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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Our Work

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Help us help you. We graciously 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

Action Needed: Advocate for Environmental Impact Statements for Proposed Plutonium Pit Expansions

Recently, the Department of Energy (DOE) and its semi-autonomous agency, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), determined that a new nationwide, or programmatic, environmental impact statement is not needed to increase the number of nuclear weapons triggers manufactured at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and the Savannah River Site.  The federal agencies have also determined that a new site-wide environmental impact statement is not needed for LANL.  DOE and NNSA have determined that they are not required to follow the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, along with Congressman Ben Ray Lujan, concur.  In response, Taosenos for Peaceful and Sustainable Futures created a petition to the Senators and the Congressman to demand that DOE and NNSA conduct a nationwide, or programmatic, environmental impact statement, followed by a site-wide environmental impact statement for LANL as required by NEPA.

The petition is available for download here:  Petition-EIS for LANL Pit Production 2-20-20 Please gather signatures and join us on Tuesday, March 10th when the organizations will present the petition signatures to the offices of the Senators and Congressman in Santa Fe.

Since 1997, DOE limited production of plutonium pits, or the triggers for nuclear weapons, at LANL to 20 per year.  Nevertheless, since that time, LANL has not produced anything near 20 pits per year – the most in one year was six.  Safety and seismic issues shut down production for years.  Even so, LANL is the only location in the U.S. for such work.  Critics oppose the DOE’s plans to expand the number of plutonium triggers manufactured each year from 20 to 30 – an increase of 50 percent – and argue for the environmental impact statements.

At the same time, the federal agencies want to convert the failed Savannah River Site Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility to manufacture up to 50 pits per year.  The agencies have determined that they would follow NEPA and issue a full environmental impact statement for public review and comment for the proposed operations at the Savannah River Site.

The federal agencies have refused to conduct a programmatic environmental impact statement for proposed connected operations at both facilities.

 

NEPA is required for major federal actions, including those that involve a “group of concerted actions to implement a specific policy or plan.”  Expanding pit production at two major DOE sites is a major federal action requiring a programmatic environment impact statement.

To get involved, please download the petition, Petition-EIS for LANL Pit Production 2-20-20 gather signatures, and join us on Tuesday, March 10th to deliver the petition signatures to the offices of the Senators and Congressman.  Together we are making a difference!


  1. Your financial support makes a difference!  Please help CCNS with a monthly sustaining donation.  Use our e-contribution form on the right side of our home page at http://nuclearactive.org/  Your contribution will support the CCNS Media Network!  Many thanks!
  2. Mark your calendar! You are cordially invited to attend the Third Annual Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium Benefit on Sunday, March 15th from 1 to 5 pm at the National Hispanic Cultural Center, in Albuquerque.  There will be music, dancing, door prizes, a silent auction, food and drinks, and lots of fun!  For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit https://www.trinitydownwinders.com/

For those in the Santa Fe area interested in donating gift cards and silent auction items, please contact Joni Arends at CCNS at 505 986-1973.  Thank you!

 

“Forever WIPP?” Permit Renewal Comment Period Extended

In response to complaints by CCNS and Deborah Reade that the pre-submittal permit renewal application was not easily accessible on its website, the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) has agreed to extend the public comment period to Thursday, February 20th.  Senator Tom Udall’s staff also requested the extension of time.  f WIPP Comment Ltr 2-13-20

WIPP is required to hold a public meeting to discuss its draft application prior to submitting its final application to the New Mexico Environment Department at the end of March.  During the Santa Fe public meeting on January 23rd, CCNS pointed to the confusion about the location of the draft application on the WIPP website and requested that it be placed on the homepage.  Despite assurances from WIPP that a link would be added to the home page, that did not occur until after written complaints were filed and the comment period expired.  https://www.wipp.energy.gov/

Now that we have some additional time, here are some of the major, unresolved issues at WIPP:

First, the federal Department of Energy (DOE), owner of WIPP, has provided almost no information in Spanish about this permit renewal making it impossible for many Spanish speakers to be fully informed about the proposed changes for WIPP.  At a time when DOE is proposing major expansions, it should not skirt its responsibilities to provide information about its plans in Spanish.

Second, DOE wants the Environment Department to allow the site to receive plutonium-contaminated, or transuranic, waste until 2052, or 2080, or … essentially forever.  The current permit states disposal operations will end in 2024.  DOE promised the People of New Mexico that WIPP would dispose of waste for 25 years and then close the facility.

Third, the federal Land Withdrawal Act of 1992 limits WIPP to up to 6.2 million cubic feet of transuranic waste and prohibits any high-level waste or commercial waste, because Congress and New Mexico have always agreed, and DOE used to agree, that WIPP has a limited capacity, a limited operating lifetime, and that additional waste repositories would be built elsewhere.  https://www.congress.gov/bill/102nd-congress/senate-bill/1671

Fourth, DOE has submitted a request to the Environment Department for temporary authorization to mine a new shaft into the waste disposal area, which is 2,150 feet below ground surface.  The proposed shaft would allow new underground rooms that could more than double the disposal area because the existing permitted panels will be filled in a few years.  https://wipp.energy.gov/2020-information-repository-documents.asp under “Temporary Authorization Requests.”

Fifth, DOE and its contractor, Nuclear Waste Partnership, have clearly demonstrated that they cannot operate WIPPin the “start clean, stay clean” manner as stated in the Permit, as the site was closed to waste disposal for three years following the February 2014 fire and radiation release.

Sixth, the renewal application does not include adequate human exposure information as required by the regulations.  Only air releases are described.  Despite the fact that the transportation phase accounts for almost all of the negative health effects during normal operations, effects from the increased shipping in this proposed renewal application are not mentioned.


  1. Your financial support makes a difference!  Please help CCNS with a monthly sustaining donation.  Use our e-contribution form on the right side of our home page at http://nuclearactive.org/  Your contribution will support the CCNS Media Network!  Many thanks!
  2. Wednesday, February 19th, from 5:30 to 7:15 pm, LANL will host an “Environmental Management Cleanup Forum about Legacy Waste at LANL,” at the Cottonwood on the Greens (golf course), at 4244 Diamond Drive. https://www.cottonwoodonthegreens.com/ Topics include Cleanup:  Big Picture and Near-Term Decisions with a Community Discussion and Q&A, along with a Poster Session from 6:45 to 7:15 pm.
  3. Mark your calendar for you are cordially invited to attend the Third Annual Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium Benefit on Sunday, March 15th from 1 to 5 pm at the National Hispanic Cultural Center, in Albuquerque. There will be music, dancing, door prizes, a silent auction, food and drinks, and lots of fun!  For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit https://www.trinitydownwinders.com/   Click here to view:  Event Flyer
 

Events for 75th Anniversaries & the New Nuclear Arms Race

CCNS provides the following information about upcoming events in New Mexico to commemorate the 75 years since the U.S. atomic bombings at the Trinity Site in July 1945, and over Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945.  Additional events, including the Stop the New Nuclear Arms Race conference, in Maryville, Tennessee, May 22nd through May 25th, are opportunities to meet and learn from campaigners from around the world.  Download the current events calendar: 2020 Events 1-27-20

Seventy-five years after the U.S. atomic bombings, the hands of the Doomsday Clock are now set at 100 seconds before midnight https://thebulletin.org/doomsday-clock/current-time/ , and the nuclear powers are engaged in a new nuclear arms race.  The abolition movement is reviving, with new energy, new tools, and renewed commitment.

The Stop the New Nuclear Arms Race international conference will begin with dinner on Friday, May 22nd and end on Monday, May 25th with a trip to the Oak Ridge National Laboratory for a nonviolent demonstration against the nuclear weapons work at the Y-12 Nuclear Weapons Complex.  Y-12 is an active nuclear weapons manufacturing facility that makes highly enriched uranium cores for the W76-2 warhead and is currently building a new bomb plant, the Uranium Processing Facility, to continue production for decades.

Workshop topics include, The Ban Treaty, Don’t Bank on the Bomb, Campus Connections to the Bomb, and Mayors for Peace.

The Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance, Nukewatch, and the Nuclear Resister are hosting the conference.  For more information, go to http://nukewatchinfo.org/stop_new_nuclear_arms_race/

In New Mexico, three national gatherings focused on commemorating the U.S. bombings will take place.  The Veterans for Peace National Convention runs from August 5th through the 9th in Albuquerque.  https://www.veteransforpeace.org/  The Upaya Zen Center holds its “Bearing Witness Memorial Sesshin:  Marking the 75th Year Since the Nuclear Bombings” from August 5th through the 10th in Santa Fe.  https://www.upaya.org/  The Campaign Nonviolence National Conference runs from August 6th through the 9th in Albuquerque.  https://paceebene.org/cnvconference2020

Additionally, the public is invited to join the attendees for two commemoration events at Ashley Pond in Los Alamos.

First, on Thursday, August 6th, the day the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, the public and conference participants will gather from 4 pm to 8 pm.  Beginning at 5 pm, a rally is planned at the Main Stage with speakers, poets, and musicians.

Then, on Sunday, August 9th, the day the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb on Nagasaki, the public and conference participants will gather from 11 am to 3 pm.  From 1 to 3 pm there will be a rally at the Main Stage with speakers, poets, and musicians.


1. Your financial support makes a difference!  Please help CCNS with a monthly sustaining donation.  Use our e-contribution form on the right side of our home page at http://nuclearactive.org/  Your contribution will support the CCNS Media Network!  Many thanks!

2. Sunday, February 9th at 11 am at Journey Santa Fe at Collected Works Bookstore, 202 Galisteo Street, Santa Fe – Joni Arends, CCNS Co-founder and Executive Director, will present “The Department of Energy’s Plans to Expand LANL and WIPP and What You Can Do.”  We’ll have petitions & postcards you can sign.  We’ll reference the 2020 Calendar of Events that are available here: 2020 Events 1-27-20 The event is free and open to the public.

3. Monday, February 10th, release of federal budget, including for the Department of Energy (DOE). To learn what to look for in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fiscal Year 2021 Nuclear Weapons and Cleanup Budget Request, check out the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability’s Media Advisory. http://www.ananuclear.org/ and scroll down the home page.

4. Tuesday, February 11th beginning at 11 am, we’ll deliver the signed petitions to the congressional offices in Santa Fe.

5. Wednesday, February 19th, from 5:30 to 7:15 pm, LANL will host an “Environmental Management Cleanup Forum about Legacy Waste at LANL,” at the Cottonwood on the Greens (golf course), at 4244 Diamond Drive. https://www.cottonwoodonthegreens.com/ 

CCNS has requested several times that LANL not hold public meetings at this location during winter as the parking lots is sloped and can be icy – thus creating a hazard and preventing public participation.  CCNS has suggested that LANL winter meeting take place in Pojoaque – a centrally located area.

Topics include Cleanup:  Big Picture and Near-Term Decisions with a Community Discussion and Q&A, along with a Poster Session from 6:45 to 7:15 pm.  Download the event flyer: EM Cleanup Forum February 19, 2020_Agenda_V3

 

National Day of Remembrance Omits Trinity Downwinders

In November 2011, the U.S. Senate designated January 27th as a National Day of Remembrance for the Nevada Test Site Downwinders.  The Senate recognized the harm caused to Americans from radioactive fallout from the aboveground atomic tests in Nevada, which began on January 27, 1951 and ended on July 17, 1962.  At that time, the testing went underground.

The Downwinders of the first aboveground atomic test on July 16, 1945, at the Trinity Site in south central New Mexico, question why they were not included in the Day of Remembrance.  In a recent press release, the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium wrote, “While it is an honorable and just thing to commemorate the Nevada Test Site Downwinders, there are other Downwinders in the United States who have not received this acknowledgement or recognition.  The New Mexico residents who lived downwind of the Trinity Test at the White Sands Missile Range [], were the first people anywhere in the world to be exposed to radiation as a result of the testing of the atomic bomb.”  Seventy-five years later, these Downwinders have yet to be acknowledged.  They have not received the compensation and health care provided to the Nevada Downwinders under the federal Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA), which was passed by Congress in 1990.

The Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium continues, “The compensation and health care the Nevada Test Site Downwinders receive is justifiable, but to omit New Mexicans is not.  Historical documents and maps indicate that the entire state of New Mexico also received radiation fallout from the Nevada Test Site; thus, New Mexicans have received a cumulative dose of radiation starting with the Trinity test and continuing through the [above-ground] testing at the Nevada test site.

Tina Cordova, a co-founder of the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium, has been advocating for equal compensation for New Mexicans that Nevada Test Site Downwinders began to receive thirty years ago.

Cordova said, “It’s time to recognize the Unsung Patriots who were unknowing, unwilling, uncompensated, innocent participants in the world’s largest science experiment.  People in New Mexico have been suffering in silence ever since the bomb was detonated in July 1945.  It’s time we reveal the rest of the story and people are made aware of the complete legacy of Trinity.”

To learn more about the work of the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium, you are cordially invited to attend their Third Annual Trinity Downwinders Benefit on Sunday, March 15th from 1 to 5 pm at the National Hispanic Cultural Center, in Albuquerque.  There will be music, dancing, door prizes, a silent auction, food and drinks, and lots of fun.  For more information, please visit https://www.trinitydownwinders.com/


1.    Your financial support makes a difference!  Please help CCNS with an end-of-the-year tax-deductible contribution or a monthly sustaining donation.  Mail your check to CCNS, P. O.Box 31147, Santa Fe, NM  87594-1147, or use our e-contribution form on the right side of our home page at http://nuclearactive.org/  We need your contribution to continue keeping you informed.  Stay informed with the CCNS Media Network!  Many thanks!

2.     Friday, January 31st at noon- 11th Annual “Witness for the People” in the rotunda of State Capitol in Santa Fe.  This event is organized by Interfaith Worker Justice- NM as the People of Faith State of the State address and will kick off the 2020 events, conferences, conventions, community organizing involving Trinity, Hiroshima and Nagasaki commemorations.  Music will be provided by Paul and The Tone Daddies.

Confirmed speakers include:
*  Lt. Governor Howie Morales;
*  Representative Angelica Rubio (sponsor of House Memorial 5, entitled “Individuals Exposed to Radiation Support,” which urges the New Mexico Congressional delegation to pass the proposed amendments to the federal Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA)).  HM5 passed unanimously out of the House Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Committee on Th. January 30th.  Next stop:  House Floor.  ;
*  Marian Naranjo, of Honor Our Pueblo Existence;
*  Tina Cordova, of the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium, also known as the Trinity Downwinders;
*  Ken Mayers with Veterans for Peace; and
*  Archbishop John C. Wester..

For more information, please contact The Reverend Holly Beaumont at hbeaumont@iwj.organd http://nuclearactive.org/trinity-hiroshima-nagasaki-commemoration-events-in-nm/

3.    IMPORTANT LEGISLATIVE ACTION:  Saturday, February 1 around noon at the NM Legislature:  House Memorial 21 Transport and Storage of Radioactive Waste, sponsored by Representative Matthew McQueen will be held in the House Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Committee.  It addresses proposed transport to and storage at the proposed Holtec Site.  https://www.nmlegis.gov/Legislation/Legislation?chamber=H&legType=M&legNo=21&year=20 and https://www.nmlegis.gov/Committee/Standing_Committee?CommitteeCode=HENRC

Dates, times, and place change at the legislature.  Before venturing out, double check the above links to make sure HM21 remains on the agenda, check its placement on the agenda, etc.

4.    February 4th, State of the Union Address.

5.    February 10th, release of federal budget, including for the Department of Energy (DOE).

 

NNSA Says No EIS Needed to Expand LANL Pit Production

moswald@abqjournal.com

The Department of Energy’s semi-autonomous agency, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), has determined that a full environmental impact statement is not needed to increase the number of triggers for nuclear weapons manufactured at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) by 50 percent – from 20 to 30.  Since 1997, DOE has limited production to 20 triggers, or plutonium pits, per year.  Nevertheless, since that time, LANL has not produced anything near 20 pits per year – the most in one year was six.  Safety and seismic issues have shut down production for years.  Even so, LANL is the only U.S. location for such work.  Critics oppose the decision and have stated that litigation may result.

In 2018, the current administration determined that the U.S. would increase pit production at LANL and begin production at the Savannah River Site, located in South Carolina.  Savannah River has never produced plutonium pits, let alone the planned 50 per year.  For Savannah River, NNSA has determined that it would follow the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and issue a full environmental impact statement for public review and comment.

The federal agencies have refused to conduct a programmatic environmental impact statement for operations at both facilities, including the transportation of nuclear materials between them.

For LANL, NNSA said it would produce a supplemental analysis to the 2008 environmental impact statement.  A supplemental analysis may not address the impacts of the 2011 Las Conchas fire, increased hexavalent chromium in the regional aquifer, and increased seismic danger on the Pajarito Plateau, which LANL occupies.

The 1997 decision to limit the number of pits to 20 is the result of citizen litigation.  The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), based in Washington, DC, represented 39 citizens groups from around the country against DOE.  CCNS was one of the citizen plaintiffs, along with Tri-Valley Communities Against a Radioactive Environment, or Tri-Valley CARES, located in Livermore, California, where the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, LANL’s “sister” nuclear weapons laboratory, is located.

Marylia Kelley, Executive Director of Tri-Valley CAREs, said,  “NNSA’s refusal to complete programmatic environmental review before plunging ahead with plans to more than quadruple the production authorization for plutonium bomb cores flies in the face of our country’s foundational environmental law, the [NEPA], and a standing federal court order mandating that the government conduct such a review. The order was obtained in prior litigation by [NRDC] on behalf of itself, Tri-Valley CAREs, and additional plaintiffs. Today, I find myself shocked but not surprised that NNSA would so flagrantly flout the law. [] My group stands ready to uphold NEPA and the specific court order.”  http://www.trivalleycares.org/

For more information, please see the following documents [links provided by Nuclear Watch New Mexico]:

NNSA’s Federal Register Notice of Availability for the final Supplement Analysis is available at https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2020-01-08/pdf/2020-00102.pdf  It provides succinct background.

NNSA’s final Supplement Analysis is available at https://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2020/01/f70/final-supplement-analysis-eis-0236-s4-sa-02-complex-transformation-12-2019.pdf

The 1998 court order that requires DOE to prepare a supplemental PEIS when it plans to produce more than 80 pits per year is available as Natural Resources Defense Council v. Pena, 20 F.Supp.2d 45, 50 (D.D.C. 1998), https://law.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/FSupp2/20/45/2423390/


1. Your financial support makes a difference!  Please help CCNS with an end-of-the-year tax-deductible contribution or a monthly sustaining donation.  Mail your check to CCNS, P. O. Box 31147, Santa Fe, NM  87594-1147, or use our e-contribution form on the right side of our home page at http://nuclearactive.org/ We need your contribution to continue keeping you informed through our weekly broadcast and social media postings.  Stay informed with the CCNS Media Network!  Many thanks!

2. January 30th – The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) will hold a public meeting about its yet-to-be-submitted application for renewal of the ten-year hazardous waste permit to the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED).
IN CARLSBAD:  January 30th from 5 to 7 pm at the Skeen-Whitlock Building, 4021 National Park Highway, Carlsbad
For more information and to view the draft hazardous waste facility permit, go to https://wipp.energy.gov/rcra-proposed-mods.asp

3. Friday, January 31st at noon -11th Annual “Witness for the People” in the rotunda of State Capitol in Santa Fe.  This event is organized by Interfaith Worker Justice- NM as the People of Faith State of the State address.  Music will be provided by Paul and The Tone Daddies.
Confirmed speakers include:
*  Archbishop John C. Wester;
*  Lt. Governor Howie Morales;
*  Representative Angelica Rubio (sponsor of House Memorial 5, entitled “Individuals Exposed to Radiation Support,” which urges the New Mexico Congressional delegation to pass the proposed amendments to the federal Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA));
*  Marian Naranjo, of Honor Our Pueblo Existence;
*  Tina Cordova, of the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium, also known as the Trinity Downwinders; and
*  Ken Mayers with Veterans for Peace.
For more information, please contact The Reverend Holly Beaumont at hbeaumont@iwj.org and http://nuclearactive.org/trinity-hiroshima-nagasaki-commemoration-events-in-nm/

 

Opposition to Possible LANL Participation in Midtown Santa Fe

On Wednesday, protesters gathered at the St. Francis of Assisi statue at the Santa Fe City Hall to express opposition to any participation in Midtown Santa Fe by Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) as a master developer or as a tenant in any of the other six proposals.  Although the proposals have not been made public, it is understood that the National Nuclear Security Administration, Department of Energy (DOE), and LANL have submitted proposals to participate fully at the potentially expanding 66-acre site between Cerrillos Road, St. Michael’s Drive, Siringo Road, and Camino Carlos Rey.  While the City’s website states that the City will announce the finalists on January 15th, as of this writing, the announcement has not been made.  https://www.santafenm.gov/media/rfps_docs/RFEI_20.05_.P__Real_Estate_Developers_and_or_Business_Entities_.pdf, p. 6.

Organized by the Los Alamos Study Group, nearly 50 people participated in the peaceful protest.  Greg Mello, Director of the Study Group, explained that because of safety lapses involving nuclear criticality, the City Council passed a resolution in 2018 opposing planned expanded production of the plutonium cores, or pits, for nuclear weapons at LANL.  https://www.lasg.org/  The plans of the Commander-in-Chief and DOE involve increased plutonium pit production from an authorized 20 per year to 30 per year – an increase of 50 percent.  In December, Congress approved $712 million in increased funding for this work.  https://www.heinrich.senate.gov/in-the-news/final-defense-budget-nearly-doubles-spending-on-pit-production

At the protest, Jim Eagle, a retired Navy officer who served on nuclear submarines, said, “If you’re against the nuclear mission, you’re against the training of the workforce and administrative support.”

There is little room in Los Alamos County for the needed housing and services for the projected 1,000 employees a year that LANL plans to hire over the next five years.  DOE wants to create a New Mexico Innovation Triangle with Midtown nearly halfway between LANL and Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque.  https://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/santa-fe-receives-proposals-to-redevelop-midtown-campus/article_ec2199c2-5228-5b83-a2c4-7c1241e704a9.html

Further, the Midtown Santa Fe is designated as an Opportunity Zone.  In 2017, Congress, under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, created these zones.  Under the law, governors are allowed to nominate certain census tracts as Opportunity Zones.  The New Mexico Economic Development Department describes the status this way:  “Designation as an Opportunity Zone allows for the creation of a new class of investment vehicle with tax advantages authorized to aggregate and deploy private investment located in Opportunity Zones.  The purpose of these tax advantages is to attract capital investment into economically distressed areas.”  https://gonm.biz/business-development/edd-programs-for-business/finance-development/opportunity-zones

The City announced that a new public input process would begin in February and continue into March and April.  https://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/city-closing-in-on-short-list-of-master-developers-for/article_44b98796-33e2-11ea-ac64-7b0e61acfffb.html

Joni Arends, of CCNS, said, “Regardless of whether LANL is a master developer finalist or a tenant in another finalist development, it is time to get involved in the Midtown process.”


1. Your financial support makes a difference!  Please help CCNS with an end-of-the-year tax-deductible contribution or a monthly sustaining donation.  Mail your check to CCNS, P. O. Box 31147, Santa Fe, NM  87594-1147, or use our e-contribution form on the right side of our home page at http://nuclearactive.org/ We need your contribution to continue keeping you informed through our weekly broadcast and social media postings.  There’s a lot of work to be done in 2020 – and many proposals to expand operations (a new shaft at WIPP; expanded pit production at LANL; Radiation Exposure Compensation Act through House Memorial 5, etc.) are already on the table.  Stay informed with the CCNS Media Network!  Many thanks!

2. Thursday, January 16th – THIS MEETING WAS CANCELED DUE TO WEATHER.  EPA WILL RESCHEDULE IT.  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will host a public meeting (beginning at 5 pm) and hearing (beginning at 7 pm) about the LANL Individual Stormwater Permit renewal at the Pojoaque Valley Sixth Grade Academy, 1574 State Road 502 West.  This permit covers 405 site monitoring areas with the potential to discharge pollutants every time it rains or snows.  Come to the meeting to question why EPA has not required LANL to remove the pollutants from the ground.  https://www.epa.gov/nm/lanl-storm-water-individual-permit-draft-permit-no-nm0030759

3. Tuesday, January 21 at noon – The 2020 New Mexico Legislature begins its 30-day session.  To learn more, go to https://www.nmlegis.gov/

Training opportunities are available at the Center for Progress and Justice at  https://www.facebook.com/Center-For-Progress-and-Justice-194361180574806/

4. Thursday, January 23rd and January 30th – The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) will hold public meetings about its yet-to-be-submitted application for renewal of the ten-year hazardous waste permit to the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED).

IN SANTA FE:   January 23rd from 5 to 7 pm at the Santa Fe Hilton, 100 Sandoval Street, Santa Fe

IN CARLSBAD:  January 30th from 5 to 7 pm at the Skeen-Whitlock Building, 4021 National Park Highway, Carlsbad

For more information and to view the draft hazardous waste facility permit, go to https://wipp.energy.gov/rcra-proposed-mods.asp 

5. Friday, January 31st at noon -11th Annual “Witness for the People” in the rotunda of State Capitol in Santa Fe.  This event is organized by Interfaith Worker Justice- NM as the People of Faith State of the State address.  Music will be provided by Paul and The Tone Daddies. Confirmed speakers include Archbishop John C. Wester; Lt. Governor Howie Morales;  Representative Angelica Rubio (sponsor of House Memorial 5, entitled “Individuals Exposed to Radiation Support,” which urges the New Mexico Congressional delegation to pass the proposed amendments to the federal Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA)) ; Marian Naranjo, of Honor Our Pueblo Existence; Tina Cordova, of the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium, also known as the Trinity Downwinders; and Ken Mayers with Veterans for Peace.  For more information, please contact The Reverend Holly Beaumont at hbeaumont@iwj.org  http://nuclearactive.org/trinity-hiroshima-nagasaki-commemoration-events-in-nm/

 

Midtown Santa Fe Planning Lacks Public Participation

The City of Santa Fe released a request for expressions of interest for developing the old College of Santa Fe campus in what is now called “Midtown Santa Fe.”  The request directed to real estate developers and business entities is very detailed.  But the request does not require a detailed process for public review, comment, and participation of the proposals.  Many are questioning why.

An unqualified Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), along with the National Nuclear Security Administration and Department of Energy, has submitted more than one proposal to be the Master Developer or perhaps a tenant in other proposals.  The request asks for Developers with experience in higher education, civic use, residential and mixed use, creative arts and design, entrepreneurship and new business, and open space and recreation.  However, LANL does not have this experience.  They have been cited again and again for poor safety and management.  In fact, LANL-related messes remain in Santa Fe.  They include the Nuclear Laundry http://www.nuclearactive.org/docs/laundryinfo.html , the abandoned Eberline Instruments facility https://www.sfreporter.com/news/news-coverstories/2017/09/28/nuclear-neighborhood-2/ and https://www.sfreporter.com/news/2018/10/29/congressman-requests-records-on-airport-road-nuke-facility/ , and most recently, the LANL contractors who brought contaminated roofing materials to the Caja del Rio landfill https://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/lanl-faces-state-penalties-over-waste-violations/article_a18a4fef-8542-5e11-bf74-72839d3bd5c3.html .

Midtown Santa Fe, a 66-acre parcel, which may be expanded to 100 acres, is located between St. Michael’s Drive, Siringo Road, Camino Carlos Rey, and Cerrillos Road, thus the name, “Midtown.”  https://midtowndistrictsantafe.com/ and https://www.santafenm.gov/midtown_site

Proposals were due on October 31st.  Since then, an Evaluation Committee led by the Midtown Project Director Daniel Hernandez and includes directors of key city departments, has been reviewing and evaluating the proposals behind closed door.  There have been a few leaks:  articles in the Santa Fe New Mexican https://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/city-mum-on-proposals-for-santa-fe-s-midtown-campus/article_f25cef7b-ceab-524a-80bc-29e5896c75d6.html ; https://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/santa-fe-receives-proposals-to-redevelop-midtown-campus/article_ec2199c2-5228-5b83-a2c4-7c1241e704a9.html ; and https://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/business/developer-proposals-hint-at-what-s-in-store-for-city/article_2ec04f5c-156f-53fe-b034-9939ea167b4a.html as well as discussions at Journey, a Sunday morning public interest group, at Collected Works Bookstore.  https://www.journeysantafe.com/  [The Mayor spoke on January 12, 2020.]  But there has been no formal public comment process.  There is no community member on the Evaluation Committee.

The City plans to notify the finalists on Wednesday, January 15th.  The Los Alamos Study Group announced its plans to hold a press conference that day at noon at Santa Fe City Hall.  For more information, go to https://www.lasg.org/

Cynthia Weehler, a community activist, spoke at this week’s City Council meeting.  She pointed out that the Mayor said at Journey that the City Council will “use what they learned” about what the public wants in order to make a decision.  She said, “Mayor, … if we were given an opportunity to inform City Council of our wishes it was not something most of us were aware of.  And this is my point: because we, the people of Santa Fe, will have to live with the consequences of that decision, including urban sprawl, traffic, and changed cultural goals of the city, it should not be your decision alone.  We have not been invited to the table, as we should have been.  Do not make this decision without getting the public’s input.”


  1.  Your financial support makes a difference!  Please help CCNS with an end-of-the-year tax-deductible contribution or a monthly sustaining donation.  Mail your check to CCNS, P. O. Box 31147, Santa Fe, NM  87594-1147, or use our e-contribution form on the right side of our home page at http://nuclearactive.org/ We need your contribution to continue keeping you informed through our weekly broadcast and social media postings.  There’s a lot of work to be done in 2020 – and many proposals to expand operations are already on the table.  Stay informed with the CCNS Media Network!  Many thanks!

    2.     Wednesday, January 15th -The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will host a public meeting (beginning at 5 pm) and hearing (beginning at 7 pm) about the

    LANL Industrial Wastewater Discharge Permit renewal at the Pojoaque Valley Sixth Grade Academy, 1574 State Road 502 West.  The permit includes Outfall 051 for the Radioactive Liquid Waste Treatment Facility, which has not discharged since November 2010.  Come to the meeting to question why Outfall 051 remains on the permit.    https://www.epa.gov/nm/lanl-industrial-wastewater-permit-draft-permit-no-nm0028355-0

    3.    Thursday, January 16th – The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will host a public meeting (beginning at 5 pm) and hearing (beginning at 7 pm) about the LANL Individual Stormwater Permit renewalat the Pojoaque Valley Sixth Grade Academy, 1574 State Road 502 West.  This permit covers 405 site monitoring areas with the potential to discharge pollutants every time it rains or snows.  Come to the meeting to question why EPA has not required LANL to remove the pollutants from the ground.  https://www.epa.gov/nm/lanl-storm-water-individual-permit-draft-permit-no-nm0030759

    4.    Tuesday, January 21 at noon – The 2020 New Mexico Legislature begins its 30-day session.  To learn more, go to https://www.nmlegis.gov/ 

    5.    Thursday, January 23rd and January 30th – The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) will hold public meetings about its yet-to-be-submitted application for renewal of the ten-year hazardous waste permit to the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED).

    IN SANTA FE:   January 23rd from 5 to 7 pm at the Santa Fe Hilton, 100 Sandoval Street, Santa Fe

    IN CARLSBAD:  January 30th from 5 to 7 pm at the Skeen-Whitlock Building, 4021 National Park Highway, Carlsbad

    For more information and to view the draft hazardous waste facility permit, go to https://wipp.energy.gov/rcra-proposed-mods.asp

 

Trinity, Hiroshima & Nagasaki Commemoration Events in NM

Planning is ongoing to commemorate the 75 years since the U.S. atomic bombings at the Trinity Site in July 1945, and over Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945.  Educational events to challenge the false narratives about the bombings will take place around New Mexico, along with proposed memorials in the New Mexico State Legislature.  To see an event listing click here…f 2020 Events 1-1-20  CCNS will update the 2020 Event Listing at least once a month and provide it with the first Update of the month.     

The opening event is the 11th Annual “Witness for the People” on Friday, January 31st at noon in the rotunda of the State Capitol in Santa Fe.  Organizer, Interfaith Worker Justice – New Mexico, says the event is the People of Faith State of the State address.  http://www.iwj.org/locations/new-mexico  Confirmed speakers include Archbishop John C. Wester https://archdiosf.org/about-archbishop-wester ; Lieutenant Governor Howie Morales https://www.ltgov.state.nm.us/ ; Representative Angelica Rubio https://www.nmlegis.gov/Members/Legislator?SponCode=HRUBI ; Marian Naranjo, of Honor Our Pueblo Existence https://honorourpuebloexistence.com/ ; Tina Cordova, of the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium, also known as the Trinity Downwinders https://www.trinitydownwinders.com/ ; and Ken Mayers of Veterans for Peace https://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/santa-fean-arrested-after-anti-war-protest-in-ireland-back/article_c3d72554-17ce-11ea-91db-cf4a2f755dfb.html .  Paul and The Tone Daddies will provide music.  http://paulpino.com/tone-daddies/  For more information, please contact The Reverend Holly Beaumont at hbeaumont@iwj.org.

Representative Rubio pre-filed House Memorial 5, entitled “Individuals Exposed to Radiation Support,” which urges the New Mexico congressional delegation to pass proposed amendments to the federal Radiation Exposure Compensation Act that would include the Trinity Downwinders and the Post’71 Uranium Workers.  After the Witness for the People event, participants will encourage their legislators to support House Memorial 5.  https://www.nmlegis.gov/Legislation/Legislation?Chamber=H&LegType=M&LegNo=5&year=20

In August, three national conferences focused on commemorating the U.S. bombings will take place in New Mexico.  The public is invited to attend one or more of the conferences.  Please be sure to register beforehand.

The Veterans for Peace National Conference runs from August 5th through the 9th in Albuquerque.  https://www.veteransforpeace.org/  The Upaya Zen Center begins its “Bearing Witness Memorial Sesshin:  Marking the 75th Year Since the Nuclear Bombings” on August 5th through the 10th in Santa Fe.  https://www.upaya.org/program/bearing-witness-sesshin-the-75th-anniversary-of-hiroshima-and-nagasaki/?id=2209  The Campaign Nonviolence National Conference runs from August 6th through the 9th in Albuquerque.  https://paceebene.org/cnvconference2020  

The public is invited to join with the conference attendees at the commemoration events in Los Alamos.

On Thursday, August 6th, the day the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, the public and conference participants will gather at Ashley Pond from 4 pm to 8 pm.  Beginning at 5 pm there will be a rally at the Main Stage with speakers, poets, and musicians.

On Sunday, August 9th, the day the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb on Nagasaki, the public and conference participants will gather at Ashley Pond from 11 am to 3 pm.  From 1 to 3 pm there will be a rally at the Main Stage with speakers, poets, and musicians.


1. Your financial support makes a difference!  Please help CCNS with an end-of-the-year tax-deductible contribution or a monthly sustaining donation.  Mail your check to CCNS, P. O. Box 31147, Santa Fe, NM  87594-1147, or use our e-contribution form on the right side of our home page at http://nuclearactive.org/ We need your contribution to continue keeping you informed through our weekly broadcast and social media network.  There’s a lot of work to be done in 2020 – and many proposals to expand operations are already on the table.  Stay informed with the CCNS Media Network!  Many thanks!

2. Thursday, January 9th – The New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) will host a public engagement meeting to discuss the 2016 Consent Order

 

for Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), which is between the Department of Energy and NMED.  The meeting will be from 5:30 to 7 pm at the University of NM – Los Alamos, 4000 University Drive, Bldg. 6, Room 631, Los Alamos, NM.  See the NMED news release in English and Spanish at  https://www.env.nm.gov/

If you need interpretation or assistance at the meeting, please contact Neelam Dhawan, of the NMED Hazardous Waste Bureau, at (505) 476-6042 or via email at Neelam.Dhawan@state.nm.us

3. Wednesday, January 15th -The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will host a public meeting (beginning at 5 pm) and hearing (beginning at 7 pm) about the

 

LANL Industrial Wastewater Discharge Permit renewal at the Pojoaque Valley Sixth Grade Academy, 1574 State Road 502 West.  https://www.epa.gov/nm/lanl-industrial-wastewater-permit-draft-permit-no-nm0028355-0

4. Thursday, January 16th – The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will host a public meeting (beginning at 5 pm) and hearing (beginning at 7 pm) about the LANL Individual Stormwater Permit renewal at the Pojoaque Valley Sixth Grade Academy, 1574 State Road 502 West.  https://www.epa.gov/nm/lanl-storm-water-individual-permit-draft-permit-no-nm0030759

5. Thursday, January 23rd and January 30th – The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) will hold public meetings about its yet-to-be-submitted application for renewal of the ten-year hazardous waste permit to the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED).

IN SANTA FE:   January 23rd from 5 to 7 pm at the Santa Fe Hilton, 100 Sandoval Street, Santa Fe

IN CARLSBAD:  January 30th from 5 to 7 pm at the Skeen-Whitlock Building, 4021 National Park Highway, Carlsbad

For more information and to view the draft hazardous waste facility permit, go to https://wipp.energy.gov/rcra-proposed-mods.asp

 

Two WIPP Hazardous Waste Permit Application Meetings

The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) will hold two public meetings about their draft hazardous waste permit application to renew the 10-year permit issued by the New Mexico Environment Department.  The Department of Energy and its contractor at WIPP, Nuclear Waste Partnership, LLC, are required to hold these meetings to inform the public about proposed changes to the hazardous waste management activities and to receive comments before they submit their application to the Environment Department.

This is the second renewal application WIPP will submit.  The first 10-year permit went into effect in December 1999.  It was renewed in December 2010.  The current permit expires on December 30, 2020.  The application is due 180 days before the permit expires, or on or before July 3rd.

This draft application is 1,285 pages so it will take a while to review it before the public meetings occur in the second half of January.  https://wipp.energy.gov/Library/Information_Repository_A/DRAFT_2020_Renewal_Application.pdf

The first meeting will be held in Santa Fe on Thursday, January 23rd from 5 to 7 pm at the Santa Fe Hilton, located at 100 Sandoval.  The second meeting will be held in Carlsbad on Thursday, January 30th from 5 to 7 pm at the Skeen-Whitlock Building, located at 4021 National Parks Highway.  Public comments will be accepted through Monday, February 3rd at infocntr@wipp.ws

Some of the proposed changes include moving provisions about dispute resolution; preparedness for emergencies and prevention of accidents; security; and characterization of the site from the main permit to the attachments.

WIPP is required to re-evaluate their 300-year Performance Demonstration by comparing the original application with subsequent applications.  The draft application states, “[T]he original analysis and the updated information reach the same conclusion that the only significant pathway for the release of hazardous waste or hazardous waste constituents from [WIPP] is the air pathway involving the release of volatile organic compounds from containers prior to final facility closure.”   

The New Mexico hazardous waste laws and regulations allow the Environment Department Secretary to request additional information to establish permit conditions that will protect human health and the environment.  For over a year, CCNS has been asking the Environment Department to require DOE to provide exposure information from WIPP operations, specifically the February 2014 release of radioactive and hazardous pollutants.  Apparently, the Secretary has not asked for such information because WIPP did not include it in their draft application.

Permit applications for both WIPP and Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) are due in mid-2020.  At a recent public meeting, LANL could not say when they will submit their application.  WIPP plans to submit theirs in March.


  1. Your financial support makes a difference!  Please help CCNS with an end-of-the-year tax-deductible contribution.  Mail your check to CCNS, P. O. Box 31147, Santa Fe, NM  87594-1147, or use our e-contribution form on the right side of our home page at http://nuclearactive.org/ We need your contribution to continue our weekly broadcast and social media work.  There’s a lot of work to be done in 2020 – stay informed with the CCNS Media Network!  Many thanks
  2.  Friday, December 20th – The NM Environmental Improvement Board hearing on the proposed hazardous waste fee increases was completed.  The Board may render a decision at their next meeting on Friday, January 24, 2020.  The agenda has not been posted yet, but check back.    https://www.env.nm.gov/environmental-improvement/main-2/  Thank you to everyone who submitted comments.  They made a difference! 
  3.  Thursday, January 9th – The New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) will host a public engagement meeting

     wjohnson@abqjournal.com

    to discuss the 2016 Consent Order for Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), which is between the Department of Energy and NMED.  The meeting will be from 5:30 to 7 pm at the University of NM – Los Alamos, 4000 University Drive, Bldg. 6, Room 631, Los Alamos, NM.   If you need interpretation or assistance at the meeting, please contact Neelam Dhawan, of the NMED Hazardous Waste Bureau, at (505) 476-6042 or via email at Neelam.Dhawan@state.nm.us.

  4.   Wednesday, January 15th – The Environmental Protection Agency will host a public meeting (beginning at 5 pm)

     

    and hearing (beginning at 7 pm) about the LANL Industrial Wastewater Discharge Permit renewal at the Pojoaque Valley Sixth Grade Academy, 1574 State Road 502 West.  https://www.epa.gov/nm/lanl-industrial-wastewater-permit-draft-permit-no-nm0028355-0

 

Joni Arends Receives Griff Salisbury Env’l Protection Award

On December 8th, the New Mexico Environmental Law Center honored Joni Arends, Co-founder and Executive Director of CCNS, with the Griff Salisbury Environmental Protection Award at its annual Member Appreciation Party in Santa Fe.  The award recognizes an outstanding individual who has made significant contributions to the protection of New Mexico’s environment.  Since 1988, Joni Arends has been a leading voice against the nuclear weapons industry in New Mexico, including Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL).  http://nuclearactive.org/   

The Law Center presented Joni with a handmade belt buckle engraved with the moon rising over the Ortiz Mountains, made by Reflective Jewelry.  https://www.reflectivejewelry.com/

The winner of the Law Center’s annual Toxic Turkey Award was LANL, for over seven decades of “polluting the human and natural environment and continuous violations of basic principles of environmental justice.”  The award is given to a person or group that has shown extraordinary disregard for New Mexico’s environment and the communities that live in it.

In announcing the award, staff attorney Jon Block pointed to the origins of LANL in the Manhattan Project to develop the first atomic weapons.  https://www.lanl.gov/  The federal government expropriated the sacred lands of the Peoples of the San Ildefonso and Santa Clara Pueblos as an isolated location for the secret laboratory.  LANL dumped hazardous chemical, metal and radioactive waste into the canyons running off the Pajarito Plateau and into hundreds of its dumps, all of which have since then contaminated the drinking water aquifer and the Rio Grande.

New Mexico’s Right to Know: The Potential for Groundwater Contaminants from Los Alamos National Laboratory to Reach the Rio Grande by George Rice 

Fact Sheet: New Mexico’s Right to Know: The Potential for Groundwater Contaminants from LANL to Reach the Rio Grande

The Law Center also gave awards to Tewa Women United and Norman Gaume.

Tewa Women United was awarded the Jeanne Gauna Community Environmental Advocacy Award for New Mexicans who have given significant time and effort toward grassroots advocacy for the welfare of our state’s communities, especially through the linkage of environmental health and community well being.  Kathy Wanpovi Sanchez, her husband J. Gilbert Sanchez, and their daughter Corrine Sanchez, were recognized for 30 years of representing a frontline community in the fight to protect sacred lands and the health of communities and the environment downstream and downwind from LANL.  http://tewawomenunited.org/

Norm Gaume, former director of the Interstate Stream Commission, received the Karl Souder Water Protection Award, which honors an outstanding individual who has made significant contributions to protection of New Mexico water.  Norm Gaume has been a leader in the efforts to prevent his former agency from moving forward with expensive and unrealistic plans to divert water from the Gila River.  Instead, he led the efforts to implement community-based plans intended to preserve the Gila.  https://www.krwg.org/post/gila-named-most-endangered-river

Douglas Meiklejohn, Executive Director of the Law Center, said, “The Law Center is proud to work with these organizations and individuals and to represent them in their efforts to force recalcitrant companies and agencies to be accountable to the people of New Mexico.”  https://nmelc.org/


  1. Your financial support makes a difference!  Please help CCNS with an end-of-the-year tax-deductible contribution.  Mail your check to CCNS, P. O. Box 31147, Santa Fe, NM  87594-1147, or use our e-contribution form on the right side of our home page at http://nuclearactive.org/ We need your contribution to continue our weekly broadcast and social media work.  There’s a lot of work to be done in 2020 – stay informed with the CCNS Media Network!  Many thanks!

    2.    Friday, December 20th, beginning at 9 am – the NM Env’l Improvement Board hearing on proposed Hazardous Waste fee increases in Room 309 at the Roundhouse.  See last week’s CCNS News Update for more info and a sample public comment letter in support of fee increases.  http://nuclearactive.org/nmed-proposes-to-increase-hazardous-waste-fees/

    Please get your letter in TODAY before the end of the hearing TOMORROW.  Industry is questioning the basis for the increases.  The Environment Improvement Board needs to know that the People support the fee increases.

    Happy Holidays to All!  Stay Safe!