosf.org/living-in-the-light-of-christs-peace or contact the Office of Social Justice & Respect Life at (505) 831-8205. http://nuclearactive.org/august-6th-and-9th-live-and-virtual-events-to-commemorate-the-u-s-bombings-of-hiroshima-and-nagasaki-in-1945/
- Monday, August 8th at 1 pm to 2:30 pm MT – Webinar with Roger Waters (Pink Floyd) about matters of war, peace, art, and activism, followed by questions and answers. For more information, https://actionnetwork.org/events/webinar-with-roger-waters