Mission

Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety

Our mission is to protect all living beings and the environment from the effects of radioactive and other hazardous materials now and in the future.

P.O. Box 31147
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87594

Telephone: (505) 986-1973
Fax: (505) 986-0997
Email: ccns@nuclearactive.org

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Help us help you. We gratefully accept donations to assist our organization in protecting all living beings and the environment from the effects of radioactive and other hazardous materials now and in the future.

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Current Activities

The New Shaft Permit Modification – Part 4 – Pubic Participation Now and at the May 17th Public Hearing

The New Shaft Permit Modification
Part 4
Public Participation Now
and at
the May 17th Public Hearing

 

The WIPP underground showing the proposed new shaft and drifts (corridors)

 

The New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) regulates WIPP as a Hazardous Waste Facility for the storage and disposal of transuranic mixed waste. Transuranic waste is waste contaminated with radioactive elements greater than (trans-) uranium (uranic). Most transuranic waste is contaminated with plutonium and most also includes hazardous waste. NMED’s authority to regulate WIPP comes from the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and the state Hazardous Waste Act. Within NMED, hazardous waste sites are regulated by the Hazardous Waste Bureau (HWB).

 

Public Participation

During the WIPP permitting process, public comment is required. RCRA requires meaningful public participation, including adequate information and notification. Public participation must also be equal and non-discriminatory. Because of previous and continuing problems with disparate treatment, in 2017 NMED signed an Informal Resolution Agreement with EPA to keep public participation fair and meaningful for all New Mexicans.

In 2019 and 2020, several hundred people commented on the WIPP shaft modification permit. 97% of comments each time have been against the new shaft and against WIPP expansion. These comments may have influenced NMED’s decision not to renew the Temporary Authorization given DOE to start excavating the new shaft before the required public hearing.
We are in a comment period now that will continue through the last day of the public hearing in mid May.

Read on for more details on the public process

or

skip to the end for information on
how to comment now and during the public hearing

 

Barriers to Public Participation

NMED has not made it easy for the public, and especially for the “Low English Proficiency” (LEP) public, to inform themselves and be able to participate in the permitting process in a meaningful way. Only the Public Notice, the updated Fact Sheet and the Index to the Administrative Record are in Spanish. The Draft Permit and the Public Involvement Plan (PIP) (which guides the public process) are not in Spanish. (Click here for an analysis of problems in the PIP, Public Notice and updated Fact Sheet. Links to these documents and to the WIPP Permit webpage are provided at the end of the newsletter.)

 

GAO’s map of the WIPP underground showing the proposed New Shaft (labeled “Utility Shaft”) and drifts but also showing the waste panels and waste rooms. The original footprint is in blue. The proposed, expanded footprint is in green. (image: GAO)

 

The Updated Fact Sheet is inadequate. The Fact Sheet states that the new shaft is only needed for better underground ventilation during the current operational period for WIPP. It denies that this “utility shaft” is to support DOE’s planned WIPP expansion. But that justification falls flat because it never explains why the taxpayers would spend almost $200 million on the new shaft if WIPP is going to stop waste disposal in 2024 and the new shaft won’t be finished until just a few months before that date. Importantly, the updated Fact Sheet does not mention that the Temporary Authorization allowed shaft construction to begin before the required public hearing, which many people view as a predisposition to approve the permit modification and prejudice the hearing process.

NMED has said that it wants to increase public involvement in their permitting and that they particularly want to make sure that LEP persons can participate equally and in a meaningful way. But because of the limited amount of information provided even for English speakers, commenting is very difficult. Additional discriminatory barriers to participation have been created for persons who are not fluent in English as they have access to even less information than English speakers have. For LEP persons it is almost impossible to be adequately informed and to be able to participate in a meaningful way in this hearing process.

Nevertheless, the public has been persistent in making their concerns known to NMED and this has led to positive change in the past. It is important that NMED hears about public needs and concerns and that the agency is called out for not providing equal participation for all New Mexicans. Our voices do make a difference.

 


 

How to Comment

Email written comments to:
Madai.Corral@state.nm.us
In the subject line include: HWB 21-02 WIPP Shaft

Mail written comments to:
Hearing Clerk, NMED, Room S-2100
PO Box 5469, Santa Fe, NM 87502-5469.
In your heading, include: HWB 21-02 WIPP Shaft

At the public hearing provide written or oral comments in your preferred language. If you will be commenting in a language other than English or Spanish, arrange for interpretation, ideally, 10 or more days ahead by contacting:

Ricardo Maestas
ricardo.maestas@state.nm.us
505-476-6000

 


 

How to Attend the Public Hearing

The hearing begins on Monday, May 17 at noon.
The virtual public hearing is on Zoom from Noon to 4 pm and 6 to 9 pm each day.
You may also join by phone

Join Zoom Meeting:
Phone one-tap: US: +16699006833,,91728945523#,,,,*050223# or +12532158782,,91728945523#,,,,*050223#
Meeting URL: https://zoom.us/j/91728945523?pwd=YitrSUtFYnZkcE5hVGFrb2Z1UDlUdz09

Meeting ID: 917 2894 5523
Passcode: 050223

Join by Telephone
For higher quality, dial a number based on your current location.
Dial: US: +1 669 900 6833 or +1 253 215 8782 or +1 346 248 7799 or +1 929 436 2866 or +1 301 715 8592 or +1 312 626 6799

Meeting ID: 917 2894 5523
Passcode: 050223

The hearing is in English, with simultaneous Spanish interpretation.
If you need an interpreter in a language other than Spanish, contact:

Ricardo Maestas
ricardo.maestas@state.nm.us
505-476-6000

 


Please share this newsletter with

family, friends and colleagues

and
 

Please donate to the Stop FOREVER WIPP coalition

through our GoFundMe Page.

 


 

Looking down into the partially excavated New Shaft (image: DOE)

 

References

The Hearing Public Notice is at:
https://www.env.nm.gov/hazardous-waste/wp-content/uploads/sites/12/2016/05/2021-03-18-HWB-Shaft-Hearing-Public-Notice-Final-Eng-Span.pdf

The Updated Fact Sheet is at:
https://www.env.nm.gov/hazardous-waste/wp-content/uploads/sites/12/2016/05/2021-03-18-HWB-Shaft-Hearing-Updated-Fact-Sheet-Final-Eng-Span.pdf

The Public Involvement Plan (PIP) is at:
https://hwbdocuments.env.nm.gov/Waste%20Isolation%20Pilot%20Plant/200611.pdf

The Informal Resolution Agreement is at:
http://nuclearactive.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/ResAgreement_1-19-2017.pdf

Analysis of the PIP, Public Notice and Updated Fact Sheet is at:
http://nuclearactive.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Analysis-of-the-Permit-Modification-documents.pdf

The WIPP Permit Webpage is at:
https://www.env.nm.gov/hazardous-waste/wipp/

 


 

For More Information

Stop Forever WIPP
https://www.facebook.com/StopfvrWIPP/

Southwest Research and Information Center (SRIC)
http://www.sric.org/

Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety (CCNS)
http://nuclearactive.org/

Southwest Alliance
https://www.swalliance.org/

Stop FOREVER WIPPswalliance.orgnuclearactive.org

 

 

 

LANL Sparking Drum Causes Suspension of Radioactive Waste Shipments to WIPP

[There is a lot of information in this Update to help you understand the complexity of the LANL/WIPP/Expanded Plutonium Pit Production at LANL/Expansion Plans at WIPP issues.  Please read all the way to the end to learn about how to prepare for the May 17, 2021 public hearing about the proposed new shaft at WIPP.  There is an extensive list of links to reports about the sparking drum at LANL and WIPP.  Thank you for your interest in these issues!]

On February 26th, 2021, Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) workers saw sparks inside of a recently packaged 55-gallon drum of plutonium-contaminated transuranic (TRU) waste at the Plutonium Facility.  The workers followed procedures and pulled the fire alarm and evacuated the area.  LANL’s investigation then found that four other drums containing similar waste were still at LANL and that two such drums had been shipped to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) and disposed in 2020.  In response to LANL’s findings, WIPP evacuated workers from the underground and suspended shipments from LANL.

This story is reminiscent of the February 14th, 2014 explosion of one or more drums in the WIPP underground.  These drums also had been packaged at LANL.  In that case, LANL scientists incorrectly used organic, rather than non-organic, kitty litter to sop up liquids in the drums.  The organic kitty litter created a chemical reaction and radiation release that contaminated 22 workers and over 8,000 linear feet of the underground mine; and vented contaminated air directly to the environment.

Both incidents show inadequacies in WIPP’s Central Characterization Project that operates at LANL and other sites and is supposed to ensure proper analysis of the waste.  Nevertheless, LANL again has shipped incompatible drums to WIPP.  Following the 2014 Valentine’s Day explosion, WIPP was closed for nearly three years at a $2 billion cost to taxpayers. Because of the underground contamination, WIPP continues to receive waste at a much lower rate than before the explosion.

The mission of WIPP is to dispose of “legacy” radioactive and hazardous waste created by the research, fabrication, and testing of nuclear weapons during the Cold War.  It appears that the sparking drum packaged in the Plutonium Facility and the other similar ones are “newly generated” waste from efforts to modernize nuclear weapons.

As LANL prepares to expand its fabrication of plutonium pits, the radioactive triggers for those nuclear weapons, the resulting TRU waste would exceed the capacity limits at WIPP, according to reports in 2020 from Government Accountability Office and National Academy of Sciences.  When establishing those limits in 1992, Congress tasked DOE to establish other waste repositories, but none are yet planned.

Instead DOE wants to expand the underground disposal area at WIPP for the additional waste, keep the site open until at least 2080, and develop no other repository.

A virtual public hearing about a proposed new shaft, an essential part of the WIPP expansion, begins on Monday, May 17th. New Mexicans can comment at that hearing where numerous groups are opposing the shaft.

 


QUESTIONS ABOUT HOW TO PREPARE FOR THE  May 17, 2021 PUBLIC HEARING?

 

Over the next five weeks, CCNS, working with the Stop FOREVER WIPP Coalition, will be providing information about the proposed new shaft, along with the connections between proposed expanded plutonium pit production at LANL and the lack of WIPP disposal space for such waste.  Check out the animations at https://www.facebook.com/StopfvrWIPP/

The Stop FOREVER WIPP Coalition has prepared three newsletters with more detailed information.  They are:

Part 1:  The New Shaft Permit Modification – Public Hearing Begins on Monday, May 17, 2021  http://nuclearactive.org/stop-forever-wipp-newsletter/

Part 2:  The New Shaft Permit Modification – WIPP’s Temporary Authorization http://nuclearactive.org/the-new-shaft-permit-modification/

Part 3:  The New Shaft Permit Modification – Your Comments and the May 17th Public Hearing.  Includes sample public comment letter you can use to submit.  http://nuclearactive.org/stop-forever-wipp-the-new-shaft-permit-modification-part-3/

For more information, check out these links:

Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (DNFSB) Los Alamos Activity Report for Week Ending March 5, 2021.  https://www.dnfsb.gov/documents/reports/resident-inspector-weekly-reports/los-alamos-week-ending-march-5-2021   “We note that this energetic chemical reaction underscores the need for Triad to fully address the concerns outlined in DNFSB/TECH-46 Potential Energetic Chemical Reaction Events Involving Transuranic Waste at Los Alamos National Laboratory.”  https://www.dnfsb.gov/documents/letters/potential-energetic-chemical-reaction-events-involving-transuranic-waste-los  

DNFSB Los Alamos Activity Report for Week Ending March 12, 2021.  https://www.dnfsb.gov/documents/reports/resident-inspector-weekly-reports/los-alamos-week-ending-march-12-2021  “Triad personnel continued their efforts to identify waste containers with contents similar to those involved in the incident that occurred two weeks ago (see 3/5/2021 report.  They identified potential containers at the Plutonium Facility, Transuranic Waste Facility (TWF), and the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant.”   

March 12, 2021 NNSA letter to NMED about potential non-compliance under the Hazardous Waste Facility Permit.    

DNFSB Los Alamos Activity Report for Week Ending March 19, 2021.  https://www.dnfsb.gov/documents/reports/resident-inspector-weekly-reports/los-alamos-week-ending-march-19-2021  “On Monday, Triad personnel commenced an investigation for the event associated with the suspected titanium welding fume condensate that readily ignited into sparks during a waste drum-out (see 3/5/2021 report).”

March 19, 2021:  Report of Implementation of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Contingency Plan at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant Facility on March 4, 2021, Hazardous Waste Facility Permit, Number NM4890139088-TSDF, Reinhard Knerr/CBFO and Sean Dunagan/NWP to Kevin Pierard, NMED HWB  https://wipp.energy.gov/2021-information-repository-documents.asp

Los Alamos Reporter:  March 24, 2021:  “WIPP Central Characterization Project is Lynchpin for Radioactive Waste Receive from LANL, Other DOE Sites”

[Reinhard Knerr, DOE’s field manager at WIPP] discussed the importance of the Central Characterization Project (CCP) which was established by DOE to standardize and provide efficiencies in the characterization and certification process at DOE waste generator sites such as LANL.

“The area I most worry about is the interface between the generator site and our program. We rely on Environmental Management at Los Alamos and their contractors to give us information. Sometimes they don’t have the information because it’s legacy waste and it really becomes a research project on both sides of the fence to make sure we understand what we’re taking,” he said. “Newly generated waste should be easier but sometimes the downside for newly generated waste is that people will make operational errors whenever you deal with it. There’s always room for mistakes so those are the types of things I’m a little more nervous about to tell you the truth because the legacy waste – it is what it is.”

Knerr said the legacy waste has been sitting for decades so “you feel pretty comfortable and if you don’t know what it is, you go ahead and you sample”. He said the CCP program is probably one of the most regulated programs anywhere in the world and that the people involved take a lot of pride in what they do especially when they are doing Acceptable Knowledge” research and chemical compatibility analyses to make sure they have multiple layers of control.

“I think we have learned a lesson that an error along that front has a lot of potential ramifications for us in the underground with regard to the operability of the repository. That program is a lynchpin of our characterization process but again we are dependent on the generator site,” Knerr said.

https://losalamosreporter.com/2021/03/24/wipp-central-characterization-project-is-lynchpin-for-radioactive-waste-received-from-lanl-other-doe-sites/

DNFSB 31st Annual Report to Congress, March 23, 2021.  See

  1. iii (Safety of Solid Nuclear Waste);
  2. 14 – 17 (Los Alamos National Laboratory);
  3. 22 – 24 (Safety of Solid Nuclear Waste);
  4. 29 – 30 (Los Alamos National Laboratory);
  5. 33 (Chemical Compatibility of Waste Mixtures with Nitric Acid and Nitrate Salts).

https://www.dnfsb.gov/documents/reports/reports-congress/31st-annual-report-congress

*** TODAY’S NEWS*** April 8, 2021:  “DOE prepared this supplement analysis (SA) to evaluate the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant Disposal Phase Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (DOE/EIS-0026-S2) in light of changes that could have bearing on the potential environmental impacts previously analyzed. Included with this SA is a proposed change pertaining to the excavation of two underground replacement panels for the disposal of transuranic (TRU) waste.”

https://www.energy.gov/nepa/articles/doeeis-0026-sa-12-supplement-analysis-waste-isolation-pilot-plant-site-wide


Did You Know?  We are Podcasting! 

1. Every Friday and Saturday from noon to 1 pm – Protest LANL signing a 10-year lease (for the former Descartes building) to establish itself in Santa Fe at the corner of Guadalupe and W. Alameda. JOIN US!  We’ll have banners.  Please bring a sign.

 

 

2. Th. April 22nd from 6 to 7:30 pmVirtual open house for the Kirtland Air Force Base Bulk Fuels Facility. You will need to download Adobe Connect software to participate.  See email below from KAFB:    

Dear Neighbor,

“As we previously mentioned, the Air Force will be hosting a virtual open house for the Kirtland Air Force Base Bulk Fuels Facility project on Thursday, April 22, 2021 from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. In light of Coronavirus concerns, this open house will be held virtually using a platform provided by the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT). Due to issues with previous software, there is a new update.

“Attendees will need to download the free Adobe Connect software to join the virtual meeting. It is suggested this be done in advance of the meeting date and time. The updated software can be downloaded at https://helpx.adobe.com/adobe-connect/connect-downloads-updates.html.

“Community members interested in joining the virtual open house can join using the following internet connection: https://ceschool.adobeconnect.com/afcec/

“An updated presentation will be provided that will include a project status update and a question and answer period. To submit questions, e-mail brannon.lamar@us.af.mil.

“If you would like additional information, please contact Brannon Lamar at 377 Air Base Wing Public Affairs at (505) 639-8420 or by email, brannon.lamar@us.af.mil.

“We ask that you share this notification with others in your community and hope you can join us at the upcoming event!

“Regards,

“Kirtland Air Force Base Public Affairs”

 

3. Submissions due Tuesday, June 1st: Calling all youth and community artists!

Communities for Clean Water (CCW) is working on a new ZINE and would love to feature your art, poetry, photography or writing. Open to all mediums and creative ideas.

Some questions to spark your reflection:

** Why is water sacred to you?
** What does it feel like in your body to live near LANL?
** How has your family and community been impacted by LANL?
** If water, land and air could speak, what would their message be?

Contact – ccwyouthreps@gmail.com – with submissions or questions! 

 

Stop FOREVER WIPP! The New Shaft Permit Modification – Part 3

The New Shaft Permit Modification
Part 3
Your Comments and the May 17th Public Hearing

 

As demanded by organizations and individuals, the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) has scheduled a public hearing on adding a New Utility Shaft to the WIPP permit. The hearing will start at noon on Monday, May 17, 2021. Hundreds of people commented on the proposed new shaft in 2019 and 2020, and 97 percent of them objected to WIPP expansion and the new shaft.

NMED allowed the Department of Energy (DOE) to bypass the public process and start digging the new shaft with just a Temporary Authorization. But after receiving so many public comments in 2020 against the new shaft and against the Temporary Authorization, NMED stopped the construction of the shaft until after the public hearing. Public comments do make a difference!

A bucketload of excavated material is lifted from the utility shaft during the Temporary Authorization period. The Galloway work platform is at center. This multi-stage platform is suspended near the bottom of the shaft during shaft sinking. (image: DOE)

 

You can comment now on the proposed new WIPP shaft, which is part of DOE’s plan to expand WIPP and operate it forever, instead of developing new repositories. The plan violates existing limits set in federal law, state agreements, the WIPP Permit, and DOE’s decades-old social contract with New Mexicans.

Your comments and participation can help stop the new shaft and DOE’s WIPP expansion plan!

 

Read on to learn more

or

skip to the end to see a sample comment

 

The proposed expanded underground repository. Solid lines show current drifts (corridors), waste panels and waste rooms. Proposed drifts, panels and rooms are shown with dashed lines. The proposed new utility shaft is labeled in red “Shaft 5.” The four current Air Intake, Salt Handling, Waste and Exhaust Shafts are labeled in black. (image: Steve Zappe)

 

Hearing Officer Gregory Chakalian will preside over the public hearing, which will include testimony and cross-examination of several experts from DOE, NMED, and from the organizations and individuals that requested the hearing. There will also be oral comments from the public and the public can cross examine any of the witnesses.

Later in the summer, based on the regulations, the hearing record, evidence, testimony, and public comment, the Hearing Officer will issue a recommendation to approve or deny the shaft permit or to approve it with conditions. The NMED Secretary will then make the final decision, which can be appealed to the New Mexico Court of Appeals.

Details about how to watch and participate in the public hearing, either on Zoom or by phone, are provided in NMED’s Public Notice and Fact Sheet (both in English & Spanish). Simultaneous Spanish interpretation will be available on both Zoom and by phone, and interpretation into other languages may be available upon request. Future newsletters will provide more detailed information about the hearing.

Although oral public comments can only be provided during the hearing itself, anyone can submit additional written comments now and until the hearing is over.

 

Submit your own written comment, or copy and paste the following sample comment

Email comments to the NMED Hearing Clerk in Santa Fe

Madai.Corral@state.nm.us

 


 

 

SAMPLE COMMENT

 

Subject: HWB 21-02 WIPP SHAFT

I join with many other people to object to WIPP expansion and the new shaft. Please deny the new shaft draft permit.

The DOE expansion plan violates existing limits on WIPP set in federal law, state agreements, the WIPP Permit, and DOE’s decades-old social contract with New Mexicans.

DOE has not presented the entire WIPP expansion plan to the public and to New Mexico officials. Instead, DOE is providing only a single piece of the plan – the new shaft – saying that other pieces of the plan will be presented in the future. I object to DOE’s piecemeal and illegal approach. In order to provide informed public comments, the public must be able to review DOE’s entire plan.

I know that, after examining the expansion plan, the 2020 National Academy of Sciences report stated, “An incremental approach inhibits a comprehensive review by regulators and public of the full impact of the proposed … program on a future WIPP.”

I also know that, in 2020, it was the Government Accountability Office – not DOE – that provided the public with the design of DOE’s plan to more than double the number of underground waste disposal panels.

DOE’s claim that the new shaft is needed for underground ventilation is not true. WIPP has been operating all along with just the existing four shafts. When the New Filter Building is completed, it will provide more underground ventilation than WIPP has ever had before. Instead of being just a ventilation shaft, the New Utility Shaft is actually an integral part of DOE’s expansion plans. These expansion plans must be a part of the public hearing.

Again, please deny the draft permit.

(Your Name, Address and Date)

 

 


 

Please share this newsletter with

family, friends and colleagues

and
 

Please donate to the Stop FOREVER WIPP coalition

through our GoFundMe Page.

 

References
2020 NAS Reporthttps://www.nap.edu/25593
For More Information
Stop Forever WIPP
Southwest Research and Information Center (SRIC)
Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety (CCNS)
Southwest Alliance
 

New Mexico Files Suit to Halt Two Proposed High-Level Nuclear Waste Storage Facilities

(AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan, File)

On Monday, Attorney General Hector Balderas took a necessary step to protect the People, environment, and economy of New Mexico by filing a lawsuit against the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission to stop its efforts to license two proposed facilities for high-risk, high-level radioactive waste from nuclear power plants.  Balderas alleges the proposals present a clear and present danger to New Mexico because of the risky and long-term burdens they impose on the State.  The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico.  Attorney_General_Balderas_Announces_Lawsuit_to_Halt_Holtec_Nuclear_Storage_Facility

Holtec International is proposing to build and operate a consolidated storage facility, located halfway between Carlsbad and Hobbs, New Mexico, in the oil patch.  Holtec is seeking a license to store 8,680 metric tons of uranium vertically in 500 lead-lined canisters for 40 years, with future expansion to 10,000 canisters containing 100,000 metric tons of uranium for 120 years or longer.

Also, Interim Storage Partners is proposing to expand Waste Control Specialists low-level waste facility in Texas, located five miles east of Eunice, New Mexico.  Its application calls for storage of 40,000 metric tons of uranium for at least 40 years.

The license applications have a fatal flaw that NRC has ignored, while it continues to process the applications.  Challenges from local community members have been rejected, as well as the expert comments from New Mexico state agencies.  http://nuclearactive.org/officials-and-ngos-express-deep-concerns-about-holtec/ and http://nuclearactive.org/public-comments-needed-by-september-22nd-about-holtec-proposal/

The fatal flaw, you ask?  The applications of the limited liability corporations assume that the Department of Energy (DOE) will take title to the waste and pay the costs.  But the 1982 Nuclear Waste Policy Act prohibits DOE from taking title until a permanent federal repository is operating.  Yucca Mountain, the only proposed disposal facility, has been canceled for more than a decade.  Even so, the applications state that a permanent repository will be built by 2048.

This means that unacceptable burdens would fall on New Mexico should NRC illegally grant one or both licenses.  New Mexico would be responsible for emergency preparedness and response for transportation-related accidents along road and rail transportation routes that have yet to be disclosed.  Further, New Mexico would be responsible for the repair and maintenance for many years.  If the NRC grants one or more of the licenses, the ongoing daily threat from the transportation of the waste and operations at the facility(ies) would create an imminent and substantial endangerment to the diverse communities of New Mexico.

Attorney General Balderas explains why he took the legal action.  “I want to mitigate dangers to our environment and to other energy sectors.  It is fundamentally unfair for our residents to bear the risks of open ended uncertainty.”

In the lawsuit, New Mexico asks the Court for a preliminary injunction to suspend the licensing processes, as well as to declare the case in its favor.  https://www.nmag.gov/


1. Every Friday and Saturday from noon to 1 pm – Protest LANL signing a 10-year lease (for the former Descartes building) to establish itself in Santa Fe at the corner of Guadalupe and W. Alameda. JOIN US!  We’ll have banners.  Please bring a sign.

 

2. On Wednesday, March 31, 2021, the Santa Fe City Council voted 5 – 3, with Councilor Mike Garcia, the Council’s representative on the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities (RCLC), abstaining, to not approve the amended Joint Powers Agreement. https://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/santa-fe-city-council-rejects-lanl-coalition-agreement/article_570374dc-9234-11eb-9551-5be77d317e1f.html#tncms-source=login    Councilor Renee Villarreal will introduce a resolution for the City to withdraw its membership in the RCLC.  Stay tuned!  Raise your voice!

 

3. On Monday, March 29, 2021, CCNS, Honor Our Pueblo Existence (H.O.P.E.), and the New Mexico Acequia Association submitted supplementary comments to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) about its draft industrial wastewater discharge permit for 11 outfalls at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). Our comments were filed in response to the Department of Energy and Triad’s request to EPA to reopen the comment period and its February 25, 2021 supplementary filings about the draft permit, challenge to the New Mexico Environment Department’s §401 certification of the draft permit, and planned changes to the Radioactive Liquid Waste Treatment Facility for Outfall 051.  https://www.epa.gov/nm/los-alamos-national-laboratory-lanl-limited-reopening-public-comment-period-npdes-permit-no  To review the filings, scroll down to the bottom of the page:  https://www.epa.gov/nm/los-alamos-national-laboratory-lanl-limited-reopening-public-comment-period-npdes-permit-no-0

 

The New Shaft Permit Modification

The New Shaft Permit Modification
Part 2
WIPP’s Temporary Authorization

 

The New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) must approve or deny the Department of Energy’s (DOE) New Shaft Permit Modification Request (PMR), based on regulations, evidence, and public comment. However, even before issuing the Draft Permit for public comment, NMED allowed DOE to start shaft construction under a Temporary Authorization (TA). The 180-day TA expired on October 24, 2020, and NMED denied the request to re-issue the TA. Under the TA, the new shaft was sunk to 116 feet deep – of a final proposed depth of 2,275 feet. The total estimated construction time is 37 months at an estimated cost of $197 million.

Looking down the New Shaft during the Temporary Authorization period.
An excavator and a personnel hoist are ready to be lifted out of the utility shaft
prior to another round of blasting. (image DOE)

 

In approving the TA, NMED stated: “This authorization is temporary and does not constitute a final agency action on the pending Class 3 PMR, nor does it prejudice or presuppose the outcome of the final action on the PMR. If NMED ultimately denies the PMR, the Permittees must reverse all construction activities associated with this Request at their expense and within the timeframes specified by the Department.”

 

Read on to learn more
or skip to the end
to see how you can help stop the WIPP expansion

 

Objecting to the TA

Various groups and individuals objected to the TA because it appeared to approve the new shaft before the required public comments and public hearing on the draft permit. It was also an “end run” around public involvement in deciding whether or not the New Shaft is even needed.

In 2019, 97 percent of the 295 organizations and individuals commenting on the New Shaft modification request opposed that request and also objected to the WIPP expansion.

On June 12, 2020, NMED issued the draft permit for 60 days of public comment. Again, 97 percent of the 360 organizations and individuals that commented opposed the New Shaft draft permit, including objecting to the WIPP expansion.

 

What isn’t said

The regulations require that the Permit Modification Request must state the need for the New Shaft and that the proposed change protects public health and the environment. The PMR and draft permit state that the need is for underground ventilation and do not mention that the New Shaft is an essential part of the WIPP expansion. (The shaft’s diameter is wide enough for a new waste hoist.) Nor do they describe the health and environmental impacts of “Forever WIPP.” (image DOE)

 

The public hearing

During the public hearing in May, Technical Testimony will be presented and witnesses cross-examined. The public can comment as well, both during the hearing itself and during the pre-hearing period we are in now. Public comment includes previous written comments, written comments submitted before the hearing begins, and written and oral comments made during the public hearing itself. All comments from the public must be considered along with technical testimony from expert witnesses when the the NMED Secretary makes his decision on the permit.

The hearing begins on Monday, May 17 at noon and will continue for a few days. People can participate on Zoom or by phone. There will be simultaneous English/Spanish interpretation.

More information about how to comment will be provided in the next Update. (image DOE)

 

How You Can Help Stop the New Shaft and the WIPP Expansion

People can help stop this New Utility Shaft by reading NMED’s Public Notice and Fact Sheet (both in English & Spanish), reading our analysis of these documents, and by participating in the permit modification hearing. Read our future newsletters to see our analysis, read a short timeline & history of WIPP, and to find out more on how you can participate and influence the hearing process.

 

Please share this newsletter with

family, friends and colleagues

and

Please donate to the Stop FOREVER WIPP coalition

through our GoFundMe Page.

 

For More Information
Stop Forever WIPP
Southwest Research and Information Center (SRIC)
Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety (CCNS)
Southwest Alliance
 

It’s Time to Email Public Comments to EPA about LANL Industrial Wastewater Discharge Permit

Monday, March 29th, is the deadline for public comment on an important five-year permit that regulates wastewater discharges from 11 Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) industrial facilities into the canyons that flow to the Rio Grande.  These facilities include some that have not discharged any industrial “wastewater” for years.  The question before the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is whether to renew the Clean Water Act permit.

In mid-October, CCNS, Honor Our Pueblo Existence, and the New Mexico Acequia Association submitted a 33-page brief, opposing the re-issuance of permits for six of those facilities that have not discharged and are not expected to discharge, according to statements in LANL’s permit application and in EPA’s fact sheet.  https://www.epa.gov/nm/los-alamos-national-laboratory-lanl-limited-reopening-public-comment-period-npdes-permit-no and to read the brief and the 54 exhibits,  https://www.epa.gov/nm/los-alamos-national-laboratory-lanl-limited-reopening-public-comment-period-npdes-permit-no-0

The Clean Water Act requires a “discharge of [a] pollutant” for EPA to issue a permit.  But no discharges are anticipated at several facilities.  Mechanical evaporators were installed at two of the facilities, the Radioactive Liquid Waste Treatment Facility and the High Explosive Wastewater Treatment Facility, more than a decade ago.  The evaporators have been used as the sole disposal system, but the Clean Water Act does not regulate them.

LANL wants to keep the Clean Water Act permit because it provides an exemption from regulation by the stricter and more protective federal and state hazardous waste laws and regulations (federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and New Mexico Hazardous Waste Act).

The hazardous waste laws cover more than just a discharge.  For example, the hazardous waste laws cover the systems of piping and tanks that store and treat the liquid waste and require a registered professional engineer to determine its structural integrity, as well as conduct assessments as to the strength of the welds and systems to prevent corrosion, among other assessments.

And, as Los Alamos County and LANL facilities are located in a seismic zone, the regulations also require these facilities to meet seismic safety requirements.

The seismic risks are significant.  The Radioactive Liquid Waste Treatment Facility is located across the street from the existing Plutonium Facility and the location of the proposed, but canceled, super Wal-Mart sized Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement (CMRR) Nuclear Facility. Lack of compliance with the seismic requirements was among the reasons that the Nuclear Facility was canceled.  http://nuclearactive.org/public-comments-needed-for-epa-about-lanl-industrial-wastewater-discharge-permit/

In addition, hazardous waste laws require a public permitting process for approval of new construction.  EPA admits in its fact sheet that LANL has “a newly constructed main low-level [liquid] waste treatment facility, [] with an estimated operational start date in 2023.”  There was no public process for that new facility, because LANL has an exemption for it based on the Clean Water Act permit.  Under the hazardous waste laws, a full public process, including a public hearing, was required.  But because of the exemption, LANL only had to submit their plans and specifications to EPA.

Comments are due to EPA on Monday, March 29th.  f EPA LANL CWA Permit Comment letter 3-25-21


Did You Know?  We are Podcasting!

1. Every Friday and Saturday from noon to 1 pm – Protest LANL signing a 10-year lease (for the former Descartes building) to establish itself in Santa Fe at the corner of Guadalupe and W. Alameda. JOIN US!  We’ll have banners.  Please bring a sign.

 

 

2. Monday, March 29thEPA granted a four-week extension of time to provide comments about LANL industrial wastewater discharge permit.  CCNS is preparing comments in response to Triad National Security, LLC’s comments submitted on March 1, 2021.  Stay tuned for sample public comments you can use, as we get closer to the deadline.  https://www.epa.gov/nm/los-alamos-national-laboratory-lanl-limited-reopening-public-comment-period-npdes-permit-no

 

 

3. Wednesday, March 31st beginning at 4 pm – Santa Fe City Council will consider whether to withdraw from the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities at a virtual meeting. Check here for the agenda:  https://santafe.primegov.com/public/portal   Contact information for your elected officials at  https://www.santafenm.gov/elected_officials  

For more information, check out last week’s Update:  Santa Fe City Council Committee Considers Leaving the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities at http://nuclearactive.org/santa-fe-city-council-committee-considers-leaving-the-regional-coalition-of-lanl-communities/

Nuclear Watch New Mexico  – under “New & Updated.”  Scroll down for the Local Governments Should Leave the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities fact sheet.  https://nukewatch.org/

Los Alamos Study Group March 2, 2021 post:  “Please contact the Santa Fe City Council urging the City to leave the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities.”  https://lasg.org/letters/2021/nm_02Mar2021.html     

 

This #WorldWaterDay, it’s time Congress starts treating water as a human right.

 

Let’s pass the WATER Act so we can fix our aging water infrastructure & help ensure #WaterForAll! http://fwwat.ch/3kfTtzS

We want to share some upcoming events this week in honor of World Water Day:

 

  • Today, Monday 3/22 at 9:30 am PT/ 12:20 pm ET, the Water Equity and Climate Resilience Caucus is holding a National Call for Water, featuring Janene Yazzie, Catherine Flowers, Monica Lewis-Patrick and Rep. Debbie Dingell.
  • Today, Monday 3/22 at 1 pm PT/ 4 pm ET, We the People of Detroit is hosting “Democratizing Water Affordability: A discussion on structural racism and environmental segregation across America.” Featuring Monica Lewis-Patrick, Peter Hammer, Jason Stanley, Coty Montag, Nadia Gaber and more!
  • Wednesday, 3/24 at 8:30 am PT / 11:30am ET, we are co-hosting a webinar called “Water Financialization 101: Water Futures, Water Markets and Reclaiming the Water Commons.” Featuring Maude Barlow, Marcela López, Anuradha Mittal, Steve Suppan, Emiliano Terán Mantovani, and Shiney Varghese.
  • Friday, 3/26 all day: We’re having a National Call-In Day for the Water Act, so mark your calendars.

 

On Friday, we are asking people to call their Congressional Representative and Senators to encourage them to cosponsor the WATER Act and push for it to be included in the upcoming infrastructure package. We have set up phone numbers that will track the number of calls we generate and that will have a quick recording at the beginning with a sample message to deliver:

 

  • House switchboard: 202-609-9041
  • Senate switchboard: 202-609-9043

 

Here is a draft message:

 

Hi my name is ____ and I live at ______. I am calling to urge Rep ____ to cosponsor the WATER Act (HR 1352) and push for its water justice provisions to be included in the infrastructure package. The federal disinvestment in our water systems has caused skyrocketing water rates, crumbling infrastructure, widespread pollution, mass water shutoffs, and dangerous privatization schemes – Congress must act now to end our water crisis.

(to find YOUR representative just click these links :  https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representativehttps://www.senate.gov/?Class=1 )

Thank you!

 

Stop FOREVER WIPP! Newsletter

The New Shaft Permit Modification
Public Hearing Begins on

Monday, May 17, 2021 

 

The Department of Energy (DOE) wants to expand WIPP beyond the limits set in federal law, state agreements, the WIPP Permit, and DOE’s decades-old social contract with New Mexicans. But instead of presenting their entire plan to the public for review, DOE is trying to have different parts of the plan approved piecemeal, to avoid the required public process to examine the entire plan, and before the public and state officials decide if DOE’s expansion plan is even needed.

The latest “piece” is the current permit modification to add a new, fifth shaft to the WIPP underground. This permit modification is scheduled for public hearing, starting on May 17th. DOE claims the New Shaft and accompanying corridors (drifts) are needed for ventilation during current operations, but in fact, they are part of the build-out that will later include waste panels and waste rooms that would more than double the size of the underground disposal area.

 

Read on for more details
or skip to the end
to see how you can help stop the WIPP expansion

 

What is the Real Purpose of the New Shaft?

It is true that the drum explosion and radioactive release from WIPP in 2014 contaminated much of the underground and the exhaust shaft so that underground workers have been working with less than half of the air flow they had before the accident. However, the claim that the New Shaft is needed for ventilation of the existing underground space is bogus.

The existing four shafts provided all needed air for the first 15 years of operations. It is only because of the contamination that all air exiting the underground through the exhaust shaft must now be filtered.

In 2018 DOE began construction on a New Filter Building (NFB), which was expected to be completed in 2020 and would have provided all necessary air for the existing underground areas. But the NFB construction has been botched and is many months behind schedule and tens of millions of dollars over budget. Though the NFB can provide the needed air without the New Shaft, the New Shaft can’t improve airflow without venting contaminated air unless the New Filter Building is in place.

Though DOE claims the New Shaft is needed for current operations, not future expansion, DOE expects to complete the New Shaft and drifts in 2023, less than a year before WIPP is supposed to cease waste emplacement operations in 2024 under the current permit. Do they really think we can believe they are spending almost $200 million on a shaft that is to be used for just a few months?

Finally, though DOE claims this is only a ventilation shaft, they, and others often refer to it as a “utility shaft” which is a better descriptive name since in the future, the shaft would include a waste hoist for operations in the new waste panels and waste rooms that will make up the rest of an expanded WIPP.

 

NAS Agrees

 

The National Academies of Sciences (NAS) examined DOE’s plans to bring more waste and new waste (like highly concentrated “surplus” plutonium) to an expanded WIPP. Their April 2020 report said that the legal capacity limit at WIPP “…is likely to be exceeded…” by DOE’s expansion plans. The NAS report further determined:

FINDING 5-4: By virtually any measure, the proposal to dilute 48.2 Metric Tons of surplus plutonium and dispose at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) represents a substantial technical and “social contract” change for WIPP and the State of New Mexico.

The NAS Report also determined that the piecemeal approach undermines the required public review:

FINDING 5-7: A segmented and incremental approach to revealing the full inventory under consideration for disposal … in WIPP … obfuscates the total anticipated inventory expected for WIPP and its consequences. An incremental approach inhibits a comprehensive review by regulators and public of the full impact of the proposed … program on a future WIPP.

 

GAO Agrees

 

In 2017, the federal Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported:

DOE does not have sufficient space at WIPP to dispose of all defense TRU waste.

In 2020, it was the GAO – not DOE – that provided the public with the design of DOE’s plan to more than double the amount of disposal panels at WIPP.

 

It’s difficult to compare this map to the drawing at the top because the proposed “Utility Shaft” is pointing to the top, right here and is pointing to the bottom, left in the drawing. However, this map shows not only the proposed New Shaft and drifts, but also the waste panels and waste rooms. The original underground footprint is in blue. The proposed, expanded footprint is in green.

 

People Have Not Been Fooled

DOE has not presented its expansion plan to New Mexicans. But People have not been fooled. Since at least 2005 the public has been concerned about DOE’s plans to expand WIPP. That concern has continued to grow.

In 2019, 97 percent of the 295 organizations and individuals commenting on the New Shaft permit modification request, opposed that request and also objected to the proposed WIPP expansion.

In 2020, 97 percent of the 360 organizations and individuals that commented, again opposed the New Shaft draft permit, including objecting to the proposed WIPP expansion.

 

How You Can Help Stop the New Shaft and the WIPP Expansion

People can help stop this New Utility Shaft by reading NMED’s Public Notice and Fact Sheet (both in English & Spanish), reading our analysis of these documents, and by participating in the permit modification hearing. Read our future newsletters to see our analysis, read a short timeline & history of WIPP, and to find out more on how you can participate and influence the hearing process.

 

Please share this newsletter with

family, friends and colleagues

and
 

Please donate to the Stop FOREVER WIPP coalition

through our GoFundMe Page.

 

References
For More Information
Stop Forever WIPP
Southwest Research and Information Center (SRIC)
Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety (CCNS)
Southwest Alliance
 

Santa Fe City Council Committee Considers Leaving the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities

Weighing whether to remain in or withdraw from the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities, members of the City of Santa Fe Quality of Life Committee decided to ask for additional information, including information requested during similar meetings last summer and fall.  The question presented on Wednesday evening was whether to approve a restated and amended Joint Powers Agreement establishing the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-kPovX3O3us  (Discussion begins at 35:21); supporting materials here.  SFCC Quality of Life RCLC JPA 3-17-21 It is scheduled to go before the full City Council on Wednesday, March 31st, but may be delayed.

The controversial Coalition formed in 2011 with the signing of the Joint Powers Agreement (JPA).  It is a coalition of communities and Pueblos in Northern New Mexico, comprised of the City of Española, Rio Arriba County, Los Alamos County, the City of Santa Fe, Santa Fe County, the Town of Taos, Taos County, and the sovereign nations of Pueblo of Ohkay Owingeh and the Pueblo of Jemez.  https://regionalcoalitionnm.org/

Los Alamos County Councilor and Coalition treasurer, David Izraelevitz stated the Coalition has two focus areas, which are regional community and economic development and environmental remediation, or cleanup.  See Powerpoint beginning on p. 13 of SFCC Quality of Life RCLC JPA 3-17-21.pdf.  SFCC Quality of Life RCLC JPA 3-17-21

Recently, the City of Santa Fe and Santa Fe County each passed resolutions in support of a new site-wide environmental statement and in opposition to proposed expanded pit production.  SFCC 2021 LANL SWEIS Request Resolution and Resolution_2021-011-p0001_-_p0005.  Councilor Renee Villarreal asked how those resolutions are incorporated into the Coalition’s work.  Izraelevitz said that the Coalition has steered away from such issues and focuses on cleanup.

 

Economics and politics lack clear boundaries in the organization.  For example, the current Coalition chair, Henry Roybal, also serves as chair of the Santa Fe County Board of County Commissioners, and is a LANL employee. Commissioner Henry BIO-1 And as another example, annual dues vary between $3,500 and $60,000, as is the case of Los Alamos County.  Santa Fe pays $10,000 a year.

Izraelevitz explained that the Coalition receives a $100,000 grant from the Department of Energy, which owns LANL.  The grant prohibits lobbying.

Even so, the Coalition has a black eye because the New Mexico State Auditor found over $51,000 in improper spending over four years.  NM_OSA_FY_2018_Annual_Report.  See P. 37 -38.

At LANL’s request, the University of New Mexico Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER) prepared a report about economic impacts in Northern New Mexico.  UNMBBER_LANLImpactAnalysis_Revised_101419  It found that LANL does not create economic benefits in surrounding counties.  In fact, the report concluded that LANL’s presence creates a net economic loss in Rio Arriba, Santa Fe and Taos Counties, finding that Santa Fe County lost over $2.2 million, while Rio Arriba County lost over $2.6 million.  Yet Los Alamos County gained $13.6 million.  “Inequities Edited Out of Los Alamos National Lab Study,” Rio Grande Sun, by Molly Montgomery, June 26, 2020.  http://www.riograndesun.com/news/inequities-edited-out-of-los-alamos-national-lab-study/article_ea042414-b7f8-11ea-ada6-a7134ccaff97.html


1. Every Friday and Saturday from noon to 1 pm – Protest LANL signing a 10-year lease (for the former Descartes building) to establish itself in Santa Fe at the corner of Guadalupe and W. Alameda. JOIN US!  We’ll have banners.  Please bring a sign.

 

2. Ongoing – Washington-Marshall Islands Nuclear Remembrance Week: We Are Not Alone.  Thurs. March 18th through 19th from 6:30 – 8:30 pm MST and Sat. March 20th from 2:30 – 5:30 pm MST.  This week of virtual events commemorate Marshallese nuclear legacy, highlighting the Spokane Marshallese community, and bringing together frontline communities from across Washington state and the country.  For more information and to register, go to  https://www.cann-wa.us/our-work

 

3. Monday, March 29th EPA granted a four-week extension of time to provide comments about LANL industrial wastewater discharge permit.  CCNS is preparing comments in response to Triad National Security, LLC’s comments submitted on March 1, 2021.  Stay tuned for sample public comments you can use, as we get closer to the deadline.  https://www.epa.gov/nm/los-alamos-national-laboratory-lanl-limited-reopening-public-comment-period-npdes-permit-no

 

LANL W-87-1 Nuclear Warhead and Proposed Expansion into Santa Fe

The W-87-1, a new plutonium pit for a proposed nuclear warhead for fighting a full-scale nuclear war, would be fabricated at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL).  A plutonium pit is a grapefruit sized radioactive core of a nuclear warhead.  The plutonium pit would fit on a proposed Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent intercontinental ballistic missile.  Many people question the need for a new estimated one billion dollar weapon, which they say is “outdated and unnecessary.”  https://fas.org/issues/icbm-information-project/ (Federation of American Scientists); https://www.internationalpolicy.org/program/Arms-%26-Security-Program (Issue Brief:  Inside the ICBM Lobby:  Special Interests or The National Interest, Center for International Policy’s Arms & Security Program); and https://www.opensecrets.org/news/reports/capitalizing-on-conflict (Capitalizing on conflict:  How defense contractors and foreign nations lobby for arm sales, Center for Responsive Politics).  

The total congressional budget request for LANL in Fiscal Year 2021 is approximately $3.7 billion.  Approximately 80 percent is for nuclear weapons activities, or $3 billion.

Recently LANL signed two 10-year leases for nearly 96,000 square feet of space in three vacant office buildings in Santa Fe.  LANL plans for 75 employees to be based in one building on the corner of West Alameda and Guadalupe, and 500 more in two buildings on the hill above the intersection of St. Michael’s and Pacheco.  It is calculated that of those employees, 460 will work on nuclear weapons.

City officials and others have claimed that bringing LANL employees to Santa Fe will boost the economy.  But many of them are already in Santa Fe working virtually, such as Thom Mason, who is the LANL Director as well as President and CEO of Triad National Security, a limited liability corporation.  https://www.lanl.gov/about/leadership-governance/director.php

CCNS asks that we look more closely at LANL’s claim to boost the local economy – an extra cup of coffee in the morning, a bagel for lunch, a tank of gasoline, a trip to the bank to deposit the salaries of some of the highest paid employees in New Mexico?  LANL’s taxes are already contributing to Santa Fe’s economy. Such claims depend on redefining what is meant by “economic support” because there is no commercial product, nothing that is a benefit to the community.

CCNS asks why Santa Fe is expressing enthusiasm for LANL’s proposed expansion, when on January 22nd, just seven weeks ago, the international Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons went into force.  It is the first treaty to categorically ban nuclear weapons.  http://disarmament.un.org/treaties/t/tpnw

Like the treaties to ban chemical weapons, biological weapons, and landmines, once they went into force, the weapons manufacturers began to reduce or eliminated production and financial institutions stopped investing in such businesses.  https://thebulletin.org/2021/01/turn-back-the-clock-the-nuclear-ban-treaty-is-entering-into-force/

As a community, questioning LANL plans is essential.

Basia Miller, a CCNS Board member, said, “However the concept of ‘economic support’ is conceived, it cannot outweigh our responsibility to question LANL’s operations, which risk nearly irreversible damage to our lands, health, and lives and the wellbeing of the world.”


And don’t forget to listen to us weekly on your favorite PODCAST platform:


1. Every Friday and Saturday from noon to 1 pm – Protest LANL signing a 10-year lease (for the former Descartes building) to establish itself in Santa Fe at the corner of Guadalupe and W. Alameda. JOIN US!  We’ll have banners.  Please bring a sign.

 

 

2. Mon. March 15th through 19th from 6:30 – 8:30 pm MST and Sat. March 20th from 2:30 – 5:30 pm MST – Washington-Marshall Islands Nuclear Remembrance Week: We Are Not Alone.  The week of virtual events commemorate Marshallese nuclear legacy, highlighting the Spokane Marshallese community, and bringing together frontline communities from across Washington state and the country.  For more information and to register, go to  https://www.cann-wa.us/our-work

 

 

3. Monday, March 29thEPA granted a four-week extension of time to provide comments about LANL industrial wastewater discharge permit.  CCNS is preparing comments in response to Triad National Security, LLC’s comments submitted on March 1, 2021.  Stay tuned for sample public comments you can use, as we get closer to the deadline.  https://www.epa.gov/nm/los-alamos-national-laboratory-lanl-limited-reopening-public-comment-period-npdes-permit-no